Creative Renaissance: Re-thinking content and design for a better Customer Experience
Customer Experience is all the rage among marketers and creatives this year. Businesses are increasingly investing in getting to know their customers better, and delivering experiences to match.
Expectations are high: A recent study by Temkin found that customer ratings of their experiences had declined from 2015 to 2016 across 20 major industries. As the study indicates, this is probably less indicative of the extent of business investment in customer experience and more a sign that customer expectations are just getting tougher.
Earlier this year, Adobe’s annual Digital Trends report (issued in conjunction with Econsultancy) shed more light on how businesses are considering their priorities when it comes to digital experiences. Over 7,000 marketing and agency professionals from around the world took part in the research, a record for this report.
The conversation on customer experience tends to be dominated by data, and this year’s survey was no exception: How to make sense of data to shape and personalize customer experiences still showed up as a key priority for businesses. But this year’s survey was also striking for its focus on design and content aspects of Customer Experience as a counterpoint to data. Marketers are increasingly concerned not only with how to gather insights from data but also with how to translate those insights into content that is timely, dynamic, relevant, and useful. Here are the main take-outs from the study:
- Content to the front: Content creation is now considered by brands as a key opportunity when it comes to customer experience: They ranked it as one of the top-three opportunities for 2016 and also for the next five years. Further, the need to optimize content to make it more personalized and usable ranked as a high priority in 2016.
- Process is everything: The majority of respondents agreed that improving processes for content creation and delivery is still a missing—and critical—piece. Speed of delivery and multi-screen access were considered most important: 94 percent of respondents are making it a priority in 2016 to optimize creative workflows to facilitate more rapid creation and deployment of content across multiple platforms. This is hardly surprising given the demands of today’s hyper-connected consumers who expect the same experience from a brand regardless of device or context.
- The need for collaboration: Optimizing processes for content creation is not just about technology or tools. A main take-out of the study is that this also extends—critically—to how people, teams and companies can work together better to deliver content effectively. 91 percent of survey respondents said that improving collaboration between creative and marketing functions will be a critical internal requirement in delivering great customer content over the coming year. Businesses are starting to grasp that content today is rarely the product of just one team or function within the organization: Increasingly a bigger set of people—strategists, writers, designers, coders, UX experts, platform specialists, not to speak of external partners or suppliers—all have a say in the creation of even simple interactive content or applications. This content ‘supply chain’ is becoming increasingly unwieldy and complex – and, as Gartner recently put it, a potential bottleneck for organizations that don’t properly balance a focus on content (and content governance) with investment in data capabilities.
So where are we heading? The survey is indicative of many of the discussions we’re having at Adobe and with our customers: Businesses are looking more strategically at content creation as they embrace the customer-experience reality. They are grasping that successful content generation (and experience design more broadly) needs to be considered holistically in terms of the entire workflow—from data analysis and campaign conception through to layout, prototyping, approvals, and production. They are seeing the need to make this process as dynamic and flexible as possible—a system that allows continual readjustment for a market that demands continual reinvention.
The conversation is maturing beyond a discussion of technology to one of how enterprises can reorganize themselves around a continuous, dynamic creative process—precisely what Emmanuel Vivier described in his insightful and timely blog-post a few weeks ago. The stakes are high and the ambition is there. The creative renaissance is coming to marketing; let’s make it happen!
Read the full report here: The Adobe 2016 Digital Trends Report