The Adobe 2018 Digital Trends Survey

The end of the year is a time for both reflect­ing on what we’ve accom­plished over the last 12 months, and look­ing ahead. For the past sev­en years, Adobe has col­lab­o­rat­ed with Econ­sul­tan­cy to deliv­er a unique report on the dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing trends that defined this year’s mar­ket. For 2017, the pool of respon­dents dou­bled to 14,000 expert mar­keters, cus­tomer expe­ri­ence man­agers, and oth­er lead­ers, all shar­ing their insights on dig­i­tal inte­gra­tion and the cus­tomer jour­ney.

What new devel­op­ments will 2018 bring for dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing? What changes do you envi­sion on the hori­zon?

This year, we’re look­ing for unique insights from IT experts on areas from doc­u­ment work­flow to tech­nol­o­gy infra­struc­ture to the over­all process of dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion. Recog­nis­ing that cus­tomer expe­ri­ence sits at the core of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, we also want to hear how you’re over­com­ing inter­nal bar­ri­ers to tru­ly inte­grat­ed expe­ri­ences, and devel­op­ing roadmaps for dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion while main­tain­ing secu­ri­ty and com­pli­ance. What are the chal­lenges you’re fac­ing right now?

The sur­vey takes just 10–15 min­utes to com­plete. In return, you’ll get a full copy of the final report in Feb­ru­ary 2018.

Here are some of the trends we high­light­ed in 2017’s report.

Com­pelling cus­tomer expe­ri­ence was the top pri­or­i­ty, as was the con­tent to sup­port it. More than one-fifth (22 per­cent) of client-side respon­dents ranked opti­mis­ing the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence as the sin­gle most excit­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty in 2017. That excite­ment was also reflect­ed in this list of mar­keters’ high­est pri­or­i­ties for the year:

  • Con­tent mar­ket­ing (29 per­cent)
  • Social media engage­ment (28 per­cent)
  • Tar­get­ing and per­son­al­i­sa­tion (25 per­cent)

Although it makes sense to pri­ori­tise con­tent and per­son­al­i­sa­tion, we not­ed a prac­ti­cal dis­con­nect between words and action. For exam­ple, “opti­mis­ing the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence” ranked as the sin­gle most excit­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty, yet only 12 per­cent of respon­dents cit­ed data-dri­ven mar­ket­ing as an area of focus. Clear­ly, data needs to catch up before the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence can be ful­ly opti­mised.

Anoth­er key trend was an increased atten­tion to design. A full 86 per­cent of sur­vey respon­dents agreed that design-dri­ven com­pa­nies out­per­form oth­er busi­ness­es. And yet, while these mar­keters acknowl­edge the val­ue of design in an effec­tive mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy, many also report chal­lenges. Just over two-fifths (41 per­cent) say they lack the process­es and col­lab­o­ra­tive work­flows to achieve a design advan­tage, and 36 per­cent describe well-designed user jour­neys as “dif­fi­cult to mas­ter.”

Inter­nal col­lab­o­ra­tion also took cen­tre stage as a pri­or­i­ty in 2017, as 53 per­cent of organ­i­sa­tions took steps to opti­mise col­lab­o­ra­tion between cre­ative and mar­ket­ing. Still, this is only a start. As dif­fer­ent glob­al regions tend to pri­ori­tise dif­fer­ent chan­nels, and the Inter­net of Things offers a fur­ther pro­lif­er­a­tion of touch­points, brand-wide cre­ative col­lab­o­ra­tion will become more cru­cial than ever before.

What shape will next year take? Join the sur­vey and take part of the dis­cus­sion. The sur­vey clos­es on 27th Decem­ber.

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