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.