Digital Trends for 2015

More than 6,000 mar­ket­ing, and ecom­merce pro­fes­sion­als around the world took part in this year’s Dig­i­tal Trends sur­vey, which has been by far our largest response since we launched this annu­al sur­vey in 2012. Thanks to all of the con­trib­u­tors who took the time to pro­vide their per­spec­tive. I’m pleased to say the 2015 Dig­i­tal Trends report is avail­able now to down­load.

In my blog post in Decem­ber I took a look back at the Dig­i­tal Trends Sur­vey 2014, to exam­ine what the sur­vey had pre­dict­ed

Where we saw key trends such as cus­tomer expe­ri­ence and per­son­al­i­sa­tion gain­ing trac­tion and mobile as a huge dri­ving force for mar­keters. Also from an inter­nal per­spec­tive in John Watton’s pre­dic­tions for dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing we pre­dict data dri­ven mar­ket­ing will be a key dri­ver in 2015, that cross-chan­nel will devel­op as the phys­i­cal and dig­i­tal worlds con­verge & the con­tin­ued growth in mobile. These trends were also core to Vijayan­ta Gupta’s arti­cle on how the pre­dic­tions align to indus­try trends where the spe­cif­ic chal­lenges of the indus­try need to be addressed – for exam­ple in the auto­mo­tive indus­try where the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence per­spec­tive and cross chan­nel devel­op­ment are push­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers to a more dig­i­talised show­room expe­ri­ence.

The report is worth look­ing at in full so I won’t give away too many details but I would just like to pull out a cou­ple of key high­lights.

For 2015 we have seen cus­tomer expe­ri­ence devel­op as an over­ar­ch­ing dri­ver. With 22% of client-side organ­i­sa­tions view­ing this as the most excit­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty, and 78% of com­pa­nies agree­ing that they would be try­ing to dif­fer­en­ti­ate through cus­tomer expe­ri­ence in the year ahead. It’s fas­ci­nat­ing to see how this area has devel­oped from an emerg­ing per­spec­tive to a dri­ver of mar­ket­ing activ­i­ties, and a point of dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion.

Customer Experience

Per­son­al­ly, what makes this report inter­est­ing to me, is not just the trends but the insight into how a com­pa­ny needs to adapt to cap­i­talise on these new trends. Two aspects are key here: Strat­e­gy & Cul­ture. As seen with the emer­gence of cus­tomer expe­ri­ence as an over­ar­ch­ing dri­ver, we aren’t talk­ing about small shifts in your mar­ket­ing organ­i­sa­tion, but the con­scious deci­sion to devel­op and align your activ­i­ties with the goal of cus­tomer expe­ri­ence at the heart. How­ev­er, strat­e­gy change with­out cul­ture change is inef­fec­tive, to quote Peter Duck­er ‘Cul­ture eats strat­e­gy for break­fast’. This com­plete­ly res­onates in the realm of mar­ket­ing trans­for­ma­tion: you need to win the bat­tles of hearts and minds.

There’s still a long jour­ney ahead with only 14% of respon­dents agree­ing that dig­i­tal ‘per­me­ates all their mar­ket­ing pro­grammes’ and the same small pro­por­tion describe them­selves as ‘dig­i­tal-first’. This is the trans­for­ma­tion to ‘mar­ket­ing in a dig­i­tal world’ which is going to require a shift in both cul­ture, and strat­e­gy.

In a ‘dig­i­tal first’ organ­i­sa­tion that has ‘cus­tomer expe­ri­ence’ at it’s core, the oth­er trends men­tioned in the report such as a per­son­alised con­tent, using data to dri­ve rel­e­vant expe­ri­ences, or align­ment across all chan­nels are the result­ing activ­i­ties, and are symp­to­matic of good strat­e­gy and cul­ture.

I invite you to down­load the Dig­i­tal Trends 2015 report and read more, I would be inter­est­ed to hear your per­spec­tive: @Smorris75

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