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.
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.
— Simon Morris (@smorris75) February 4, 2015