More than 6,000 marketing and eCommerce professionals around the world took part in this year’s digital trends survey, which has by far been 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 now available to download.
In my blog post in December, I took a look back at the 2014 Digital Trends Survey to reexamine previous predictions. Where we saw key trends such as customer experience and personalization gaining traction, and mobile as a huge driving force for marketers. 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 and 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 digitalized 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 percent of client-side organizations viewing this as the most exciting opportunity, and 78 percent 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 capitalize on these new trends. Two aspects are key here: strategy and 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 percent of respondents agreeing that digital “permeates all their marketing programs” 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 its 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.
Download the free report and let me know what surprises you!
This post was previously published on the European Adobe Digital Marketing blog on January 28, 2015.