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[Digital Trends] - 62 Key Insights from Adobe’s Survey Report

62 Key Insights and Facts from Adobe’s Digital Trends 2022 Report:

Learn the trends that will shape the customer experience and how to remain ahead of the curve. Annual Adobe’s survey, produced in collaboration with Econsultancy, captured insights from nearly 10,000 marketers, consultants, and practitioners to map the evolution of marketing, advertising, content, commerce, and customer experience trends around the world.

It also identified key opportunities for companies to refine their digital strategies and drive sustained growth this year and also beyond.

The report offered many insights to help marketers and business leaders hone their strategies to drive sustained success, out of which, I personally feel, these 62 eye-opening insights and facts may help you to make a smarter move for a larger outcome from your business and marketing campaigns!

Change is here to stay and personalized experiences are the standard. “If you’re not thinking about the customer holistically, you will fail the customer in a big way.” - Ajit Sivadisan, Vice President, Lenovo

62 Key Insights and Facts from Adobe’s Digital Trends 2022 Report:

1. As customers fluidly switched between channels of interaction, the need for omnichannel personalization, automation, and scalability took on greater urgency.

2. 50% of marketing organization leaders have ‘significant insight’ into the journeys of new customers, versus just 20% of mainstream and 6% of laggard organizations.

3. 85% of marketing organizations consider themselves ‘effective/highly effective when it comes to using first-party data to personalize the customer experience, versus 66% of mainstream and 22% of laggard organizations.

4. 65% of marketing organization leaders rate their speed of acting on insights as ‘strong/ very strong’, versus just 22% of mainstream and 5% of laggard organizations.

5. 61% of marketing organization leaders rate their ability to build experiments to test in the field as ‘strong/very strong, in contrast with just 21% of mainstream and 5% of laggard organizations.

6. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a key area of opportunity that not enough organizations are taking advantage of to drive real-time business decisions and improve customer experiences.

7. Customers don’t just judge their digital experiences against other providers in the same industry. They rate their experiences against their last, best interaction.

8. Organizations must reorient operations completely around their customer relationships. Success relies on comprehensively creating the conditions for speed, experimentation, innovation, and personalization at scale.

9. As customers’ experience expectations heighten and competition intensifies, it has never been more vital for organizations to build processes around customer needs.

10. To earn customer trust, businesses must deliver on both fronts in an increasingly complicated regulatory environment.

11. Companies that empower their teams for strategically-led, data-driven decision-making and experimentation are set to win in this new era.

12. With digital experiences vital to business growth and innovation, CMOs have earned their seat at the boardroom table. Relationships between CMOs and CIOs have cemented.

13. Customer experiences can only be elevated from a foundation of customer trust and strong fundamentals, from integrated data architecture to insight-focused analytics to effective marketing automation.

14. Eighty-seven percent of senior executives believe we’re in a new world where digitally-rewired customer expectations define fulfillment.

15. To keep pace, businesses are scaling investments in experience management solutions and customer data technology. Competition is intensifying, while experience barriers are escalating.

16. As they transition from digital innovation driven by crisis to planned innovation simply to stay in the mix, companies need to reorient for speed – generating actionable insights in the milliseconds between interest and opportunity.

17. In PWC’s latest Global Consumer Insights Survey, 41% of respondents report shopping daily or weekly via smartphone – compared with 39% six months ago – and just 12% five years ago.

18. The global B2B eCommerce market size is now forecast to grow 18.7% (CAGR) to 2028.

19. Eighty-two percent of surveyed practitioners say their digital experience emphasis will either remain steady or accelerate, even as customers return to offline channels.

20. Customers expect organizations to allow them to shift seamlessly from one interaction mode to another, remember their preferences across all touchpoints and create excellent experiences at every step of their journey.

21. To meet customers wherever (and whenever) they need, businesses need to reconfigure to collect hybrid interaction data. Then connect the journey dots and create compelling, value-added experiences at each key stage in the path to purchase.

What’s more, they need to do this while instilling trust. That means engaging in ways that feel contextual and intuitive rather than invasive or surveillant.

22. To make sure customer experience standards continue to rise, businesses must reduce friction in the employee experience, remove internal barriers, optimize technology stacks, automate workflows and upskill employees.

23. The rising digital tide means that today’s experience differentiator is becoming tomorrow’s commodity. Given that experience is crucial for brand differentiation, organizations need to better predict customer behaviors and serve unmet needs with personalized, valuable, and distinct experiences and innovation.

24. 29% of leaders consider using AI to improve the customer experience an operational priority.

25. 59% of leaders are improving training and learning programs to increase productivity, versus 49% mainstream and 42% laggards.

26. Over 50% of senior executives are increasing their 2022 investment in platforms that will empower their organization to serve customers across increasingly complex omnichannel customer journeys.

27. As the marketing landscape continues to evolve, senior executives are just as likely to be prioritizing customer retention as they are customer acquisition. More than half (59%) plan to increase their budgets for online media spending in 2022 compared with 2021.

28. In a cookieless future, acquisition will be more complex and costlier. This increases the onus on customer retention, maximizing first-party data to reduce churn and increase value from within the existing base.

29. According to PWC’s December 2021 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey, 59% of global consumers reported becoming more protective over their data in the past six months.

30. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, 69% of countries (183) now have data protection and privacy legislation, and a further 20 countries have draft legislation in the pipeline.

31. Technology is essential to scale and apply privacy rules across customers, brands, and regions.

32. Customers need assurances that the benefits of sharing their personal information will outweigh any possible downsides.

33. Businesses must earn customer trust as a condition to sway them to exchange personal data in return for greater value brand relationships.

34. Customer data must be used responsibly, effectively, and creatively to unlock valuable, timely, and relevant customer experiences.

35. Organizations need to question why, and what, customer data they’re capturing in the first place. They need to think about how that data will translate into insights and actions that create real customer value.

36. More promisingly, 72% of practitioners consider themselves 'effective' or highly effective at giving users control over how their data is used.

37. “We are critically focused on making sure they know what we’re using their data for, and when we’re using it. If they don’t want us to use it, then that’s their choice. And we give them every opportunity to make that choice.” - Walgreens’ SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Patrick McLean.

38. First-party and zero-party data are essential in a cookieless future. Marketers need to get ready now, deriving insights from existing data sets to inform and test new campaign ideas and targeting approaches.

39. The quest for top cross-functional, internal experience hires has been complicated by a challenging labor market and the shift to bring key capabilities in-house, rather than outsourcing to external agencies.

40. In a difficult labor market, offloading routine tasks and operations to automated systems can free up key personnel for higher value work. CMOs can then redouble efforts to build these team members’ capabilities and skills in the areas needed most in experience-driven organizations, such as analysis, strategy, and creative thinking.

41. Encouragingly, 51% of senior executives percent of senior executives describe their organizations as actively pursuing diversity and inclusion today, with a further 41% say they are working on diversity and inclusion initiatives.

42. Seventy-seven percent are concerned about their employees having the key skills necessary to deliver effective digital experiences. Hopefully, senior executives will be more receptive to increasing training and education programs resources in 2022.

43. Permanently distributed, asynchronous workforces need to reimagine ways of working and adopt remote-first solutions.

44. Workflow issues are rated the second most significant barrier holding back practitioners’ customer experience organizations.

45. Not enough organizations are taking advantage of AI to action insights and deliver valuable customer experiences at pace.

46. Teams need to be encouraged to test, fail fast, fail small, and fail visibly. However, with limited access to data, insights, and empirical evidence, it is tough to determine the success or failure of experiments in the field, making it difficult for organizations to adopt true test-and-learn practices.

47. Many of our surveyed practitioners report challenges in accessing and acting on customer insights, so it’s unsurprising that most give low ratings to their businesses’ experimentation capabilities low.

48. Since CIOs manage the technology that collects, governs, and secures that data, they’re also responsible for making that data accessible across the organization and helping unlock new opportunities in advanced data analytics and marketing automation.

49. As customer behaviors and preferences evolve, CMOs and CIOs need to collaborate more closely to keep pace with crucial customer shifts and needs. The two need to work in concert, ensuring they combine CX and tech strategies to best enable agility, creativity, and innovation.

50. 91% of surveyed senior executives in this year’s study recognize the importance of digital experience in driving growth. At the same time, 90% ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ that the CFO recognizes the importance of marketing.

51. But true success will be measured by the CMOs partnership with the CIO: the technology, experience, and data gatekeeper.

52. While senior executives and practitioners recognize the importance of cross-functional collaboration, most senior executives accept that true partnership are still a work in progress.

53. It’s positive that data and insights platforms, such as data management and customer data platforms, rank as senior executives’ key technological priorities for 2022.

54. Ultimately, the aspiration should be to provide a connective data tissue, allowing different business functions to access a single source of data truth on an as-a-service basis.

55. According to client-side practitioners, the biggest perceived barrier holding back customer experience is 'poor integration between tech systems' (37%).

56. In fact, by leaning into integrated, scalable, and flexible automated marketing platforms, versus disparate point solutions, businesses can reduce the total cost of ownership by 25-35% - and increase speed to market by 30 percent.

57. Unlocking personalization at scale relies on substantial foundations. Businesses need technology that provides an excellent digital architecture, advanced analytics, centralized content, and digital asset management, and fully integrated and automated cross-channel campaign management tools.

58. Marketing organization leaders are reorienting operations completely around their customers. They’re building a more sophisticated and holistic view of behaviors, preferences, and needs. They’re organizing to translate data into insights – and to act on those insights with speed and agility.

59. Senior executives should liberate their team members from routine and mundane tasks by capitalizing on existing intelligent automation and by investing in the most valuable skills for an experience-driven future.

60. Organizations have a responsibility not only to protect customer data to the highest standards but to use the data respectfully to create valuable customer experiences. Data must be collected with the customer firmly in mind.

How will the data captured today contribute to responsible, meaningful, and helpful experiences for that customer tomorrow?

61. Organizations across the board are missing out on opportunities to maximize AI for improved audience understanding, faster insight to action, and enhanced, personalized experiences at scale.

This is a major oversight.

62. Businesses that get on the fast track, reorganize around the customer, empower their teams, instill trust, and lay the groundwork for personalization at scale will be the ones that thrive in this new era, which is shaped by customers' digitally-rewired expectations and dictated by their new behaviors.

By the way, if you are interested, you may access the complete report here.

Here's related information that you may find helpful - Digital Market Outlook's Global Summary Stats, Insights, and Forecasts 2022

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