Chart of the year: 39% of marketers believe that optimizing the customer experience is the biggest opportunity for businesses in 2021.
The importance of good customer experience is hard to deny. Offering good CX helps to increase traffic and conversions, as well as the number of customers who return to your brand and talk positively about it.
Putting the customer first
With there being so many benefits to improving customer experience, it’s no wonder that it is seen by marketers as a great opportunity. In fact, it is the single most exciting opportunity for organizations in 2021, according to the latest Digital Trends report from Econsultancy and Adobe.
A total of 39% of survey respondents cited ‘optimizing customer experience’ as the biggest opportunity for their organization this year. When broken down, customer experience is seen as being slightly more important by B2B marketers, with 20% citing customer experience as the biggest opportunity, compared to 19% of B2C organizations.
Survey respondents also said that ‘creating compelling content for digital experiences’ is an exciting opportunity for this year, with 28% in total choosing this option. Broken down, 15% of B2B marketers see digital content creation as an opportunity compared to 13% of B2C marketers.
This shows that content marketing is still an important tool that is seen as having plenty to offer marketers. After all, not only does good content help improve your site’s SEO performance, it can also answer questions, showcase your offering, instill confidence in a consumer and increase the chances of a successful conversion.
Looking at the ways in which you can refresh your content marketing strategy could help you improve your marketing. It’s no longer just about blogs, take a look at the opportunities offered by video marketing and alternative forms of content.
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Personalization is key
When it comes to B2C marketers alone, the most exciting opportunity is ‘data-driven marketing that focuses on the individual’. Some 21% of B2C marketers chose this as being their big opportunity for the year ahead.
Arguably, data-driven marketing with an individual focus is still part of CX, as personalization offers the best experience across channels. Using data to create targeted campaigns can enable marketers to deliver a cohesive and personalized experience across all channels, anticipating a customer’s needs and offering solutions based on existing data.
Comparatively, only 12% of B2B marketers said that data-driven marketing with an individual focus was an exciting opportunity for 2019. While this makes sense in part when dealing with organizations, it is important to remember that decision makers are still individuals and could benefit from the nurturing that personalization provides.
Data for segmentation and targeting
The importance of data is also highlighted by the fact that 55% of marketers said that ‘better use of data for more effective audience segmentation and targeting’ is expected to jump furthest up their company’s priority list this year.
Furthermore, 42% said that ‘improving customer intelligence and insights for a holistic customer view’ was likely to become more of a priority in 2021.
This suggests that more companies are realizing the benefits of data and are seeking to use it to inform campaigns and marketing activities. The results also highlight the fact that many organizations may be feeling more confident that they have the necessary building blocks in place in order to better use data in their marketing, such as the right platforms.
While the rise of data-driven marketing is likely to offer better experiences for customers, along with better results for the business, it does have its challenges. Consumer data protection and compliance with new regulations, such as GDPR, also need to be taken into account when collecting and using data.
Getting a holistic view of customers
When it comes to challenges, the report highlights that marketers are struggling to get a holistic view of customers across all interactions. Some 44% said that this is the challenge most likely to keep them awake at night.
With the drive to create a personalized and cohesive experience for customers across all digital and physical challenges, it’s not really a surprise that this is seen as being a big challenge. It also ties in well with the fact that 40% of marketers said that ‘ensuring consistent experience throughout the customer lifecycle’ is also a big challenge.
There is so much data that can be collected, from email and social media engagement to the way in which customers shop via your website compared to in-store. While your marketing team may be able to piece some of this data to get more of an overview of target audiences and customer types, it could be worth hiring the right talent to ensure you’re getting the fullest picture.
Adding a data analyst to your team and having them work with the marketing department to better understand what data they need and why could help you overcome this challenge. Not only is this helpful in giving you a view of your customers, but it also means you can better create fully targeted campaigns.
Tracking marketing effectiveness
The second biggest challenge for marketers in 2021 was cited as being ‘difficulty tracking marketing effectiveness and media spend’.
Proving return on investment (ROI) across marketing isn’t always straight forward, as different activity has different intentions. Social media profiles aimed at raising awareness, for example, may not have as good a conversion rate as your email marketing campaign.
Tracking effectiveness ultimately comes down to setting accurate KPIs for each marketing channel, activity or campaign. You also need to ensure that you know how you’re going to track your KPIs – is it about the number of Instagram followers you get, how many people head to your blog or does it all come down to the number of purchases?
Looking at what data you can collect to measure success will also help you to shape your KPIs and track the effectiveness of your marketing activity.
While optimizing the customer experience offers many opportunities for marketers, you need to ensure that you have the data in order to do this. Not only that, but you also need to be able to understand how the data you have affects the decisions you make.
More and more brands – both B2B and B2C – are seeking to offer a more personalized experience, as well as cohesive experience across channels. It’s your data that will allow you to do this and create successful individual-driven experiences that translate into ROI.