A global perspective from marketers and consumers on open source innovation and what makes or breaks customer experiences
Organizations have learned that delivering positive customer experiences (CX) isn’t just good for customers; it’s good for business.
Customers will abandon a brand if their needs aren’t satisfied, negatively impacting business’ retention rates and bottom lines. That’s why customer loyalty is vitally important for every brand. That said, how marketers attain this loyalty must align with the times.
Today’s consumer has more options than ever before and walks into every brand interaction with high expectations for engagement, responsiveness and product quality. With all facets of the experience – from social networks to retail channels – being disrupted by major players like Amazon, Apple and Google, consumers have adapted to a certain standard and can be unforgiving when their expectations aren’t met or their trust is betrayed.
What does this mean for marketers?
They not only need to deliver on these increasing expectations, but must also strategically employ the right tools to deliver personalized experiences – without breaking their trust or abusing the data privileges their customers allow them.
No easy task, to say the least.
Marketers now live in a world of analytics and funnels, facing greater pressures to deliver on quantitative business objectives. Even so, they must remember the human beings behind the numbers and ensure, through all the number-driven deliberations, that they are ultimately building relationships based on trust. Where do these two groups stand today, as the industry continues to ebb and flow around them?
How do marketers feel about the current state of CX, and do consumers agree?
The stakes have never been higher for today’s brands – but are they ready to deliver? To get to the heart of the matter through a global lens, we’ve collected the views of more than 5,000 consumers and 500 marketers across the United States, Australia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Spanning the topics of brand loyalty, marketing technology, data privacy and more, our survey identifies where marketers and consumers align – and maybe more importantly, where they don’t.
The findings pose interesting questions about the disconnect between consumers and marketers, as well as the return on investment (ROI) gained from an ever-growing inventory of marketing solutions.
Despite increasing investment in marketing technology (martech) year over year, nearly half of consumers say brands aren’t meeting their expectations, and even fewer remember the last time a brand exceeded expectations. Moreover, marketers continue to struggle with the new balancing act that is personalization and data privacy, much to the frustration of consumers. Although many marketers – 85 percent – believe they are compliant and secure in their data practices, the way they use this information leaves much to be desired, with 61 percent of consumers reporting that brands aren’t using their personal information intelligently or thoughtfully to predict their needs.
Marketers must bridge the gap that’s been brought to light through our research and bring empathy and respect to the customer relationship. As the marketing landscape becomes more competitive and demanding, marketers need to collaborate and find support through community.
Yet, companies and data remain more siloed than ever. Feeling the pressures of competition, marketers are leveraging as many as 20 different vendors – all with their own platforms, roadmaps and integration challenges. It’s now time to remove the barriers that separate our platforms and, thus, our data, while also banding together as a community to lean on and learn from one another.
This new mindset, facilitated largely by massive advancements in open source, is allowing for true CX innovation, adaptability and agility. As we examine these global research findings and implications, we’ll discuss how brands can overcome CX barriers by honing in on three areas: People, Technology and Data.
- Acquia Newsroom
- Customer Experience: Marketers Doing it Wrong, Study Finds
Despite increasing investment from brands in marketing technology, nearly half of consumers say brands aren’t meeting their expectations when it comes to the customer experience (CX), and even fewer remember the last time a brand exceeded expectations, according to results of a global survey commissioned by Acquia.
Today’s consumers have more options than ever before and high expectations of the brands they choose. Leave them unsatisfied or betray their trust, and they’ll go elsewhere. As the marketing landscape becomes more competitive and demanding, marketers need the very best insight, tools, and resources to compete. Yet, companies and data remain more siloed than ever.
The findings of Acquia’s inaugural global survey on the state of the CX pose interesting questions about the disconnect between consumers and marketers, as well as the return on investment gained from an ever-growing inventory of marketing solutions. More than 5,000 consumers and 500 marketers across Australia, Europe and North America provided input for the report, Closing the CX Gap: Customer Experience Trends Report 2019. It exposes several disconnects — that marketers rate their effectiveness much higher than consumers, that consumers are skeptical of how their personal data may be used by brands, and that consumers expect personalized customer experiences. It also shows that earning a customer’s loyalty is critical, and the need to earn and keep their trust through CX is an imperative.
Customer Experience Trends Report 2019
A global perspective from marketers and consumers on open source innovation and what makes or breaks customer experiences.
“The bar for customer experience has been raised. Marketers have expanded to new channels and adapted new technology to keep pace with consumer expectations. Yet our research found that technology has become more of a barrier than an enabler for a great customer experience,” said Lynne Capozzi, Acquia CMO. “Closing the CX Gap is about arming marketers with new insight, so they can better review and evaluate their tech stack, people, and processes and plan for the new year. Now is the time for marketers to take back control and execute an open approach that provides the right level of personalization and data privacy to drive long-term customer relationships.”
The report examines the CX gap through the lens of three frames: people, technology, and data. Results uncover several areas where marketers and consumers don’t share the same view of the world. Key findings uncovered in the report include:
People: Although half of the consumers surveyed believe brands are failing expectations for a good CX and two-thirds could not recall when a brand exceeded expectations, marketers don’t share this skeptical view of their own work. In fact, 87 percent of marketers feel they are hitting the mark in delivering engaging customer experiences. Yet 4 in 5 of the same marketers polled felt disappointed by their own experiences as consumers.
Technology: Nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of marketers globally feel like technology has made it harder, not easier, to offer customers personalized experiences. Overwhelmed and inundated with often-siloed tech, getting a clear view of customers often proves challenging. Sixty-five percent of marketers said complex technology makes personalizing the CX difficult, yet 62 percent of marketers surveyed globally plan to spend more on marketing technology in 2019.
Data: The data also shows that consumers prefer a personalized brand experience, but they’re skeptical about whether brands have their best interest at heart — and they’re concerned about the personal information brands hold about them. Marketers overwhelmingly indicated they’re confident in their data privacy practices with respect to personal information, with 85 percent feeling that they are doing a good job ensuring compliance with data regulations.
“We have the opportunity to break the mold with today’s strategic marketing initiatives, capitalizing – albeit thoughtfully – on mobile applications, chatbots, conversational interfaces, email, social, and so many other touchpoints to create personal, meaningful, and valuable experiences for customers,” the report concludes. “Blindly investing in martech isn’t the answer. Fundamentally, marketers and consumers aren’t on the same page when it comes to experience or data privacy, and that needs to change.”
Topline survey findings were revealed today during the opening keynote sessions at Acquia Engage, the company’s annual user conference taking place in Austin, Texas, through Nov. 9. At the conference, Acquia customers and partners gather to share their best practices and lessons learned for how they’re solving the biggest challenges in CX delivery with the help of the Acquia Experience Platform. To learn more about how Acquia is helping marketers embrace innovation and create customer moments that matter, visit acquia.com.
An ebook highlighting the findings and providing analysis is available for download at: Closing the CX Gap: Customer Experience Trends Report 2019.
About the Survey
The Closing the CX Gap: Customer Experience Trends Report 2019 was commissioned by Acquia and conducted by Regina Corso Consulting between August 14 and August 28, 2018. Respondents to the online survey were 5,003 consumers – 1,000 from Australia, 1,000 from France, 1,000 from Germany, 1,000 from the United Kingdom, and 1,003 from the United States – and 501 marketers – 100 from Australia, 100 from France, 100 from Germany, 100 from the UK, and 101 from the U.S. The consumers are all 18 and older and the sample is balanced by age and gender for each country. The marketers are director-level and above, and their company has annual revenue of US$10 million or more.
Acquia is the open source digital experience company. We provide the world’s most ambitious brands with technology that allows them to embrace innovation and create customer moments that matter. At Acquia, we believe in the power of community – giving our customers the freedom to build tomorrow on their terms. To learn more, visit acquia.com
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