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New customer experience trends research reveals challenges for marketers

by | Nov 27, 2023 | Marketing, Public Relations

Death, taxes, and rising customer experience expectations—these are now the absolutes in our world. But with all the tools at our disposal, what’s standing in the way of seamless CX for marketers? Well, to name a few, limited access to robust customer data insights, challenges with personalizing content, and rising above skeptical consumers’ perceptions of AI are certainly impeding progress. And new research from digital experience firm Acquia reveals that these are major focus areas for communicators.

The firm’s annual Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report, based on findings from a survey of marketers and consumers, highlights marketers’ desire to deliver digital customer experiences intuitively, with the ability to be fast to market, create clear customer journeys across digital channels, and generate human-centric content as top priorities.

“There have never been more martech tools or platforms available, yet many marketers still struggle to quickly deliver productive digital experiences that maintain brand consistency and appropriate data governance,” said Jennifer Griffin Smith, chief market officer at Acquia, in a news release.

New customer experience trends research reveals challenges for marketers

Marketers strive for excellence as the ground shifts beneath them

More than 8 in 10 (83 percent) of marketers say their organization is under pressure to deliver content differently to ensure they stand out to customers and prospects, the report finds. Nearly all have recently changed their digital customer experience strategy to try to meet goals—often with little to no additional budget.

To better understand how marketers are juggling these demands, the survey asked what martech initiatives they believe have the greatest impact on digital customer experience. The top factor cited (35 percent) is ability to gather enough data about consumer preferences to create productive digital experiences, followed by (24 percent) ability to create enough personalized content.

What is the single most important factor affecting digital CX over the past 18 months?:

New customer experience trends research reveals challenges for marketers

Marketers say they’re looking to AI to help, with nearly half (45 percent) sharing that generative AI is one of the top technologies having a positive impact on CX. Consumers, however, have mixed feelings about encountering use of AI on brands’ digital platforms—only 40 percent report they have a positive emotion when they come across use of technology such as an AI chatbot. And overcoming that perception won’t be easy.

Digital experiences must be human-centric

Creating digital experiences that are inclusive for all users, regardless of their abilities, is not only required from a standards and compliance standpoint, but adds business value. Creating accessible digital experiences is a top priority for 68 percent of marketers in the U.S.

There is also an opportunity for marketers to build trust with consumers to earn their willingness to provide first-party data as the phase-out of third-party browser cookies is completed in 2024. Roughly two-thirds (66 percent) of consumers say they get frustrated when brands appear to market to them because they searched about them or a similar brand online.

New customer experience trends research reveals challenges for marketers

While not all consumers are comfortable giving their personal data to brands, willingness shifts with age. Among Gen Z, 80 percent of consumers surveyed said they are willing to give brands personal data in exchange for a better digital experience, but the figure drops to 55 percent for Baby Boomers.

Download the full report here.

The survey of 3,000 consumers and 300 marketers in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States was conducted in September 2023. 

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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