A new report from digital experience platform (DXP) provider Optimizely reveals how dispersed and remote work have impacted marketers’ abilities to drive creativity and deliver strong customer experiences.
The findings from the firm’s new 2022 Marketer’s Experience: Dispersed Marketing Teams Impact Ability to Deliver Exceptional Customer Experiences report analyze what creativity means to marketers and how they overcame challenges, and show the pandemic significantly impacted marketing creativity, in large part due to dispersed and remote teams, and lack of effective technology and collaboration tools.
Dispersed marketing teams impact ability to drive effective CX
Consumers have more options than ever when it comes to which brands they choose to engage—meaning delivering exceptional customer experiences has never been more important. At the same time, remote and hybrid work environments created dispersed marketing teams that significantly impacted marketing’s ability to drive the same high quality CX.
In fact, 92 percent of marketers surveyed said the ability to deliver content to the right audience at the right time was impacted by remote and hybrid work. The survey also analyzed what factors about remote work and dispersed teams created these barriers to driving exceptional CX—finding that 92 percent of marketers also agreed dispersed teams have impacted:
- The ability to develop creative ideas
- The ability to optimally execute marketing campaigns
- Collaboration with members from other teams such as IT, finance, etc.
- Collaboration with other marketing team members
Technology is fundamental to driving creativity
Despite marketing challenges with remote and hybrid work, many marketers were able to overcome barriers to creativity by relying on the right content management, experimentation, and collaboration tools. Especially in remote environments, marketers rely on agile, flexible technology to drive creative ideas. The new survey went on to reveal which technologies marketers found most useful:
- 42 percent say content marketing systems to ease the creation and delivery of content to the right audiences was most useful
- One-third say video collaboration tools (33 percent), collaboration tools that capture ideas and notes in one central location (32 percent), and idea capturing tools like Microsoft Word (32 percent) were most useful
- Meanwhile, 31 percent say experimentation platforms and tools to test new ideas were most useful, and over one-quarter (28 percent) say chat collaboration tools were most useful
“Creativity is essential when it comes to creating strong marketing campaigns that impress customers,” said Kirsten Allegri Williams, CMO at Optimizely, in a news release. “The pandemic caused all marketing teams to rethink not just how they define creativity, but how they inspire it and deliver creative experiences to customers. Remote and hybrid work won’t be going away anytime soon, and senior marketers need to be thoughtful—applying strategies and technologies that combine the art and science of marketing to ensure they continue inspiring creativity in their marketing teams, and in turn, drive strong customer experiences.”
Additional survey findings reveal that, while all marketers agree creativity is necessary and even imperative in this field, not all marketers agree on what defines creativity. However, one clear theme emerged—creativity is critical in driving strong customer experiences.
- 31 percent describe creativity as creating experiences that drive customer action and/or engagement.
- 21 percent define it as creating ideas that surprise and delight audiences.
- Less than one in five define creativity as developing original ideas (17%) and being first to market with a new innovation (17 percent).
- Only 14 percent say it is coming up with new ways to solve old problems.
Optimizely commissioned Regina Corso Consulting to conduct a survey of marketers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Sweden, Australia/New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. This survey, which was conducted online between May 16 and 23, 2022, sought to understand how marketers feel about issues surrounding creativity in the new hybrid/remote workplace.