Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
Australian and New Zealand marketers are behind their global counterparts when it comes to switching from an acquisition to end-to-end customer engagement approach, a new report claims.
The latest report produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Marketo, entitled The Path to 2020: Marketers Seize the Customer Experience, found 86 per cent of marketers expect to own the end-to-end customer experience by 2020. However, when it came to current marketing program focus, A/NZ marketers were still be more focused on acquisition compared to the rest of the world (53 per cent versus 42 per cent).
According to the global findings, raising customer loyalty and better brand perception are the top two benefits marketers hope to realise through a more positive customer experience. Marketers also said they expect to increasingly interact directly with their customers through technology and personalisation as opposed to indirect media and advertising activity, with a single view of the customer key to achieving this objective.
Local marketers were also found to be less focused on bringing new skills into their marketing function compared to global marketers (13 per cent versus 20 per cent). In addition, only 29 per cent of A/NZ marketers saw pioneering new and emerging technologies to engage audiences to be a strategic priority by 2020, compared to 40 per cent of respondents globally.
Marketo’s local managing director, Greg Taylor, said the study should sound a warning ball for the local industry.
“The study hints that we are slower to adopt to some of these changes,” he said. “Australia and New Zealand are both relatively small, yet lucrative markets. It makes sense to focus on building a strong bond with your existing customers to leverage greater value. We need to move on from a pure focus on acquisitions and embrace technology that will help build better brand relationships.”
Overall, 87 per cent of global marketers surveyed for the report believe their departments will exercise significant influence over business strategy by 2020, and 78 per cent expect to have the same influence over company technology decisions. Core technologies anticipated to have the biggest impact on marketing over the next five years are mobile devices and networks (59 per cent), personalisation technologies (45 per cent) and the Internet of Things (39 per cent).
Top channels of communication in 2020, meanwhile, are expected to be social media (63 per cent), the Web (53 per cent), mobile apps (47 per cent) and mobile Web (46 per cent).
The report also showed marketers are currently most often measured by their organisation in terms of revenue impact and customer acquisition, but expect budget efficiency and ROI to become more important by 2020.
The Economist report was based on qualitative, in-depth interviews with about 500 senior marketers globally. It follows on from a similar report undertaken last year, which again showed the importance of marketers in owning customer experience within their organisation.