Report: Advertising and marketing professionals are split on CX priorities

Advertising and marketing professionals have significantly different priorities when it comes to customer experience, with those of the former group seeking ROI and those in the latter looking for content and experience management, according to Adobe’s 2019 Digital Trends Advertising in Focus report.

This is the ninth edition of the annual Digital Trends Report from Adobe and Econsultancy. The findings in this year's report are based on responses from nearly 800 advertising professionals who took part in the research.

The report showed that for advertising professionals, the biggest priority for almost half of respondents (46%) was to demonstrate return on investment (ROI) to the rest of the business. This was followed by better audience targeting and segmentation (42% of respondents), and improving channel efficiency (40% of respondents). 

All of these point to a strategy that prioritises immediate and tangible results, despite the fact that nearly a quarter (23%) stated that the most exciting opportunity for 2019 was data-driven marketing that focuses on the individual first.

By comparison, nearly two-thirds (64%) of marketers stated that content and experience management is a top priority – which falls to less than half of advertisers – as they look to build loyalty and lasting customer relationships.

“Advertisers and marketers are working towards the same goal, but they’re treading different paths in order to reach the end destination,” commented Philip Duffield, managing director of advertising cloud, Adobe EMEA. “The risk is that by pursuing two very different strategies, one rooted in creating a connection and the other in data is that the end customer receives a very fragmented, and inconsistent brand experience. Both strategies have merit, but to be turbocharged they need to be integrated.”

Commenting on connecting creativity and data, Mike Klinkhammer, director of advertising sales EU, eBay, said, “Creativity and metrics are connected. We need to focus much more on quality and relevance – those are two key words for me this year. If you combine quality and relevance, helped by automation, you get very powerful content delivered in very effective ways.”

The research suggests that building customer experience strategies is the way forward. Of those surveyed, companies that were centred upon building long-term customer experiences were the most successful and were almost three times more likely than their peers to surpass their business goals.

It points to a need for advertising and marketing teams to unite on the customer experience front by bringing together rich audience data and insights and aligning this with their ad targeting strategies, all while ensuring the creative connection with the audience is maintained. 

“The race to personalise customer experiences has seen brands rely more heavily on analytics and programmatic strategies. And whilst these are so important, the opportunity facing the industry is how to balance these with creativity. Those that can root campaigns in deep audience intelligence and marry them with engaging real-time content delivered across the right channels, will achieve relevance and personalisation at scale,” Duffield concluded.