Research: Technology adoption is failing to catch up with CX

Technology adoption is the major hurdle of implementing marketing and customer experience (CX) though it remains the priority for businesses, according to Adobe.

In the "Experience Index: 2019 Digital Trends" study conducted by Adobe and Econsultancy, customer experience optimisation was a top priority for businesses in 2019, with nearly one-fifth (19%) of respondents citing it as the most exciting opportunity this year.

However, 54% of the respondents categorised their CX maturity as either ‘not very advanced’ (46%) or ‘immature’ (8%). In APAC, only 9% of companies said their customer experience capabilities were very advanced.

Personalisation remained an area of focus for organisations looking to provide an advanced customer experience. About two in five (44%) marketers said the biggest challenge they face in 2019 is ‘difficulty in getting a holistic view of customers across all interactions’. Almost one-third (31%) of marketers saw a ‘lack of marketing technology integration’ as a barrier to securing an end-to-end view of audience and customer interactions.

Speaking of future plans, 32% of marketers said delivering a personalised experience in real-time remained by far the most exciting prospect within the next three years.

However, many companies were yet to implement effective yet future-proof marketing and CX technologies. The majority (64%) of organisations - three percentage points lower than last year - were either basing their marketing activities on a fragmented approach with inconsistent integration between technologies (46%) or have little or no cloud technology (18%).

Cloud-based technology was a pain point for businesses around the globe, as less than one in ten (9%) businesses globally had a highly integrated, cloud-based technology stack. But businesses have already identified this problem. More than half (55%) of all respondents expected the better use of data for more effective audience segmentation and targeting to be among the top three marketing-related areas, jumping furthest up their organisation’s priority list in 2019.

As for AI and machine learning, only half of the respondents had already recognised ways these technologies could help their businesses. Executives in APAC seemed especially positive about automation, with only 24% describing themselves as ‘cautious’, and 24% of APAC businesses stated they have experienced a positive, rather than negative, impact from the increased focus on consumer data protection.

“First-class, personalised customer experience lies at the heart of commerce activities for most organisations in Asia. Successful companies can deliver these experiences through an optimised combination of integrated marketing and CX technology which draws on customer data, with CIOs and CMOs working to ensure internal systems are as integrated as possible," concluded Scott Rigby, head of digital transformation at Adobe.