CMOs in the technology sector have proved most responsive to the impact of COVID-19, with over one in three having completely changed their customer experience (CX) strategy as a result, followed by those in the energy (29%) and finance sectors (26%). Meanwhile, CMOs in the automotive and telecoms industry are most likely to have invested in innovative new products and services, at 65% and 64% respectively.
Lagging behind however are those in leisure, media and entertainment, who are least likely to have changed their approach, found a latest study by Isobar.
According to the study, CMOs are placing their bets on innovative use of technology (58%) and the importance of a galvanising organisational idea (50%) as key ingredients for building differentiated customer experiences. The study, which interviewed 1,350 global CMO, discovered that 64% of CMOs have “completely or moderately” changed their CX strategy in response to the COVID-19 crisis, with 20% having ‘completely’ changed their approach.
Among those CMOs who have changed their strategy, investment in innovative new products and services is the most popular strategy among businesses of every size and scale, adopted by 45% of all CMOs, and 49% of CMOs of larger organisations. Those in the leisure (46%), food and beverage (45%), retail (45%) and telecoms (48%) sectors are most likely to have made commerce a greater priority within their CX efforts.
Evolution of CX
While in 2019, "consistency" was cited as the most important factor for differentiated customer experience, in 2020 creativity has been elevated in importance. 58% of CMOs identified the innovative use of technology as a key ingredient for building a differentiated customer experience (an increase of five percentage points versus 2019). When asked how to go about building differentiated experiences in a world of experience parity and homogeneity, CMOs place their bets on innovative technologies and the power of big organising ideas.
The report reveals that we are witnessing the continued rise of "creative experience", a new approach to customer experience focused not only on eliminating friction but on engineering delight and building differentiation. It describes the first wave of customer experience as focusing heavily on removing friction and eliminating pain points, emphasising that in a one-click (or no click) world, brands risk becoming increasingly indistinct - and increasingly invisible.
Alongside creative ideation / thinking (36%), innovation capabilities (35%) and the ability to create new products (33%) were listed among the top 3 requirements of an agency partner in order to deliver superior CX strategies.
Jean Lin, CEO, creative, Dentsu Aegis Network and Isobar global chairman, said ,“We have all seen incredible creativity and resilience around the world in response to COVID-19. In our CMO survey too we see a renewed commitment to the power of ideas and innovation, proving that the next generation of winning through experience is to embrace creative experience.”
Commerce the biggest new investment
Six out of ten marketers believe they will need to invest more in eCommerce in the long term. As businesses become increasingly data hungry, investment in eCommerce becomes not only a vital route to market, but a vital source of real time customer intelligence that will help meet those expectations.
The research suggests that COVID-19 has accelerated the progress eCommerce adoption by four to six years within a matter of months and in May alone, total online spending hit US$82.5 billion, up 77% year-over-year (Forbes, 2020). In the Isobar CX survey, 39% of CMOs have made commerce a greater focus while 36% have implemented direct-to-consumer approaches. CMOs in the technology (40%), finance (38%) and telecoms (55%) sectors are most likely to have implemented direct-to-consumer approaches.
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