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Study: Values taking precedence and data becoming a danger predicted for 2020

Consumer behaviours are constantly evolving, forcing brands and companies to chase them. In 2020, consumers are expected to reflect on deeper issues when making their purchases.

Forrester has published its  “2020 predictions” report, highlighting some of the potential trends for the coming year. According to the report, consumers are less happy than they were 20 years ago and now want to align the contents of their shopping carts with their values.

In 2017, 52% of consumers said they actively considered company values when making a purchase. That figure has since grown and in order to succeed, the report predicts that companies will have to co-create values-driven experiences with customers and employees, as shoppers will pay careful attention to authenticity, both in the values they choose to express and how they choose to express them.

According to the report, CMOs will also likely have rally around customer value as their responsibilities have extended beyond traditional marketing to include analytics, technology, and growth. In 2020, top CMOs could very well be responsible for all that surrounds the customer. They’ll have to recognise that the best mechanism to drive growth is a strategically planned ecosystem that delivers value to customers throughout their lifecycles.

Forrester’s report states, “To establish a successful ecosystem, CMOs will thread the needle between employee experience, customer experience, brand purpose, creative, and technology, imbuing all these crucial areas with customer obsession.”

It then explained that due to the complexity of CX, a company’s CX headcount will radically shift, with one in four CX professionals losing their jobs. Yet, at the same time, the number of CX executives will actually grow by 25%.

“Firms that have made the least headway will cut their programmes in frustration. Meanwhile, companies that have started realising the benefits of CX will double down, simultaneously shoring up their fundamentals and innovating.  We expect innovative, customer-delighting experiences to come to market that combines technology, creativity, and deep customer understanding,” the company said.

The rising importance of data also shows no sign of slowing down. Data strategy continues to be a top initiative for executives. Managing the acquisition of the right data, and overseeing technology investments, talent recruitment and management, governance, and process re-engineering will be crucial.

Data literacy will also be a priority, with 40% of firms launching data literacy programmes for everyone in the organisation. As requirements for leveraging data increase, firms may double or triple their data strategy budget to surpass competitors.

Though data can help grow the business of firms, it could also harm them. Forrester said data and AI will be weaponised, and firms will also be left facing three major problems.

Firstly, the importance of data and the power of being an insights-driven enterprise are increasing the damage factor of data breaches.

Secondly, the adoption of emerging technologies, such as the Internet of Things, is creating a larger attack surface that’s often built with only a few security controls, exposing enterprises in never-before-seen ways.

Thirdly, more attackers are able to adopt technologies such as AI and machine learning faster than security leaders are. These entities can use more sophisticated tools to attack enterprises for money.

Another data-related finding from the report is that consumers are deeply concerned with how their data is collected and used, Forrester has predicted that privacy class-action lawsuits will increase by 300%. To minimise the chance of data leaks, marketers will no longer be able to rely on aggregated third-party data to target consumers. Instead, some marketers will get ahead of the curve by curbing their reliance on third-party data.

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