Digital Trends report article


We thought we’d share some of the main takeaways from the 2017 Digital Trends report released by Econsultancy, in association with Adobe. Over 14 000 digital marketing and ecommerce professionals took part in the global survey that the report is based on.

Major insights from the report are:

Experience is everything

Organisations who took part in the survey believe that the way to differentiate themselves from competitors this year is by creating great customer experiences, with 22% saying that this would be their most exciting opportunity in 2017. Interestingly though, not many of these companies are prioritising data and analytics capabilities, which is a shortfall. Without an understanding of how your content is being consumed it’s very hard to know how to create better experiences for your customers.

Design is a strategic must

Respondents considered a design-centric mindset essential to creating personalised, relevant and valuable customer experiences. Almost 40% of client-side respondents also acknowledged that they found the task of creating ‘well-designed user journeys that facilitate clear communication and a seamless transaction’ difficult to accomplish.

Experience-focused company culture with a cross-team approach is necessary

Organisations are realising that it’s important to build an internal culture focused on customer experience, with cross-team communication to ensure that customer experience is consistent and well-designed. The days of different departments operating in isolation are over.

Personalisation pays off

Personalisation and channels that allow for personalisation are considered a driving force behind marketing success, putting the customer ‘front and centre’. Over half of respondents indicated that they would increase their spend on personalisation.

Digital transformation is more difficult than it seems

Fewer organisations have said that they are ‘digital-first’ than in previous years. This may be due to the realisation that digital integration is harder to achieve than they first thought. The number of organisations describing themselves as ‘mobile-first’ has more than doubled, though. This may be because it is ‘a more tangible and definable goal…than a broader digital focus’.

Social media is top of investment agendas

More than half of client-side respondents said that they were going to increase their social media marketing investment in 2017. This increase is probably related to marketing solutions that current social platforms now offer, along with emerging platforms and the popularity of platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram.

Email marketing is not dead and should be taken advantage of

Econsultancy’s 2016 Email Marketing Census report showed that organisations were spending only about 15% of their marketing budget on this channel, although 23% of their total sales could be attributed to it.  Studies have shown that email has a better capacity to deliver higher return on investment than tactics such as Search Engine Optimisation and Pay-Per-Click (PPC).

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