While today’s brands are laser-focused on trying to create exceptional customer experiences in an always-on, omni-channel world, a recent survey from Boxever reveals that there’s an apparent disconnect between marketers and consumer when it comes to truly understanding consumer preferences. The Boxever survey takes a closer look at consumers’ and marketers’ perceptions around brand loyalty to define a clearer view of expectations versus reality for the modern marketer.
The study – which included a pool of 500 participants representing both senior-level marketers and everyday consumers – digs into marketers’ and consumers’ perceptions when it comes to today’s customer experience (CX), including: brand loyalty programs, the use of AI and chatbots, and engagement across channels. From the findings, it’s clear that marketers may say one thing, but consumers yet another when it comes to what makes a consumer brand loyal. And while today’s marketers have a core understanding of the value that digital transformation and innovation in AI can bring to improving CX, the majority of organizations are still struggling to move from theory into practice.
Here are some key findings from the survey:
- Applying Digital Transformation: IDC expects that the percentage of enterprises creating advanced digital transformation initiatives will more than double by 2020, from 22% in 2015 to almost 50%. But while many organizations are committed to the concept of digital transformation, today’s marketers struggle when applying digital transformation techniques in the right way to improve CX. In fact, only half of respondents strongly agree that they can connect the dots between data across channels and only just more than half have a single platform for cross-channel activation. So while digital transformation is an imperative for fueling competitive advantage, gaps in the process and technology are preventing companies from really seeing this come to fruition.
- Rethinking Channels: More than 75% of marketers see a greater lift in cross-channel campaigns than single channel campaigns. However, many companies still think in siloes when it comes to channel marketing, and not every channel is created equal. In fact, more than 80 percent of respondents said both website platforms and emails are the most frequently leveraged channels for marketing automation and personalization, followed closely by mobile apps. On the contrary, only 3% of consumers described emails as personalized when asked. Furthermore, 36% of consumers categorized company emails as SPAM.We may be saying goodbye to channels in 2017 in exchange for a truly customer-centric view that relies upon systems that digest information coming in as simply what it is – more individual pieces of the customer data puzzle – that when put together creates the bigger picture.
- The Reality of Building Brand Loyalty:Exploring brand building from the consumer perspective, the survey found that more than 50% of respondents ranked in-person interactions as their favorite brand experience; 30% ranked call center experiences as their least favorite. From the other side of the coin, 50% of marketers say competitive price is still the most important factor when it comes to building brand loyalty. However, customer experience comes in as a close second, with 42% of marketers stating that CX is most important. For companies willing to shift greater resources to compete on more than price, customer experience has the potential to be a real source of competitive advantage.
- Debunking Expectations vs Reality of AI: AI is the missing link between what marketersthink consumers wantand what consumers know they like. Eighty-eight percent of marketers agree that AI helps personalize customer interactions. However, few marketers agree on what defines AI and the ways in which it can be applied. Only 59% of marketers define predictive intelligence as AI and less than a majority consider marketing automation powered by machine learning as artificial intelligence. Marketers understand AI in theory, but are still unclear on how to execute technology to improve CX in practice.