Widespread uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has driven great innovation and growth over the past 12 months, propelling many businesses forward well beyond expectation.
Adobe’s 2021 Digital Trends Report discusses the insights gathered from over 13,000 industry professionals to understand the evolution of marketing, advertising, e-commerce, creative, and technology and inform future strategic marketing.
Five key takeaways from the report are:
1. Digital Customer Experience (CX)
CX has been a key focus in recent years; however, an apparent disparity has been identified in terms of adoption across the board. Adobe’s study proved CX as a high-value area providing increased speed and personalisation for long-term growth. Brands that previously invested in CX reported a significant advantage against their competition and comparatively in other industries. Applying CX to marketing strategy can effectively “close the loop”, providing a meaningful experience for the target consumer.
2. Growth of digital consumers
The digital shift experienced in 2020 drew record numbers of new customers and significant behavioural changes to existing customers. Research gathered from Adobe’s survey highlighted substantial changes to buying behaviours, specifically across brand and product loyalty and average order size. The evolution of the modern consumer has catapulted e-commerce to the forefront, offering buyers increased convenience, accessibility, and choice. Designing digital experiences with this in mind will ensure seamless online interaction elevating a brand in the consumer’s mind.
3. Agile digital marketing
Companies’ future success will rely on the level of emphasis it places upon ongoing adaptation and data-driven growth. Agile marketing methods enable businesses to stay on the front foot and remain relevant against changing consumer expectation and environmental changes. By adopting an agile mindset, marketers can swiftly respond to market changes, reducing the overall impact on sales and business operations.
4. Understanding the digital-first customer
The expansion of marketing’s role in guiding growth depends on its ability to voice the needs and behaviours of the digital-first customer. Effective communication of this has seen marketing take on a larger role in strategic planning to offer deeper insight to engage the ideal consumer. Brands can gain significant value by focusing on the new age consumer to achieve proactive marketing communication, rapid and resilient business operation, and efficient budget spending.
Accessibility and reactivity to data insight are vital for a fast-paced business in the current digital age. Barriers such as workflows, legacy tech, and limited digital skills can restrict a brand’s ability to execute great digital experiences alleviated by flexible technologies, i.e. cloud-based platforms. Businesses looking to introduce or improve CRM and/or automation tools can explore layering existing tech with cloud-connected data management. Adobe’s research identified many industry professionals experienced time savings of 25% after investing in cloud-connected solutions. Investing in advanced and adaptable technologies can allow businesses to proactively respond to environmental challenges and drive consistent long-term growth.
Read more digital insights in Adobe’s 2021 Digital Trends report.