Digital Trends 2018: The possibilities of digitization have not been fully explored
In which areas do companies see the greatest potential for digital solutions? How far have they progressed in the use of artificial intelligence? And how do especially successful companies differ from their competitors? Answers to these and other questions are provided in the "Digital Trends 2018" report.
For what is now the eighth time, Econsultancy and Adobe have taken a look at the current status of digitization in their report “Digital Trends.” Almost 13,000 marketing, creative, and technology experts from the digital industry in the EMEA, North America, and Asia-Pacific regions were surveyed for the current issue.
The results show, among other things, that companies continue to focus on the customer experience: When asked which area had the greatest potential in the upcoming year, those surveyed most frequently mentioned “optimizing the customer experience,” followed by “data-driven marketing with a focus on individuals.” Accordingly, content and experience management was given the highest strategic priority. For almost half of the companies surveyed, this is one of the three most important areas in the coming year, and even the focus for one out of five. The main focus is on optimizing the customer journey across several touch points.
A good decision, as, according to the authors of the study, companies that focus on customer experience are more successful than their competitors. Organizations with a “cross-team approach with the customer at the center” are almost twice as likely to exceed their most important business goal.
Other success factors include integrated platforms that facilitate seamless customer experiences and the application of artificial intelligence (AI). This is becoming more and more important in order to offer customers convincing, personalized, real-time experiences. However, only 15 percent of the companies surveyed currently use AI, while another 31 percent plan to use it in the next twelve months. So there’s still room to improve here. This can also be seen in the fact that only five percent of the companies surveyed see high potential in the use of AI for customer experiences (and marketing campaigns). The most common usage scenario is analytics to leverage the large amounts of often unstructured data generated by customer activity. Another field of application is onsite personalization, such as offering visitors to online shops the right products and content.
The question of data protection plays an important role, especially for companies with a strong focus on Europe – not least due to the EU General Data Protection Regulation, which will be applied in May. However, 91 percent of the companies surveyed are certain they will adhere to the corresponding conditions.
What makes companies successful
For the “Digital Trends 2018” report, the most successful companies were also separately surveyed again – these were the nine percent that significantly exceeded their most important business goal of the past year and are significantly more successful than their competitors. This survey showed that it’s worth investing in the digital sector. On the one hand, to gain appropriate expertise: 45 percent of the most successful companies will undergo significant further training in this area in 2018, compared with only 23 percent of moderately successful companies. On the other hand, of course, to develop technical infrastructure: 25 percent of the most successful companies have integrated, cloud-based technology, compared with nine percent of the moderately successful.