Pandemic Tempo: The Challenges Faced By Brands And Consumers

Brands and consumers alike faced digital upheaval during the pandemic last year, according to a study from Acquia -- Design Resilient Digital Customer Experiences In Disruptive Times.

Of the consumers polled, 74% say their digital experience with brands changed during the COVID-19 surge.

For example, 42% used email more than in 2019, providing brands with an email marketing opportunity.

However, email was superseded by social media (44%) and video streaming (44%) among digital channels that are increasingly utilized.

Video chat via mobile was also being used more by 42%, and typed chat via mobile by 39%. But 16% said they did not use digital channels more than in 2019. 

How did brands react to these shifts? Last year, 45% diversified the digital channels they used for engaging consumers. And they focused on: 

  • Personalizing customer service — 62% 
  • Personalizing communications — 49%
  • Creating more content for customer engagement — 48%



Moreover, 40% leveraged existing content in new ways — for example, beauty brands are pairing content and digital consultations.

But 97% faced challenges with tech and processes for supporting digital transformation

Individually, the three biggest challenges were:

  • Adopting new marketing solutions — 46%
  • Getting existing marketing solutions to integrate with new ones — 41%
  • Creating new content for customer engagement — 41%

In addition, 43% said they cannot hire the right technical talent.

That said, marketers were focused on these technologies:

  • Marketing automation platforms — 63%
  • Customer data platforms — 54%
  • AI and machine learning — 46%
  • Personalization — 43%

Here are a couple of other developments by companies: 82% of marketers have prepared for a rapid shift to digital working environment, while 52% said their CMO drives CX strategy.

Vanson Bourne surveyed 800 marketers, with 100 each from Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

In addition, it polled 8,000 consumers, with 1,000 apiece from each of the above countries. 


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