Mindful Marketing: What Brands Are Doing To Survive In 2021

Anyone who is laboring in the email department has surely heard hints of the C-Suite’s top priorities over the next 12 months. 

But they may be surprised by some of the findings in Designit’s new global study, “When upheaval leads to elevation.” 

For instance, the study identifies the following strategies and tactics that CMOs say have been used to improve business performance: 

  • Breakdown of internal silos — 74%  
  • Successful changes to product or service offerings — 73% 
  • Streamlined processes and protocols — 72%
  • Tried tactics deemed too risky pre-COVID — 69% 
  • Adjustment of messaging to be more authentic, compassionate or transparent — 64%
  • Less bureaucracy and more independent decision-making — 59%
  • Did more with less — 32%

Have you seen the silo walls breaking down? And do you agree with these CMO priorities over the next 12 months? 

  • Align the brand with new or changing customer sentiments and expectations—82%
  • Demonstrate ROI on marketing investments—82% 
  • Focus on business agility to quickly react to market changes—81% 
  • Better understand customer behavior—74%
  • Attract and retain talent—60%
  • Become more data-driven in marketing and initiatives—47%

And, do you concur with all of these top elements of the customer experience, in this order? 

  • User experience—85%
  • Customer perception of the brand—75%
  • Connection to the brand—73%
  • Personalization across channels—58%
  • Balancing customer experience with business profitability—55% 
  • Leveraging customer data—44% 
  • Intuitive website and digital interactions—40% 
  • Research—31%
  • Engaging content—22%
  • Measurement—17%

BTW, 71% of firms are committing more budget to improving the customer experience this year.

The study identifies three personas in terms of the way marketers reacted to the challenges of 2020:

  • Traditionalists: Managed a changing marketing nu employing tried-and-true methods in test-and-learn scenarios—31% 
  • Progressives: Applied a blend of risk and caution in a turbulent market—60% 
  • Disruptors: Those that were ready to meet the moment because the demands of 2020 often led to changes they had long wanted to make, or they had to step up because the new realities and demands of their industries gave them no choice—9% 

Here is what brands are trying to prove they are:

  • Transparent—39% 
  • Authentic—23%
  • Empathetic—17%
  • Purpose-driven—8% 

The technologies most likely to lead to change are:

  • Artificial intelligence—63%
  • Machine learning—55%
  • Headless commerce—42%
  • Digital marketing software—32% 
  • Chatbots—28%
  • Augmented reality—24%
  • Voice interfaces—21%
  • Virtual reality—17% 
  • Spatial computing—15%
  • Blockchain—3% 

Looking forward 81% agree that personalization and ease for the customer at every digital touchpoint will be critical needs in the next two to three years. (Some might say they are now). And, 62% see a need for a 360 degree data-driven view of their customers.

Designit, a Wipro company, conducted two types of surveys. In one, it interviewed 22 CX executives in December 2020-January 2021. Then it surveyed 1,011 respondents in January-February 2021, including 500 in North America, 411 in Europe and 100 in Asia-Pacific. 

Of those polled, 203 were in retailing, 137 in technology, 136 in healthcare, 135 in insurance, 134 in consumer goods and services and 133 in telecommunication services.  

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