Marketing in 2020: Seizing the customer experience

April 20, 2016
Customer experience

How confident are you that you will be in total control of the end-to-end customer experience by 2020?

Almost nine in ten (86%) of the chief marketing officers (CMOs) and senior marketing executives quizzed by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on behalf of Marketo said they are confident they will ‘own’ the end-to-end customer experience by the turn of the decade.

Before we go any further, here’s how Intel defines the end-to-end customer experience: “[It’s] an immersive journey through which consumers dream, discover, browse, investigate, and purchase products; and [brands] cement relationships with post-sales support and informative emails, text messages, and other communications.”

It’s no mean feat to be able to dictate the relationship with your customers. Marketo’s report found that in order to achieve this marketing leaders must have obtained a single view of the customer, giving them the ability to engage in two-way, personalised conversations across technologies, locations and physical objects. Again, not an easy objective.

However, technology’s rapid evolution, which will yield billions of marketing-driven touch points, should make a brand’s life easier – as long as they can keep up with increasing technological and consumer demands, of course.

It seems like marketers are under no illusions with how different the game will be in 2020, with more than half of respondents predicting the accelerating pace of technological change, mobile lifestyles and an explosion of potential marketing channels via the Internet of Things (IoT) will drastically change the field over the next few years.

With that, marketers said they anticipate they will increasingly interact directly with their customers through technology and personalisation as opposed to indirectly through media and advertising by the time 2020 hits.

When asked what channels will be most important to customers in 2020, social media unsurprisingly came out on top (63% of respondents), followed by the World Wide Web (53%), mobile apps (47%), and mobile web (46%).

Meanwhile, mobile devices and networks (59%), personalisation technologies (45%) and the IoT (39%) are the three technology-specific trends that will have the biggest impact on marketing organizations by 2020, according to the 500 professional surveyed.

With those findings in mind, marketers should be asking themselves what it is they need to do to ensure they are prepared for what the practice will look like in 2020. As the report suggests, if you haven’t gone to the effort of creating a singular, comprehensive view of your customers, you will find it increasingly difficult to operate.

Kevin Mason - Director