Findings from 500 combined marketers and consumers debunk expectations versus reality on key topics driving the modern marketer’s agenda: AI, Personalization, and CX
DUBLIN and NEW YORK – (December 12, 2016) – While today’s brands are laser-focused on trying to create exceptional customer experiences in an always-on, omni-channel world, a recent survey from Boxever reveals that there’s an apparent disconnect between marketers and consumer when it comes to truly understanding consumer preferences. The Boxever survey takes a closer look at consumers’ and marketers’ perceptions around brand loyalty to define a clearer view of expectations versus reality for the modern marketer.
The study – which included a pool of 500 participants representing both senior-level marketers and everyday consumers – digs into marketers’ and consumers’ perceptions when it comes to today’s customer experience (CX), including: brand loyalty programs, the use of AI and chatbots, and engagement across channels. From the findings, it’s clear that marketers may say one thing, but consumers yet another when it comes to what makes a consumer brand loyal. And while today’s marketers have a core understanding of the value that digital transformation and innovation in AI can bring to improving CX, the majority of organizations are still struggling to move from theory into practice.
“There is no mistaking the complexity of today’s customer journey,” said Dave O’Flanagan, co-founder and CEO of Boxever. “While today’s marketers are eager to explore the opportunities presented by innovation in AI, omni-channel and digital transformation, our survey reinforced that there is still a long way to go to help brands turn theory into best practices. Our mission is to continue to educate the market on how to leverage this innovation in order to truly reimagine the customer experience and close the gap between what marketers deliver and what consumers really want.”
Here are some key findings from the survey:
- Applying Digital Transformation: IDC expects that the percentage of enterprises creating advanced digital transformation initiatives will more than double by 2020, from 22 percent in 2015 to almost 50 percent. But while many organizations are committed to the concept of digital transformation, today’s marketers struggle when applying digital transformation techniques in the right way to improve CX. In fact, only half of respondents strongly agree that they can connect the dots between data across channels and only just more than half have a single platform for cross-channel activation. So while digital transformation is an imperative for fueling competitive advantage, gaps in the process and technology are preventing companies from really seeing this come to fruition.
- Rethinking Channels: More than 75 percent of marketers see a greater lift in cross-channel campaigns than single channel campaigns. However, many companies still think in siloes when it comes to channel marketing, and not every channel is created equal. In fact, more than 80 percent of respondents said both website platforms and emails are the most frequently leveraged channels for marketing automation and personalization, followed closely by mobile apps. On the contrary, only 3 percent of consumers described emails as personalized when asked. Furthermore, 36 percent of consumers categorized company emails as SPAM. We may be saying goodbye to channels in 2017 in exchange for a truly customer-centric view that relies upon systems that digest information coming in as simply what it is – more individual pieces of the customer data puzzle – that when put together creates the bigger picture.
- The Reality of Building Brand Loyalty: Exploring brand building from the consumer perspective, the survey found that more than 50 percent of respondents ranked in-person interactions as their favorite brand experience; 30 percent ranked call center experiences as their least favorite. From the other side of the coin, 50 percent of marketers say competitive price is still the most important factor when it comes to building brand loyalty. However, customer experience comes in as a close second, with 42 percent of marketers stating that CX is most important. For companies willing to shift greater resources to compete on more than price, customer experience has the potential to be a real source of competitive advantage.
- Debunking Expectations vs Reality of AI: AI is the missing link between what marketers think consumers want and what consumers know they like. Eighty-eight percent of marketers agree that AI helps personalize customer interactions. However, few marketers agree on what defines AI and the ways in which it can be applied. Only 59 percent of marketers define predictive intelligence as AI and less than a majority consider marketing automation powered by machine learning as artificial intelligence. Marketers understand AI in theory, but are still unclear on how to execute technology to improve CX in practice.
- Perceptions Around Chatbots: Seventy-nine percent of marketers think that consumers are ready for AI, and the same percentage think customers are either excited or very excited for chatbots. However, in reality, consumers are much more ambivalent about chatbots. In fact:
- Nearly 50 percent surveyed are very unexcited or somewhat undecided about chatbots and more than 30 percent still don’t know.
- Nearly 60 percent of respondents haven’t used a chatbot or don’t know if they have.
- Nearly 45 percent of consumers polled disagree or strongly disagree that AI will improve their experiences with brands in the future.
- When it comes to chatbots, the top-ranked attribute for consumers was convenience (54%), followed by speed of response (33%). Only 12 percent of respondents thought consumers received the most value from how intuitive chatbots are.
To learn more about the study and how modern marketers can prepare for the present and future of CX, download the full report, “Mapping Out the Customer Journey: Expectations Versus Reality for the Modern Marketer.”
Boxever helps marketers and retailers deliver an omnichannel personalized customer experience at every stage of the customer journey. It works with existing marketing cloud, digital commerce and customer loyalty systems to orchestrate all communications, offers and messages to customers in real time using the most appropriate channels.
Boxever’s Customer Intelligence Cloud enables marketers to build a 360-degree view of every customer to deliver one-to-one marketing experiences that lead to higher conversion rates, increased revenue and truly differentiated customer experiences. Boxever’s platform enables digital transformation within airlines and travel organizations. Today, leading travel brands from all across the globe – including Emirates, Air New Zealand, eDreams ODIGEO, Cebu Pacific, Brussels Airlines, Viva Aerobus and Aer Lingus – rely on Boxever to help acquire, convert and retain customers. The company is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, with offices in New York and London. Learn more at www.boxever.com or follow us on Twitter @Boxever.
PAN Communications for Boxever
Marissa Fellows, 617-502-4334