Brands must make empathy the future of experience: Adobe Report

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Updated: February 25, 2021 3:08 PM

Speed to insight and action are vital to success in a fast-changing environment

Nearly half of consumer-facing companies report a burst of customers that were previously unknown to themNearly half of consumer-facing companies report a burst of customers that were previously unknown to them

The global pandemic and the sustained level of uncertainty that followed has brought about a massive change in the marketing industry. Going forward, brands need to first think of their customers as people, not as datasets, and make empathy the future of experience to differentiate themselves, a report by Adobe highlighted. The ‘Adobe’s 2021 Digital Trends Report’ surveyed more than 13,000 marketers and IT executives, to highlight the evolution of marketing and advertising worldwide.

According to the report, even as the world returns to a new kind of normal, the customer is not slowing down, with multiple disruptive factors in view for businesses. Further, brands that will provide a great customer experience are those whose employees are enthusiastic about their brand and its purpose. “Based on a text analysis of over 800 brand purpose statements, only 40% meet a standard based on the qualities of authenticity, larger benefit and customer-focus,” the report noted.

For brands in every sector, 2020 brought the loss of predictability — Nearly half of consumer-facing companies report a burst of customers that were previously unknown to them. The report stated that over one-third of respondents say that customers are less loyal to products or brands today and half say that their existing customers have exhibited new buying behaviours, with changes to average basket sizes and new product interests.

The shift to remote work is one of the most profound changes to come out of 2020, as remote employees and customers bring their own office, the report said. Remote work will have a significant and enduring impact on businesses moving forward. It requires new marketing strategies for reaching and keeping customers. From new brand positioning, to better mobile apps, to advertising that is targeted beyond key urban DMAs, remote work will influence every part of marketing as well as the wider organisation. Brands will be confronted by a new competition for digital talent that is not constrained by geography.

The report further stated that speed to insight and action are vital to success in a fast-changing environment, making workflow, legacy tech and a lack of digital skills the top-three barriers to great digital experiences. Addressing the issue of legacy systems means moving to more flexible technologies, using cloud-based platforms alone or as a management layer to disparate solutions.

Interestingly, Indian executives are the most likely to agree they have significant insight into the drivers of loyalty (46%), journeys of new customers (44%) and attribution of how marketing actions relate to customer behaviour (40%). Around 71% respondents in India are also the most likely to think customers are benefiting from great digital experiences. Executives in the region are also the most likely to agree that they have been unusually agile and able to take quick decisions (34%), the study stated.

Read Also: 63% urban Indians do not mind watching ads in exchange for free content: YouGov Report

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