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Companies struggling in executing customer experience strategies – SAS study shows

SAS-CX-Study

Joint SAS survey with CMO Council highlights how the digitised customer journey has changed the CX strategy of most companies.

Only 40% of marketing executives in EMEA are very confident that their company’s current Customer Experience (CX) strategies are capable of winning and retaining customers. With high quality products and affordability rated as some of the most important drivers of loyalty, more must be done to digitise the customer journey. This is according to the findings of an international CX study conducted by SAS, one of the world’s leading providers of analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, in partnership with the CMO Council.

The challenge is to orchestrate a great customer experience that hits all the right notes: from digital self-service to meaningful personalisation, privacy and trust, as well as seamless omnichannel, including a ‘hybrid’ blend of physical and digital experiences. Consumers want a frictionless, rewarding experience when buying great products at affordable prices despite volatile geopolitical and macroeconomic trends.

For EMEA businesses, the majority are working on accommodating existing digital and physical engagement models (87%), balancing personalisation and privacy (87%), adjusting to supply chain issues (81%), reacting to customers in real-time with personalised interactions (73%), and managing the frequency and volume of customer interactions (70%).

The biggest problem with implementing the CX strategy still is coordination between departments. Just 11% of EMEA marketing executives believe their company is well positioned in this area, while just as few study participants (11%) attribute sufficient maturity to their company when it comes to executing CX measures against the backdrop of a completely transformed digital infrastructure.

Leveraging augmented, virtual, extended, or mixed reality had the lowest number of mature ratings across all 13 of the CX capabilities. The technologies that are predominantly invested in are marketing analytics, AI, and machine learning, according to approximately two-thirds of the survey participants in each case. Marketing attribution and technology for measuring success play an important role, as confirmed by 55% of respondents in EMEA.

Given how third-party cookies are on the way out, respondents across EMEA indicated that they plan on using contextual targeting (44%) and ad experimentation and testing (44%) to track and target customers with programmatic advertising. What is interesting to note is that 79% of EMEA marketing executives believe that the role of hybrid CX that combines physical and digital experiences will be an important requirement in the next 12-months.

Many consider this to drive personalisation, innovation, and customer engagement. However, it is much easier to deliver hybrid CX on top of a completely transformed digital infrastructure that provides a 360-degree view of the customer and their experience with the brand. And yet, fewer than 1 in 7 marketers say they have a mature digital infrastructure. The good news is that brands are working hard on this.

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