Customer Engagement Is Driving Investment in Emerging Technology

Marketers are looking to new tech to engage customers

Marketers want to personalize their messaging, but they struggle to find the right technology to do so.

In a February survey of 504 UK and US marketers by OnBrand and Bynder, 90% of respondents said they have trouble finding the right technology to extend their branding. Subsequently, they indicated that their No. 1 motivation for investing in emerging technologies is to drive customer engagement.

As users become increasingly inundated with ads, many marketers are focusing on improving their customer experience to create alternative routes to reach consumers. And to deliver a better experience, it is critical for marketers to upgrade their tech capabilities.

In a February survey of client-side marketers worldwide by Econsultancy and Adobe, 65% of respondents said improving their data analysis is a very important factor in providing better customer experiences. A similar study in January by Verndale concluded that big data and analytics was the most important emerging technology for bettering the customer experience.

About 40% of respondents in OnBrand and Bynder's survey said they plan to invest in voice assistants this year—a higher percentage than any other emerging technology. Fewer than 35% planned to invest in augmented reality (AR), chatbots or artificial intelligence (AI). Similar results were found in a survey of senior-level decision-makers in the US released in March by PointSource, with most of those polled indicating that they’re not using blockchain, AI, facial recognition or voice-activated technologies at the moment.

Despite the attention AI, virtual reality (VR), blockchain and other new gadgets provoke, their adoption rates remain low for now. But if marketers increase the amount of attention that they devote to customer experience, their emerging tech adoption may rise. More than half of marketers surveyed by OnBrand and Bynder said they plan to hire tech talent—like experience designers and developers—in 2018 with the intention of improving customer experience.