We’re back with the 2019 Adobe Digital Trends survey

by Triet Huynh

Posted on 12-07-2018

It’s been eight years since we first launched our Dig­i­tal Trends sur­vey, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Econ­sul­tan­cy. We’ve seen the ecom­merce boom give way to a mobile explo­sion, mobile give way to omnichan­nel and, most recent­ly, Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence (AI) emerge as the future of cus­tomer expe­ri­ences. Rough­ly 13,000 peo­ple respond­ed to our 2018 sur­vey and we hope even more of you will get involved this year.

What can we expect in the year ahead? We’ve reached a crit­i­cal junc­ture for the adver­tis­ing and mar­ket­ing sec­tor. Brands are rac­ing to explore the promise of new tech­nolo­gies like AI and advanced ana­lyt­ics but are also wary of get­ting their approach wrong and turn­ing cus­tomers off, or falling foul of data pro­tec­tion regulations.

Last year’s sur­vey revealed that near­ly one third of com­pa­nies were plan­ning to invest in AI with­in 12 months. Now is the time to see where this invest­ment has gone.

How far along are they in their AI jour­ney and what are their pri­or­i­ties for the tech­nol­o­gy mov­ing for­ward? We also want to know how data pri­va­cy reg­u­la­tion like GDPR has affect­ed their invest­ment in ana­lyt­ics and cus­tomer under­stand­ing – do they see it as an oppor­tu­ni­ty or a chal­lenge? Has it changed their plans?

The sur­vey takes just 10 to 15 min­utes to com­plete, and as usu­al you’ll get a copy of the full report and our take on the find­ings next Feb­ru­ary. Click here to get started.

Let’s also take a moment to look back at some of our find­ings and pre­dic­tions from the begin­ning of 2018:

This year, brands saw the qual­i­ty of their cus­tomer expe­ri­ence as the sin­gle most excit­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty to dri­ve sales and dif­fer­en­ti­ate them­selves, fol­lowed close­ly by the promise of data-dri­ven mar­ket­ing and the abil­i­ty to cre­ate com­pelling con­tent for dig­i­tal experiences.

Cre­ativ­i­ty was also key, reveal­ing that dig­i­tal plat­forms and tech­nolo­gies have allowed brands to be more cre­ative than ever in the way they devel­op, man­age, and deliv­er con­tent to audi­ences. Near­ly three-quar­ters (73%) of respon­dents said they were invest­ing in design to dif­fer­en­ti­ate them­selves, and 69% of those that saw them­selves as design-dri­ven had exceed­ed their busi­ness goals by a wider mar­gin than those that didn’t.

As men­tioned, AI real­ly began to make a buzz at the begin­ning of 2018. When asked about the tech­nolo­gies they were most excit­ed about in the com­ing year, the abil­i­ty to deliv­er per­son­alised expe­ri­ences in real-time was by far the most pop­u­lar choice. That was the case in every mar­ket we sur­veyed. It was also telling that top per­form­ing com­pa­nies were more than twice as like­ly to use AI for mar­ket­ing as their peers (28% vs. 12%).

As our recent Con­text is Every­thing report shows, brands are indeed rac­ing to invest and reap the ben­e­fits of AI to offer more per­son­alised cus­tomer expe­ri­ences at scale.

Data pri­va­cy and data pro­tec­tion were also on everyone’s minds, par­tic­u­lar­ly with the EU’s GDPR reg­u­la­tion just around the cor­ner at the time. Eighty-nine per cent (89%) of com­pa­nies in Europe felt con­fi­dent that they would be able to com­ply with cus­tomer data and pri­va­cy laws at the out­set of 2018.

The flur­ry of activ­i­ty (and emails) we saw when GDPR came into effect on 25th May would sug­gest some busi­ness­es may have been over­con­fi­dent, but we look for­ward to see­ing the real affect GDPR has had when the 2019 results come in. Good data man­age­ment has always been a pri­or­i­ty for top per­form­ing busi­ness­es, and with reg­u­la­tion now mak­ing this a legal require­ment we expect more brands will see this as an oppor­tu­ni­ty to take con­trol of their data and up their game.

But of course, only time will tell. Take this year’s sur­vey and be a part of the conversation.

And click here to revis­it the full results from last year.

Topics: Digital Transformation, advertising and marketing, AI, Digital Trends 2019, E-Commerce, GDPR, omni-channel, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA