CMOs seek tech that creates new sensorial experiences

techMarketing chiefs from around the world believe that Covid-19 has irrevocably blurred the boundaries of content, commerce and culture, with innovation and new experience technologies now critical in creating differentiation and growth.

That is according to global agency Isobar’s latest annual study of over 800 global chief marketing officers (CMOs), entitled ‘Isobar CX Survey 2021: The Rise of Connected Experience’ which indicates clear agreement between CMOs globally of a permanently transformed approach to marketing post-Covid.

While it is widely accepted that Covid-19 has accelerated digitisation across every industry, CMOs reckon that creativity is even more critical to differentiation in this digital world.

The “new normal” for marketers is that innovation, design and experience technologies are now needed to meet consumer expectations, with an increase in creating new sensorial experiences, delivered through experience technologies and demanding a new set of craft skills that are imperative to creating differentiation.

Touch-free technologies, gestural technologies, voice interfaces and virtual brand properties, including avatars, idols, products experiences and configurators, are all being increasingly adopted.

This is an extension of the findings of the report from 2020, that saw significant marketer adoption of ‘experience technologies’ such as Voice, AR and IoT alongside a significant increase in the value CMOs placed on ideas and innovation in shaping CX strategy.

It reveals that more than eight in ten (83%) marketers agree that there can no longer be any disconnect between what a brand promises and what it delivers for its customers, communities, and employees, while a similar proportion (86%) agree that every touchpoint can and should tell the brand story, from comms to commerce.

Meanwhile, innovation, integration of the brand promise and “delightful interactions” enhanced by technology are named as the top three key ingredients needed in the creation of brand experiences.

With this in mind 82% of marketers are investing or have already invested in creativity and digital technologies to create brand differentiation and alternative sensorial brand experiences are on the rise with 86% marketers saying creating brand design systems for a multi-sensory world is increasingly important, and 36% asking specifically for new craft skills designed for a multi-sensory world from their agency partner.

Authored by Isobar’s global creative and innovation teams, the report is designed to provide insight into how the marketing industry is responding to the changing needs of brands and to provide inspiration and tools to help the creation of experiences of tomorrow.

The report describes the fundamental changes to the way brands are increasingly being built and uses global case studies from Isobar’s client partners, including KFC, Philips, Beats and Volkswagen, to illustrate how marketers are shifting strategy. These include:

⦁ Connecting Brand and Experience: there can no longer be any disconnect between what a brand promises and what a customer experiences

⦁ Virtual gets real: Virtual experiences will become as real, human, and valuable as offline experiences

⦁ Transforming the transaction: The boundaries between content and commerce, shopping and storytelling will be blurred beyond recognition

⦁ The Craft of Innovation: As digital experiences are called on to build distinctive brand encounters, a new skill set will be needed at the intersection of craft and innovation

⦁ The Power of Community Experience: In a connected world we must consider not only the customer experience but the community experience

⦁ Storytelling through Experience: As consumers spend more and more time in virtual spaces, stories are told, and relationships are built in new ways.

Isobar managing partner Sven Huberts, who is also head of innovation and design at Dentsu, said: “What stands out is that experience has become an even bigger focus for how consumers are making choices around the brands they invite into their lives.  The connected future has arrived—innovation and new experience technologies are now critical in creating differentiation and growth.

“But it’s connected experience – creativity that crosses touchpoint, senses and communities, and that is driving this future.  This survey is a call to arms for everyone in the industry to step up or be lost in a sea of sameness.”

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