Which Emerging Technology Will Have the Biggest Impact on the Customer Experience?

November 18, 2016

This article is included in these additional categories:

Customer Service & Experience | Customer-Centric | Digital | Technology

sapientnitrochiefmartec-emerging-technology-adoption-cx-impact-nov2016Improving the customer experience is at the heart of digital business transformation initiatives, and emerging technologies offer the potential to substantially improve digital customer experiences. A new report [download page] from SapientNitro, chiefmartec.com and the MarTech Conference details the technologies that could have the greatest impact on CX, based on the perceptions of the professionals who should know best: marketing technologists.

The results are from 223 North American participants who answered a survey distributed at chiefmartec.com and at the 2016 San Francisco MarTech conference. As such, although the report believes that “the distribution of the sample appears to be representative of the marketing technology community,” there are some potential biases inherent.

Nevertheless, the survey provides some insights into the marketing technologist role (which has become more important in recent years) and how these professionals perceive the direction of marketing technology.

It seems quite clear from the study that machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT) are in favor with marketing technologists. These easily topped the list of emerging technologies that will have the greatest impact on how customers experience brands, cited by 46% and 42% of respondents, respectively. They’re also the technologies with the broadest adoption plans, as roughly two-thirds will implement machine learning within the next 2 years and almost 6 in 10 will implement IoT within that time period.

While machine learning hasn’t been discussed as much in marketing research, IoT has been the subject of numerous studies. For example:

By contrast, respondents to the SapientNitro and chiefmartec.com survey don’t see nearly as much impact on the customer experience being derived by virtual reality, wearables or 3D printing.

Interestingly, though, marketing technologists don’t necessarily believe that machine learning skills will be critical to the future success of the marketing function within their organizations. Just 1 in 7 tabbed machine learning and cognitive computing as extremely important skills, well behind the leading technology job skills – CRM systems and platforms (56.1%), data science, analytics, statistics, modeling (52.5%) and websites design, including responsive and adaptive design (52%).

With regards to the marketing technologist role, the study indicates that:

  • – 44% report to the CMO this year, up from 31% in 2014;
  • – 16% hold marketing technology titles, more than double the proportion from 2014 (7%); and
  • – 55% have a marketing/communications background, up from 33% in 2014.

For more on marketing technology, see the following articles:

About the Data: The study describes its methodology in part as follows:

“The survey was an online questionnaire distributed through two primary channels ”” chiefmartec.com and the 2016 San Francisco MarTech conference (March 21-22). Survey responses were collected from March 21 to April 26, 2016.

A total of 256 surveys were completed, including 223 from North America. Unless otherwise noted, the figures referenced in this report relate to the North American sample. Global data available upon request. The distribution of the sample appears to be representative of the marketing technology community, as defined by the blog and attendees from the 2016 MarTech conference. SapientNitro sponsored the study and worked alongside Decision Analyst, a market research firm, to design and execute it.”

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