The vast majority of consumers are using digital channels much more frequently in 2020 compared to a year earlier, according to new research from Acquia, which highlights the scale of content consumption on social media and websites.
The third annual study of 8,000 consumers and 800 marketers in countries including the UK, the US and Australia looks at the digital transformation schemes that brands have enacted during recent months to adapt to a “digital-first reality”.
Martech investments have been significant, with 83% revealing that they are now spending more on digital marketing and software, and, perhaps more importantly, 82% are delivering a positive return on investment from this new tech push.
While real-world circumstances have forced a pivot to online content, the changes have aligned with new customer-related habits and behaviours.
Four in 10 consumers say that they have purchased more products and services online in 2020, and 84% are loading up webpages, social media sites and mobile apps more frequently.
The clear shift to digital this year provides brands with a unique opportunity to create more compelling and engaging customer experiences.
Personalised content is one of the tools that marketers can use to drive greater reach and engagement, as the study found that customers respond “overwhelmingly” when a personal touch is applied.
Marketers are also seeing the benefits in metrics, as 96% say that customer engagement spiked after personalisation was implemented.
“Even though marketers are trying to do more with less, technology has created opportunities to connect with consumers on a personal level – at a time when their digital engagement is higher than ever,” Acquia CMO Lynne Capozzi said.
However, 93% of marketers admitted that skills gaps are holding them back from building excellent digital marketing campaigns, and 52% have struggled to recruit the right talent, which is something that can be addressed with outsourcing.