Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the trends that will define the new decade of Customer Experience (CX). In Ten Years in CX: Looking to the Past to See the Future, we showed how organisations view CX is changing, with the field gaining boardroom representation and becoming a major point of competition in myriad industries. Meanwhile, our exclusive interactive guide, CX in the Roaring 2020s, dealt with the main trends that will come to define the future of CX.
But in today’s article, we’re going to cast our net a little further to look not just at the upcoming trends in CX but the trends that are driving a new age of business across the economy. At its heart, CX is about the evolution of business strategy to accommodate customer needs and expectations. However, companies must keep a finger on the pulse of wider trends to achieve their CX goals, because the impact of other societal trends will inevitably impact CX.
Here are four of the main trends for 2020-2025 that will transform business in unprecedented ways.
1. The Rise of Artificial Intelligence
You can’t move today without being subjected to a barrage of propaganda about how AI is ready to take the world by storm. Precedent suggests that some of these predictions wildly miss the mark, but as with any over-hyped trend there is an element of undeniable truth to the AI trend.
AI has evolved at breakneck speed in recent years. Machine learning algorithms have powered revolutionary applications that can take over or assist in an array of jobs, including analytics, cybersecurity, finance, admin and much more besides.
The potential benefits of wider AI adoption are limitless. In the UK alone, PwC predicts that GDP will be up to 10.3% higher in 2030 as a result of AI. That’s £232bn in extra revenue, or £1,800 - £2,300 a year per household by 2030. Meanwhile, the EU estimates that AI could contribute up to €13.3 trillion to the global economy by the end of the decade.
In the 2020s, firms that embrace AI will take off, with early adopters seeing the most benefits. Laggards may never catch up – so make sure your company is planning for and adopting AI now!
2. The Unstoppable Green Revolution
Many countries have made climate commitments in recent years, but it’s the 2020s that will determine whether these commitments are met on time – or at all.
In the Nordics market, calls have been growing for leadership on climate change. The 2018 report Nordic companies on climate transition, competitiveness and growth compiled interviews from 38 leading Nordics companies to promote ambitious climate policies. The companies claimed that climate change initiatives have the potential to boost competitiveness by:
- Creating new business opportunities
- Reducing the cost of energy and resource through efficiencies
- Strengthening employer branding
Other benefits of a Green Revolution, especially the American Green New Deal proposal, include:
- Potential savings of trillions of dollars, offsetting global warming’s inevitable drag on economic growth
- Tackling exacerbating income inequality, thereby generating more and greener demand
- Addressing the risks of extreme weather and other emerging impacts that could harm the market
As the decade progresses, expect more green initiatives to take hold and for public opinion to shift. To remain competitive, your company will need to adopt a new perspective, processes and policies to retain customers and avoid hefty fines for regulatory breaches.
3. Privacy Takes Centre-stage
Data scandals are never far from the front pages, making headlines throughout the world on a regular basis. This is propelling privacy into the public consciousness like never before – and brands have taken notice.
One of the best instances of a company prioritising privacy is Apple. Apple chose to focus on and promote its privacy credentials in one of its recent advertising campaigns, touting the tagline, “Privacy. That’s iPhone.”
There is a real sense of urgency among many companies. They know that they need to adopt and uphold privacy standards – or at least be seen to do so – else risk deterring potential customers.
But it isn’t just that. Although the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in May 2018, the first fines have now been issued and legal precedents set. In the future, data breaches will carry even harsher fines of up to 4% of global turnover for the largest companies. Privacy is no longer a chore or obstacle – in the 2020s, it will play a vital role in delivering business success.
4. Rewriting Legacy Market Segments
The old market segments are disintegrating, with new ones being formed all the time. The companies that understand how market segments are evolving will come out on top.
One of the largest legacy segments to face demise is the macro-segment ‘developed’ or ‘developing’ markets. Nowadays, the differences between first and third world countries don’t carry the same weight, with the proliferation of technology and internet connectivity helping to homogenise consumer behaviour across previously distinct segments. As Vijayanta Gupta, Global Vice President, Strategy and Industries at Sitecore, argued recently:
“People’s needs are influenced more by their income level rather than by where they live, e.g. rich Indians, Africans and Mexicans live like their counterparts in Europe or US. When companies ignore this fact, they get a very myopic view of their total addressable market and miss out on a potential growth vector.”
Nevertheless, that isn’t to say that segments will cease to exist. On the contrary, while legacy segments are disintegrating, hundreds more are springing up to take their place. Vast improvements to data analytics and the introduction of machine learning algorithms are empowering marketers, who can now target more specific segments. This has resulted in the rollout of hyper-personalisation – the future.
Take Your Organisation to 2030 and Beyond
The road to 2030 is a long one, but the journey starts now. Utilise these four key trends in the wider economy to influence your own CX strategy and ensure your company remains competitive throughout the decade.
To further enhance your CX strategy, we highly recommend our interactive guide to the top CX trends for the 2020s. Check it out and download it free from our website now!
The Road to 2030
The Secret to Customer Engagement: Storytelling
On-Demand Webinar | A Bulletproof Content Strategy for CMOs That Scales
The Future of Digital Customer Experience
CX in the Roaring 2020s
Ten Years in CX Trends: Looking to the Past to See the Future
The Harsh Realities Every Digital Marketer Needs to Overcome