Advertisers vs. marketers: Mixed priorities ‘costing customer loyalty’


On the first day of Cannes Lions, Adobe has revealed a distinctly different set of priorities for advertising and marketing professionals, which is resulting in a fragmented and inconsistent brand experience.


Polling over 12,500 industry professionals, Adobe’s Digital Trends Report reveals that Advertisers are predominantly focused on immediate and tangible results – 46% prioritise demonstrating ROI, followed by audience targeting (42%) and channel efficiency (40%).

Marketers, meanwhile, are more focused on building loyalty and lasting customer relationships. Two-thirds (64%) of marketers stated that content and experience management is a top priority – which falls to less than half of advertisers.

With significantly different priorities existing within brands when it comes to building customer experience, the report points towards a need for marketing and advertising professionals to integrate their strategies to ensure consumers receive a unified brand experience.

Immediate results vs. long term loyalty

Adobe’s 2019 Digital Trends Advertising in Focus report indicates that for advertising professionals, the biggest priority for almost half of respondents (46%) is to demonstrate Return on Investment (ROI) to the rest of the business. This is followed by better audience targeting and segmentation (42% of respondents), and improving channel efficiency (40% of respondents). All of these point to a strategy that prioritises immediate and tangible results – despite the fact that nearly a quarter (23%) stated that the most exciting opportunity for 2019 was data-driven marketing that focuses on the individual first.

By comparison, two-thirds (64%) of marketers stated that content and experience management is a top priority – which falls to less than half of advertisers – as they look to build loyalty and lasting customer relationships.

Philip Duffield, Managing Director Advertising Cloud, Adobe EMEA comments: “Advertisers and marketers are working towards the same goal, but they’re treading different paths in order to reach the end destination. The risk is that by pursuing two very different strategies, one rooted in creating a connection and the other in data, is that the end customer receives a very fragmented, and inconsistent brand experience. Both strategies have merit, but to be turbocharged they need to be integrated. The report outlines how customer experience management can unify advertisers and marketers to build brand in the longer term.”

Commenting on connecting creativity and data, Mike Klinkhammer, Director of Advertising Sales EU, eBay, said: “Creativity and metrics are connected. We need to focus much more on quality and relevance – those are two key words for me this year. If you combine quality and relevance, helped by automation, you get very powerful content delivered in very effective ways.”

This was supported by Chris Hirst, Global CEO of Havas Creative and author of the new book No Bullsh*t Leadership, who remarked: “Smart application of creativity is the way to go. There are occasions when I want ads for a sports shoe brand to be super-sexy and engaging, but there are others when I want to solve a query about why my feet hurt from running. It’s all about context.”
The research suggests that building customer experience strategies is the way forward. Of those surveyed, companies that were centred upon building long-term customer experience were the most successful and were almost three times more likely than their peers to surpass their business goals.

With this in mind, Adobe’s Digital Trends report points to a need for advertising and marketing teams to unite on the customer experience front by bringing together rich audience data and insights, align this with their ad targeting strategies, whilst ensuring the creative connection with the audience is maintained.

Duffield concluded: “The race to personalise customer experiences has seen brands rely more heavily on analytics and programmatic strategies. And whilst these are so important, the opportunity facing the industry is how to balance these with creativity. Those that can root campaigns in deep audience intelligence and marry them with engaging real-time content delivered across the right channels, will achieve relevance and personalisation at scale.”

About the Adobe and Econsultancy Digital Trends Report

This is the ninth annual Digital Trends Report from Adobe and Econsultancy, for which more than 12,500 marketing, advertising, ecommerce, creative and technology professionals around the world were surveyed. This findings in this announcement are based on the responses from nearly 800 advertising professionals who took part in the research.

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