Marketing’s Next Frontier: Generative AI Set to Revolutionise Customer Engagement, Adobe Reports

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Get ready for a groundbreaking revolution in customer engagement as generative AI takes centre stage, heralding a new frontier in marketing, according to Adobe’s latest report.

In a recent study conducted by Adobe, it has been found that Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) brands are poised to lead the global customer experience revolution as consumers become more aware of emerging technologies and explore virtual and immersive environments in greater depth. To facilitate this transformative shift, marketers and consumers eagerly embrace artificial intelligence (AI), particularly generative AI.

This comprehensive survey, which included 13,000 consumers and 4,250 professionals in marketing and customer experience, highlights groundbreaking technologies’ wide-ranging impact on consumers and businesses. It sheds light on new online living, working, and shopping frontiers.

From Bricks to Clicks: ANZ Consumers Ditch Physical Stores, Pushing Brands to Embrace Digital Delights

According to Adobe’s Future of Digital Experiences Report, 87% of ANZ consumers still prefer physical stores for their shopping needs. However, this figure will drop to 66% within two years. The Asia Pacific (APAC) region will witness a more pronounced decline, reaching as low as 40%, even lower than the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

In response to shifting consumer expectations, brands in the ANZ region plan to introduce innovative digital experiences. Examples of these initiatives include virtual and immersive events (67%), the ability to create virtual products that can be transformed into physical items (67%), VIP access to virtual influencers and celebrities (65%), and the introduction of digital tokens for trading virtual and physical products (63%).

While the future appears promising, brands face economic challenges that compel them to elevate their customer experiences. About 44% of ANZ consumers admit that a worsening economic climate heightens their expectations, especially among Gen Z and millennials, where 50% express higher expectations during downturns. In this challenging economy, trust and price are crucial for ANZ consumers.

Katrina Troughton, the Vice President and Managing Director for Adobe ANZ, states, “Consumers across Australia and New Zealand have high expectations for brands, and this is only increasing as economic challenges grow in the region.” 

Troughton emphasises the importance of marketers recognising the potential of artificial intelligence and investing in emerging technologies to deliver personalised experiences more rapidly.

As expectations rise, marketing and customer experience professionals in ANZ are already leveraging the power of artificial intelligence. Approximately 46% find AI beneficial in their work, with 12% considering it a “miracle.” 

These professionals are even more optimistic about the potential of generative AI, with 85% expecting it to improve work product quality and volume, 82% believing it will enhance creativity, and 85% anticipating it will help target the right customers more effectively. Furthermore, they see generative AI as a means to personalise customer experiences (85%) and identify new audiences and customer journeys (88%).

ANZ Consumers Eager for Revolutionary Experiences, While Japan Plays Hard to Get

ANZ consumers also recognise the transformative potential of generative AI in their interactions with brands. Nearly two-thirds (63%) believe it will enhance the customer experience, and 66% think it can improve product quality. 

However, consumers emphasise the responsible use of generative AI, with 37% prioritising ethical considerations and 47% focusing on actions that enhance customer and employee experiences. Only 16% believe generative AI should not be used at all.

The research findings reveal a diverse range of perspectives across the APAC region. Consumers and marketers in India, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand are generally more proactive in embracing new digital experience formats, environments, and tools than in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

For instance, 81% of consumers in India expect personalised and relevant digital experiences, given the data and technologies available to brands. The percentages are similarly high in Malaysia (70%) and Singapore (66%). In contrast, only 32% of Australian and 13% of Japanese consumers share the same expectation.

These national consumer expectations align with the desire for innovative experiences. For example, 91% of Indian consumers, 87% in Singapore and Thailand, and 83% in Malaysia expect brands to offer novel ways to engage with virtual or immersive worlds. Similarly, 62% of Australians and 59% of New Zealanders express the same desire, whereas the figure is just 48% in Japan.

The AI Effect: Thailand and India Lead the Charge in Embracing Generative AI, While Australia and New Zealand Warm Up to the Possibilities

There are also variations in the perceived potential of generative AI to enhance customer experiences and products. In Thailand (94%) and India (93%), over 90% of consumers believe generative AI can improve customer experiences and product quality. Meanwhile, the percentages in Australia and New Zealand are around 60% and 67% respectively.

Adobe’s Future of Digital Experiences Report, conducted in partnership with Advanis, is a global survey examining digital experiences from various dimensions, including the digital economy, experience frontiers, and generative AI. 

The report is based on an online survey involving more than 13,000 consumers and 4,250 professionals in marketing and customer experience globally, with a subset of 5,027 consumer respondents and 1,474 marketing and customer experience professionals analysed specifically for the Asia-Pacific region. 

The analysis includes 1,010 consumer respondents and 291 marketing and customer experience professionals for Australia and New Zealand.

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