AR and bots are a loyalty driver for brands, Adobe research finds

Adobe brand loyalty research

Brands that use innovational engagement methods including bots and augmented reality (AR) are gaining cut through with a majority of consumers, according to a new report on customer loyalty released by Adobe.

Over half (53%) of respondents to a survey of 5,000 consumers across Europe, conducted by Goldsmiths University, which analysed consumer loyalty using a number of workshops, found that the use of such digital innovation was appreciated by customers.

It was also found that 61% of respondents preferred a tailored approach when it came to marketing engagement by brands, with brands offering a personalised experience likely to generate stronger customer loyalty, despite only half stating that they would wish for a technological approach as well.

When it came to inspiring loyalty, however, reputation alone was not enough to engender such feelings within consumers with half also stating that they would happily buy products from a brand they had not previously heard of before.

The use of innovative methods of engagement including augmented reality (AR) and bots by brands were appreciated by half of respondents and with the development of artificial intelligence, over half (53%) agreed that they appreciated when a brand was able to use their data to provide a personal experience, but over two thirds (76%) still wanted to know how their data was being used to provide such a service.

Nearly two-thirds (61%) also said they preferred to purchase from brands that offered consistent online and offline experiences with slightly less (59%) insisting that convenience was important to them as well.

Describing digital marketing as having "changed the game forever," David Burnard, enterprise marketing director for Adobe EMEA, stated: "No brand denies that data holds the key to providing consistent, relevant and exciting experiences. But the next iteration of data insight and action – AI – will move this story on even further in the experience era. AI means brands can turn data and content into true, personalised experiences based on customer relationships – and at scale. As time goes on, the algorithms will continue to learn and adapt, allowing us to not only surprise and delight customers, but also help to solve their problems quickly and easily. AI will be critical to providing the personalised experiences that will keep consumers coming back.”

The research has also enabled the development of 'The ABCD of Loyalty' which listed the four elements of customer engagement that was found to be important; offering people an 'adaptive' experience via data, respecting privacy, being where the consumer wants to be and include an 'always on' mentality, offering relevant choices to each customer via the use of data and, finally, differentiating experiences to "surprise and delight consumers."

The inclusion of those four elements, it was decided, would help to generate stronger consumer loyalty.

Dr Chris Brauer, director of innovation in the Institute of Management Studies at Goldsmiths at the University of London, explained: “The proliferation of digital tools and the use of AI have re-written the rules of consumer loyalty. The new model of loyalty embeds available consumer data at the core of a consumer’s journey, and allows brands to present their audiences with personalised and relevant offerings that not only satisfy their needs but relate to them in a deeper more personal way."

This research was released by Adobe during this year's Dmexco conference in Cologne.

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