Seamless marketer experiences vital to driving creativity in remote work era

Kirsten Allegri Williams, Chief Marketing Officer at Optimizely

Optimizely, the digital experience platform (DXP) provider, announced the results of a new global survey revealing how dispersed and remote work have impacted marketers’ abilities to drive creativity and deliver strong customer experiences (CX). The findings of the research show the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted marketing creativity, in large part due to dispersed and remote teams, and lack of effective technology and collaboration tools.

What were the findings of the survey?

Analysing what creativity means to marketers and how they overcame challenges, Optimizely surveyed 900 senior marketers from across the globe – including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia.

Dispersed marketing teams impact ability to drive effective CX

Consumers have more options than ever when it comes to which brands they choose to engage – meaning delivering top customer experiences has never been more important. At the same time, remote and hybrid work environments created dispersed marketing teams that significantly impacted marketing’s ability to drive the same high quality CX.

In fact, 82% of ANZ marketers said the ability to deliver content to the right audience at the right time was impacted by remote and hybrid work. The survey also analysed what factors about remote work and dispersed teams created these barriers to driving exceptional CX – finding that 80% of ANZ marketers also agreed dispersed teams have impacted:

  • The ability to develop creative ideas
  • The ability to optimally execute marketing campaigns
  • Collaboration with members from other teams such as IT, finance, etc.
  • Collaboration with other marketing team members

Technology is fundamental to driving creativity

Despite marketing challenges with hybrid work, many marketers were able to overcome barriers to creativity by relying on the right content management, experimentation, and collaboration tools. Especially in remote environments, marketers rely on agile, flexible tech to drive creative ideas. The survey reveals which tech marketers found most useful:

  • Two in five (39%) marketers in Australia and New Zealand say content marketing systems to ease the creation and delivery of content to the right audiences were most useful.
  • One-third say video collaboration tools (34%), collaboration tools that capture ideas and notes in one central location (30%), and idea capturing tools like Microsoft Word (29%) were most useful to drive creativity.
  • Meanwhile, 32% say experimentation platforms and tools to test new ideas were most useful, and over one-quarter (32%) say chat collaboration tools were most useful

What were the executives’ thoughts on the survey?

“Creativity is essential when it comes to creating strong marketing campaigns that impress customers,” said Kirsten Allegri Williams, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Optimizely.

“The pandemic caused all marketing teams to rethink not just how they define creativity, but how they inspire it and deliver creative experiences to customers. Remote and hybrid work won’t be going away anytime soon, and senior marketers need to be thoughtful—applying strategies and technologies that combine the art and science of marketing to ensure they continue inspiring creativity in their marketing teams, and in turn, drive strong CX.”

“Marketing teams across Australia and New Zealand are known to deliver innovative and creative campaigns – thinking outside the box and experimenting with new ideas. However, this doesn’t mean the past few years have been easy, with COVID putting considerable pressure on the marketing team,” said Paul North, Senior Vice President APJ at Optimizely.

“Our latest research has found that 9 in 10 marketers know their ideas were better before the pandemic, and a more dispersed workforce is impacting their creativity. Marketers need to collaborate to find the best ways to orchestrate their teams no matter where they are.”

What were the survey’s key insights?

Additional survey findings reveal that, while all ANZ marketers agree creativity is necessary and even imperative in this field, not all marketers agree on what defines creativity. However, one clear theme emerged – creativity is critical in driving strong customer experiences.

  • 33% describe creativity as creating experiences that drive customer engagement.
  • 21% define it as creating ideas that surprise and delight audiences.
  • One in ten of marketers surveyed define creativity as developing original ideas (12%) and being first to market with a new innovation (23%).
  • Only 11% say it is coming up with new ways to solve old problems.

To learn more about how marketers can rely on digital experience tools like experimentation, content marketing platforms, and content management systems to deliver exceptional customer experiences, please download our report, “The 2022 Marketer’s Experience: Dispersed Marketing Teams Impact Ability to Deliver Exceptional Customer Experiences.”