New Report Reveals 94% of Global Marketers Have Changed Digital Customer Experience (CX) Strategy to Meet New Consumer Expectations

Study examines how marketers and consumers are adapting to ongoing effects of the pandemic and digital privacy concerns

BOSTON--()--A new global research study of 8,000 consumers and 800 marketers examines how digital marketers have adapted to consumer behavioral shifts during the last 18 months, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report, conducted by digital experience leader Acquia, looks at marketing strategies and technologies that have transformed the customer experience (CX), along with consumer perceptions of personalization and privacy. A staggering 94% of marketers have changed their digital CX strategy to at least some extent in the last 18 months, relying more heavily on digital content distributed across multiple channels to reach consumers in this challenging environment.

To deliver on these strategies, marketers are depending on technology more than ever before. Nearly all marketers surveyed (96%) said their organization’s return on investment for marketing tech tools improved in 2021. Even so, 73% of marketers admit that their organization’s marketing technology prevents them from creating and delivering innovative digital experiences to their customers.

“The world doesn’t yet understand the full impact COVID-19 is having on society or national economies. The ramifications it’s having on brands, however, are becoming clearer by the day,” said Lynne Capozzi, Chief Marketing Officer at Acquia. “The results of this year’s survey were clear – brands cannot simply recreate previously existing processes as digital, but must actually create a new digital customer experience altogether.”

Personalization Increases Customer Engagement

More than one-third (35%) of global marketers have relied more on personalization in the last 12 months to reach customers. This strategy is paying off for the 54% of marketers who say personalization has helped them boost customer engagement. More than half (55%) of marketers have adopted a digital experience platform (DXP), and nearly as many (50%) have invested in a customer data platform (CDP) to deliver a more personalized CX.

As marketers look at changing privacy policies on the web, most claim their organization is fully prepared for the end of third-party cookies, with first-party data being more important than two years ago (93%). As the need to gather more data increases, 82% think customers trust their company’s use of personal data more than they did last year, up from the 2020 survey.

Consumer Views on Privacy Vary Dramatically From Brands

Despite marketers’ optimism about consent-based data personalization strategies, 40% of global consumers do not trust that brands will handle their personal data properly. A dismally low 18% are very comfortable with giving brands their personal data in exchange for an improved experience.

To see the full results and key takeaways, download the report, Deliver a More Modern CX: A Guide for Marketing Innovators.

About the Survey

To gain a perspective on customer experience in 2021, independent global research firm Vanson Bourne collected the views of 8,000 consumers and 800 marketers across Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States. The survey explores shifts in both marketing and consumer behaviors. This is Acquia’s fourth annual CX survey.

About Acquia

Acquia empowers the world’s most ambitious brands to create digital customer experiences that matter. With open source Drupal at its core, the Acquia Digital Experience Platform (DXP) enables marketers, developers and IT operations teams at thousands of global organizations to rapidly compose and deploy digital products and services that engage customers, enhance conversions and help businesses stand out. Learn more at

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Kaitlyn Ethier

Release Summary

A study of 8,000 consumers and 800 marketers examines how digital marketing strategies and technologies have shifted over the past 18 months.


Kaitlyn Ethier