The 10th annual Digital Trends report from Econsultancy and Adobe shows that organisations across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) have embraced the idea that their growth is linked to their ability to manage and improve the customer experience (CX).

CXoptimisation is seen as the number one opportunity for EMEA companies in 2020, as business leaders see their ability to deliver rich, effortless experiences as a commercial necessity. Read on as we look at how EMEA, as a whole, compares to North America and Asia Pacific (APAC) in the context of digital trends and opportunities, while also comparing the survey results for some key European markets, including the UK, France, Germany, Italy and the Nordics.

EMEA organisations are focused on better customer journeys

From a long list of disciplines, customer journey optimisation is the top digital-related priority for 2020, reflecting an understanding that better customer journey management is part of the strategic bedrock required to deliver better CX. More than half (52%) of companies in MENA are planning to increase their investment in first-party data, compared to 32% in the UK and 22% in France.

Data from a 2020 Digital Trends report from Adobe makes an overwhelming case for the value of customer experience investment. Brands classified as CX leaders are three times more likely than their peers to have significantly exceeded their 2019 business goals. And this is the case across EMEA as well. Research shows that businesses in EMEA have generally been persuaded of its value, but there are, of course, nuances by sub-region and country. In broad terms, the picture for EMEA in terms of recognition of the CX opportunity reflects the worldwide picture.

As can be seen in Figure 1, optimising the customer experience (22%) is regarded as the number-one opportunity for 2020, ahead of data-driven marketing that focuses on the individual (15%) and creating compelling content for digital experiences (14%).

In summary, organisations across EMEA are very much aligned with the global push to invest in and commit to CX. Despite variations by individual country, a significant proportion of companies across the region are prioritising customer journey management and working to advance their CX maturity.

Four key takeaways for MENA marketers

Customer journey optimisation should be a priority for marketers in all countries (and especially in the MENA region where brands and companies are investing in CX at scale).

EMEA organisations should focus on data-driven marketing to ensure their content, messaging and advertising across both their own digital properties and third-party sites are as relevant as possible to target audiences and segments. Where necessary, organisations should ensure that different parts of their marketing and advertising technology stacks are integrated.

Our research shows a direct correlation between CX maturity and the focus on first-party data and post-cookie strategies. Organisations in EMEA should treasure their own proprietary data as a way of differentiating through better experience.

Although EMEA companies are ahead of those in other regions when it comes to adoption of AI, they should continue trying to understand its potential for more effective marketing, for example, generating insights about their customers in order to provide even better digital experiences.

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