I am delighted to announce that, in collaboration with Goldsmiths University, we have launched ‘The Future of Experience’ report looking at the potential impact of emerging technologies on experiences both on and offline.

Over the last ten years, marketing has transformed. Digital has well and truly changed the game when it comes to how we reach and engage with our customers, we’ve gone from marketing to audience segments to marketing to an audience of one, from large formats to 4 inch screens (now even watch size screens), and from working days to 24/7/365 marketing.

It’s true that we are spoilt for choice in terms of the ways we can reach our audiences, but technology has also meant that consumers have the power to choose who they’ll let into their lives. This means that only brands with the best experiences will prevail.

So, what constitutes a great experience? It’s one that is meaningful, personal, consistent and creates a deep connection. But it’s also about excitement, surprise and delight. Given the current hype around emerging technologies such as virtual reality and robots, we wanted to find out how these new tools and techniques could help brands deliver even better experiences. We looked at how are they being used right now and what their potential is. We asked what the new considerations are given the much more personal and immersive nature of many of these technologies.

And what we found was enormous potential, and new rules of engagement. We tested virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) applications in a number of workshops. We interviewed technology experts and carried out a national survey of 2,000 people.

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From our study, we found five key areas that brands need to consider:

  • Empathy – the technology allows you to create incredibly meaningful and exciting experiences which can have profound effects on physical and mental states, because of this brands need to practice extreme empathy
  • Serendipity – over personalisation can be predictable and people want to be able to discover new things or be introduced to the unexpected. Technology should always enhance and not replace human actions
  • Privacy – but not as you know it. New technologies allow consumers to create their own private digital world, where they control the brands that do and don’t enter into a dialogue with them based on the quality of the experience offered
  • Reciprocity –our relationship with technology is set to radically change as we start to learn from, and teach machines. But experiences need to be helpful, practical, personal and progressive to encourage repeat use
  • Adaptability – siloes are the enemies of experiences. To make this technology truly work to create great experiences, business must break down organisational siloes to provide seamless service.

Here at Adobe, we’re in the business of helping customers create beautiful experiences and then measure the impact of those experiences. We hope that this report will inspire you to embrace new technologies and be bold and even more creative in your approach to customer experience.