“Shiny New Thing” Syndrome – The Pitfalls of Putting Technology First

In our CX report, there were signs that marketers may already be too focused on new tech for new tech’s sake. We call this shiny new thing syndrome.

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In Acquia’s Customer Experience Trends Report Australia 2019,  we uncovered some interesting findings; not only is there a worrying disconnect between different marketing solutions, platforms and customer data repositories, but today’s customers have very clear expectations of the level of experience that brands should be offering- and are willing to switch brands the instant these expectations aren’t met. In this final CX report post, we delve into another theme: shiny new thing syndrome.

Getting the basics right

With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT), there’s often a pressure for marketers to prove that they’re at the top of their game by not only being aware of these technologies but actively including them in their strategies. The temptation to become technology-led, not customer-led, often results in an experience that’s overly complicated and difficult to manage. In our CX report findings, there were signs that marketers may already be too focused on AI for AI’s sake, with 84% saying that they’re looking forward to AI improving brand experiences (versus just 49% of consumers feeling the same way).

While marketers are focusing on AI, they’re potentially missing fundamental problems with their customer experiences; almost half (48%) of consumers say they have encountered fundamental issues such as slow and ‘glitchy’ websites, and the same number say they often struggle to find the information they need on brand websites.

Technology overload

An underlying cause (or perhaps symptom) of the challenges marketers face with technology is the number of different solutions on offer. The latest tally on available marketing technologies is a whopping 6,829 (, and most marketers are still opting for multiple solutions to achieve their goals, rather than one holistic platform.

In Australia, 37% of marketers are working with between 4 and 6 different vendors, and 18% are working with between 7 and 10. Working with lots of different technologies is fine, as long as they’re helping marketers to achieve the end goal of creating an exceptional customer experience; unfortunately, instead of solutions, these growing tech stacks are creating headaches, with 63% of marketers say they’re dealing with technology that is too complex to create good customer experiences.

The data disconnect

Unsurprisingly, another complication of working with multiple technologies is the creation of data silos. In fact, 85% of marketers surveyed cited ‘data siloed in multiple systems’ as a problem, and 88% recognise that being able to connect and understand this data better would enable them to more effectively automate customer experiences.

Staying focused

In a recent interview with upcoming Acquia Engage APAC speaker and founder of Reload, Llew Jury, he shared some wise advice when considering a new technology: “Ten to 15 years ago, there was a lot of hype around ecommerce and the message was that every business should have an online shop. Then every business needed an app. AI is in the same bubble and, like all new technologies, should be business and customer led. First, consider what value the technology will bring, which processes will it change or improve and who will be using it.”

The key lesson to be learnt from the CX report findings is that customer experience decisions must always be led by the customer, not the technology. While it may be tempting to contrive ways in which to adopt new technologies into your marketing tech stack, the end goal should always be creating easy and seamless experiences; in fact, a whopping 90% of consumers say they prefer brands that make their experience convenient!

To read the full Acquia CX Research Report, click here.

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