Isobar’s annual Creative Experience Survey reveals the New Normal in CMO

83% marketers agree that there can no longer be any disconnect between what a brand promises and what it delivers for its customers, communities, and employees

86% marketers agree that every touchpoint can and should tell the brand story, from comms to commerce

Innovation, integration of the brand promise & delightful interactions enhanced by technology named as the top three key ingredients needed in the creation of brand experiences

82% marketers are investing or have already invested in creativity and digital technologies to create brand differentiation

Alternative sensorial brand experiences are on the rise with 86% marketers saying creating brand design systems for a multi-sensory world is increasingly important, and 36% asking specifically for new craft skills designed for a multi-sensory world from their agency partner

Global creative experience agency, Isobar, has published its annual study of over 800 global CMO’s assessing the evolution of customer experience design. Titled ‘Isobar CX Survey 2021: The Rise of Connected Experience’ the report indicates clear agreement between CMOs globally of a permanently transformed approach to marketing post-covid.

It is widely accepted that Covid-19 has accelerated digitisation across every industry, in every market. For the first time in the industry, Isobar has validated some of these assumptions with CMOs stating that creativity is critical to differentiation in this digital world, with the boundaries of Content, Commerce and Culture blurring irrevocably.

The results reveal a ‘new normal’ for marketers, with the overwhelming majority in agreement that innovation, design and experience technologies are needed to meet consumer expectations post-covid. Overwhelmingly the results show an increase in creating new sensorial experiences, delivered through experience technologies and demanding a new set of craft skills that are imperative to creating differentiation. Touch-free technologies, gestural technologies, voice interfaces and virtual brand properties including avatars, idols, products experiences and configurators are all being increasingly adopted. This is an extension of the findings of the report from 2020 that saw significant marketer adoption of ‘experience technologies’ such as Voice, AR and IoT alongside a significant increase in the value CMOs placed on ideas and innovation in shaping CX strategy. 

Download ‘Isobar CX Survey: The Rise Of Connected Experience’ here:


Sven Huberts, Head of Innovation and Design, dentsu and Managing Partner, Isobar said, “What stands out is that experience has become an even bigger focus for how consumers are making choices around the brands they invite into their lives.  The connected future has arrived—innovation and new experience technologies are now critical in creating differentiation and growth. But it’s a connected experience - creativity that crosses touchpoint, senses and communities, and that is driving this future.  This survey is a call to arms for everyone in the industry to step up or be lost in a sea of sameness.”


Amit Wadhwa, CEO, dentsu Creative India added, “The term ‘Experience’ has changed forever. In a post-pandemic world, for a brand to lead from a customer-centric position, experiences can no longer afford to be one dimensional. The findings of the survey published in ‘The Rise Of Connected Experience’ report, will give readers a more comprehensive view of a customer’s journey and deep insights into what is driving customer experience.”


Heeru Dingra, CEO, Isobar India group commented, “The pandemic upended a marketer’s playbook, challenging leaders to position themselves at the forefront of the longer-term shifts in consumer behaviour that result from disruption. However, even at this time of flux, it’s possible to regain a strong foothold and find familiarity by keeping a real-time pulse on evolving customer preferences. Customers are more trusting of what technology can do and they are seeking new experiences that line up with their renewed way of life. I believe the Isobar CX Survey is the ideal destination to source for insights on driving growth in a post-Covid world.”

Authored by Isobar’s global teams of creative and innovation experts, the report is specifically designed to offer insight into how the marketing industry is responding to the changing needs of brands today and to provide inspiration and tools to help the creation of delightful and differentiated experiences of tomorrow.

The report describes the fundamental changes to the way brands are increasingly being built and uses global case studies from Isobar’s client partners including KFC, Philips, Beats and Volkswagen to illustrate how marketers are shifting strategy. These changes are summarised below.

Connecting Brand and Experience: There can no longer be any disconnect between what a brand promises and what a customer experiences.

Virtual gets real: Virtual experiences will become as real, human, and valuable as offline experiences.

Transforming the transaction: The boundaries between content and commerce, shopping and storytelling will be blurred beyond recognition.

The Craft of Innovation: As digital experiences are called on to build distinctive brand encounters, a new skill set will be needed at the intersection of craft and innovation.

The Power of Community Experience:  In a connected world we must consider not only the customer experience but the community experience.

Storytelling through Experience: As consumers spend more and more time in virtual spaces, stories are told, and relationships are built in new ways.

To inform Isobar’s Creative Experience Survey 2021, research was conducted in August 2021 via online questionnaires completed by 800 CMOs and Marketing Directors in eight markets: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, UK and USA.


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