75% of Businesses to Invest in Hybrid Models in 2022 

Carly Read
Senior Reporter

Personalisation (43%), innovation (43%), customer connection (40%) and inclusion (38%) also on the up, Deloitte study finds

75% of Businesses to Invest in Hybrid Models in 2022 

75% of businesses will invest more in delivering hybrid working models over the next year, according to new research from Deloitte.  

The last 18 months forever redefined customer engagement strategies for brands and led to unprecedented challenges internally and externally for organisations as they grappled with a complex environment. Deloitte’s Global Marketing Trends Report has pinpointed trends unfolding in the marketing function, while uncovering how high-growth brands across the CX landscape are leading the way, with even more businesses opting for hybrid working models in 2022.  

Jennifer Veenstra, managing director, Deloitte Consulting LLP and executive leader of Deloitte’s Global CMO programme, said: “We’ve taken a comprehensive look at the future of the marketing function following a year and a half of some of the greatest challenges and changes to the business landscape most organisations have ever faced.

“By studying the strategies of high-growth brands, we’ve uncovered insights that can equip business and marketing leaders with a roadmap for using marketing as a force for creating exceptional customer experiences and delivering growth for their organisations.” 

Other notable findings from the report include: 

  • High-growth brands, defined as those with 10% or higher annual growth, that commit to an integrated purpose that mirrors stakeholder needs are gaining a competitive advantage. A holistic approach to purpose, one that is more equitable and inclusive across all stakeholders, requires brands to put a premium on accountability and establish key performance metrics anchored around their purpose
  • It’s not enough to market inclusiveness or diversity as 57% of consumers are more loyal to brands that commit to actionably addressing social inequities. The contours of our society are changing, and marketers should champion diversity, equity and inclusion to underpin their brand messaging with authenticity
  • With a mix of physical and digital experiences becoming the norm, 75% of global executives plan to invest more in delivering hybrid experiences over the next year. The best place for leaders to start is with human-centred design, which can marry the best of physical and digital while giving consumers greater choices
  • When we polled over 550 global CMOs, analytical experience was identified more often than creative expertise as a leading skill of their highest performing direct report. Historically pegged as a field for creatives, the rise in big data and AI has changed the demands of the marketing profession, and leaders now need to find the right talent structure for their unique objectives
  • With the sunset of third-party cookies, it’s no surprise that high-growth brands are taking the lead in the shift to a first-party environment. Marketing executives could benefit from investing in first-party data strategies, designing human-centric experiences, and forming deep relationships with ecosystem partners to gain access to walled gardens of data and corresponding insights

According to the study, when asking people why they chose to purchase from a specific brand across eight different categories, price and quality were individually cited as top-three purchasing criteria anywhere between 61% and 86% of the time.

Consumers are increasingly wary of brands that seem to follow their every move and there is a fine line between helpfulness and intrusiveness when it comes to consumer data. Results from Deloitte’s research reveal that 68% of consumers said they found it helpful when a brand they regularly shopped with provided them alerts when items went on sale, but conversely, 53% of respondents reacted negatively when it appeared their social media feed showed them an ad because their device was listening to them. The abundance of customer data available can lead to a paradox within organisations, with marketers seeking to use that data to create better customer experiences and chief information security officers (CISO) working to adhere to privacy regulations. Ultimately, the CMO should work with the CISO to cultivate customer trust through better data practices, designing experiences that create value, provide transparency and empower customers to control their own data journey.

Elevating the hybrid experience

Now that brands are more adept at digital delivery, the next challenge is providing the best integrated physical and digital, or hybrid, experiences. In fact, in Deloitte’s study 75% of global executives said they will invest more in delivering hybrid experiences over the next 12 months, with many executives looking to hybrid to increase personalisation (43%), innovation (43%), customer connection (40%) and inclusion (38%). Businesses can elevate their hybrid experiences by expanding choices, integrating feedback, and investing in the technological infrastructure that can bring these design principles to life. And, importantly, brands can utilise the principles of human-centred design to make their physical and digital experiences as agile and flexible as consumers have come to expect.

Supercharging customer service with AI

A dynamic experience for customers means delivering the assistance and information they need, when, where and how they want it. Deloitte’s survey asked consumers what information they found most helpful in making purchasing decisions and found that timely offers and knowledgeable customer service topped the list.

With these insights, marketers can work to optimise artificial intelligence (AI) within the customer experience — achieving harmony between the human side of customer service centres and machine capabilities. By designing and deploying an AI strategy that helps brands meet customers in their moment of need, marketers and customer service leaders can create an end-to-end customer experience that seamlessly blends AI and human service — ultimately, to better serve their customers and their bottom line.



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