Market Winners’ Survey 2022: Best performing businesses during COVID-19 and digital transformation

The inaugural EMEA Customer Transformation Win Themes research was published in Spring 2021. The overarching theme of the study was to identify organizations which were ‘winning’ in the market during the pandemic. This second study continues to evolve the ‘winning themes’ series, examining what makes a ‘successful’ business and understanding how these are growing in a continually disrupted market. Principal research objectives include:

  • Identify those ‘winning’ in the market based on expanded criteria, understanding their approach to and successes achieved through transformation 
  • Ascertain current challenges faced and enablers of success 
  • Understand their level of maturity with regard to ESG, benefits achieved or expected and sources of perceived differentiation
  • Determine how organizations are prioritizing cybersecurity as part of their customer transformation and approach to customer experience
  • Assess the extent of tech enablement, digital disruption and consideration of the experience dimension, in customer transformation
Digital customer

Customer experience


of companies said that they achieved better customer experience as a result of implementing customer transformation



of executives say that their organization has invested in at least five cybersecurity areas



of companies say ESG is integrated across their organization strategy with the focus areas being operations, pricing and order fulfillment

We live in a time in which businesses around the world are working to maintain growth, expand to new markets and find new revenue streams in markets with low consumer confidence. To do this in a restricted talent market, they’re looking for every possible way to better serve their clients in a digital world. 

Some companies are doing this better than others. In PwC’s latest Market Winners’ Survey (MWS), we set out to establish what the winning businesses are doing differently to their peers in an age defined by COVID and breakneck digital transformation. The top-line findings? The companies that manage to digitally transform themselves to meet the needs of customers are leading the market. They are more likely to have experienced revenue growth, and to have achieved a multitude of business benefits – including better customer experience, improved sustainability, product innovation and improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Serve clients in a digital world

Key insights from the report

Organizations perceive myriad benefits in undergoing transformation but COVID-19 remains the top inhibitor to transformation, as well as cost and technological infrastructure.

Health and Energy, utilities and resources (EUR) organizations are more likely to face technology issues (45% and 43% respectively) than other industries.

EUR organizations also appear more cost-sensitive to transformation (43%).

Financial services (FS) companies (31%) and Telecom, media and technology (TMT) companies (29%) are most likely to rank consolidation and analysis of customer data among their top challenges.

Organizations based in Germany are significantly more likely to find their core business is slow to adapt / respond to changing market trends as its biggest challenge (48%).

B2B2C organizations are significantly more likely to find cybersecurity as one of their biggest challenges (37%).

Opportunities exist to support across all CX activities.

TMT organizations are most likely to strongly agree that they are continuously designing and updating the customer experience based on customer insights (39%).

Organizations based in the USA are significantly more likely to strongly agree that they have a clear understanding of the customer journey from a customer perspective (51%).

B2B2C organizations are significantly more likely to strongly agree that they are continuously measuring the results of customer experience improvements (47%).

Those ‘winning’ in the market are significantly more likely to strongly agree they:

  • Understand the customer journey from the customer perspective (63%).
  • Continuously measure results of customer experience improvements (61%).
  • Design and update the customer experience based on customer insights (52%).
  • Are able to dynamically capture customer feedback (49%).

Digitization is viewed as imperative to future success.

Top areas for planned investment in the next two years are integration of front and back office technologies, customer data platforms and sales enablement.

Industries primed for technology expenditure in these areas are TMT, Consumer markets (CM), Government and public service (G&PS) and Health.

B2B organizations are most likely to be planning investment in sales enablement in the near future (44%), with B2C focusing on integration of front and back office technologies (45%).

Cybersecurity is increasingly front of mind to drive CX but planned investment must be accelerated to deliver benefits.

Larger organizations are significantly more likely to have already invested in: communication with customers (51%), creating models for advanced analytics (46%) and advanced technologies to improve security detention (52%).

FS and TMT companies are most likely to already be investing in having dedicated cyber and privacy leadership and resources (47%), with those from CM companies most likely to invest in these capabilities in the near term (48%), as well as on development of advanced analytics (48%).

Organizations recognise the value-add of ESG to CX but struggle to put this into practice.

Organizations based in the US are significantly more likely to state that ESG is fully integrated in their pricing (56%).

B2B2C organizations are significantly more likely to state that ESG is fully integrated into their customer and field service management (46%) compared to B2C organizations (33%).

G&PS (62%), FS and Health (both 56%) are the industries most focused on planning ESG integration in their operations.

Those within G&PS and Health are most likely to be planning or currently integrating ESG in order fulfillment (62% and 55% respectively).

Pricing is a focus for planned ESG integration among Health, EUR (both 62%) and G&PS (58%) industries.

Contact us

Quinton Pienaar

Quinton Pienaar

Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Leontine Admiraal

Leontine Admiraal

Senior Manager, PwC Netherlands

Carl Haynie

Carl Haynie

Director, PwC Switzerland

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