Why Marketers Struggle with Data-Driven Customer Strategies

Posted on by Patty Odell

Despite being more connected than ever to consumers, marketers say they are still having a tough time meeting customer expectations.

Marketing-technologyWith 78% of marketers agreeing that the CMO should be in the driver’s seat of data-driven customer strategies and the drive to develop business-driven customer experiences, a mere 7% report that they are effectively able to deliver real-time, data-driven marketing engagements across both physical and digital touchpoints, according to a new survey from The CMO Council and RedPoint Global.

It’s a quandary, because now that marketers have a plethora of consumer data, 43% say they don’t have the tools to transfer that data into real-time action. And, consumers expect to be treated as individuals through personalized customer experiences rather than mass targeted audiences.

“Today’s connected customer expects to be met with personalized experiences that consider their lifetime engagement history alongside the actions and behaviors they exhibited moments prior. They expect that, in recognition of past engagements and business, brands will take their individual actions and circumstances into account (including purchase history, preferences, timing, locations, devices, problems, etc.) and engage accordingly, regardless of where or when the customer initiates that engagement. Should brands not meet this expectation, the customer is more than happy to take their business elsewhere,” the report said.

So why the disconnect between data-driven agendas and data strategies and technologies? The researchers went to 263 marketing leaders to find out.

“Despite the customer wanting to see real-time reaction in response to their behaviors, marketers are juggling spreadsheets and complex processes to access the intelligence that should be empowering the next best action being delivered to the customer. These delays in response are further exacerbated by a lack of clear leadership and ownership over the customer experience strategy itself as individual teams and departments battle for customer attention across a fragmented landscape of deployment and engagement systems,” the report found.

Budget limitations (54%) are the top issue holding marketers back from executing a truly data-driven customer strategy, followed by the failure to fully embrace a customer-centric culture (43%) and no senior level support to make change (32%). Other issues include lack of the right data, a culture unwilling to change and no understanding of what the data actually means to the bottom line.

On the technology front, the vast majority of marketers (70%) reported not being able to manage the pace of the evolution of technology, with clear conflicts between best-of-breed and legacy customer engagement technologies. Another 43% said they don’t have the ability to transform the vast amounts of data they have into real-time action.

In a wide-ranging discussion around martech challenges in January, marketers from Hilton, Prudential, Xerox and Nestlé Waters shared their experiences in putting together martech stacks. The speakers dove into how each determines who would make a good martech partner, how to change martech partners and how each organization stands on implementing martech tools among other issues.

The CMO Council survey also found that data and technology gaps have impacted the ability for marketers to truly measure the financial impact of channels of engagement and experience. The report goes on to describe how leaders are able to leverage in-line, real-time analytics by setting strategy and connecting with consumers across multiple channels and touchpoints among other initiatives, when compared to all marketers. Read the Empowering the Data-Driven Customer Strategy report …

Related articles:

Hilton, Prudential, Xerox, Nestlé Waters Discuss Martech Challenges



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