Marketers Not Keeping Pace with Consumer Expectations, Frictionless Customer Experience

Everyone wants a more connected, more seamless customer experience. So many brands that Loyalty360 talks to daily want and aspire to this kind of simplicity and seamlessness.

Yet, despite all the talk, marketers are not keeping pace with consumer expectations for frictionless customer experiences, despite the multitude of data, analytics, and engagement systems currently in place. 

That conclusion is from new research from The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and RedPoint Global.

According to the research, only 7 percent of more than 250 marketers surveyed can deliver real-time, data-driven engagements across both physical and digital touch points. What’s more, only 5 percent can see the bottom-line impact of engagements in real time, primarily due to the current processes requiring manual transport of data and intelligence from disconnected systems.

“While the customer wants to see real-time responses and reactions to their behaviors, what we are finding is that marketers are still dealing with complex processes and offline data, which is delaying their access to the intelligence they need to create the next best action with a customer,” explained Liz Miller, senior vice president of marketing for the CMO Council. “These delays are further increased due to a lack of clear ownership over the customer experience strategy as a whole, with multiple teams and departments battling for customer attention across a growing, fragmented landscape of data and engagement systems.”

Titled, “Empowering the Data-Driven Customer Strategy: Addressing Customer Engagement From the Foundation Up”—the study highlights the gaps between strategy and execution that continue to prevent marketers from creating seamless, real-time engagements with today’s connected customers. It also underscores the need for a solid data foundation upon which a customer engagement strategy should be built—one that converts data into actionable intelligence and makes a real-time view of the customer accessible across the enterprise.

In the past five years, 42 percent of marketers have installed more than 10 individual solutions across marketing, data, analytics, or customer engagement technologies, and 9 percent have brought on more than 20 individual tools or solutions.

During that same time, the study shows, marketers have gone through numerous rounds of “rip and replace,” with 44 percent of marketers indicating that they have spent more than 25 percent of their marketing budgets to replace existing technologies. Despite the implementation and discarding of various data and customer experience solutions, only 3 percent of marketers believe they are totally connected and aligned across all systems, with data, metrics, and insights flowing seamlessly across all technology platforms. 

When asked specifically about the gap between strategy and execution, marketers cited two key issues: Fractured execution systems and siloed customer data.

Here are some other key study findings:

Only 6 percent of marketers believe they can get a complete view of their customer from all available data sources.

Only 8 percent of marketers have been able to implement and onboard systems to establish a best-of-breed model of technologies and platforms.

A high number of marketers (43 percent) agree that they are not lacking data; rather, they are missing the ability to transform data into real-time action.

“The capability gap between an organization’s strategy and its ability to execute highlighted by this research has a very direct impact on the ever-growing gap between customer expectations and the experience delivered by brands,” said Dale Renner, CEO of RedPoint Global. “To consistently meet customer expectations, brands must be relevant; and to sustain profitable revenue growth, they must be more relevant than competitors. This can only be achieved by having the deepest understanding of a customer, making decisions at the cadence of each customer, and then intelligently orchestrating engagement across any touchpoint in the enterprise.”

The study is based on the findings of a survey that was conducted during the first quarter of 2017, primarily among marketers within fast-moving, consumer-focused industries including finance, retail, CPG, travel, and hospitality.

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