Why Marketers, Agencies Haven't Mastered the Customer Experience
Customer experience presents exciting opportunity, but few use a single customer view for marketing activities
Marketers are planning a customer experience makeover, and based on December 2014 polling by Econsultancy in association with Ensighten, those who are able to do so stand to reap plenty of benefits.
Among client-side marketers and agency professionals studied worldwide, higher engagement and conversion rates were far and away the top business benefits of customer experience optimization. Better brand perception and loyalty were the second-biggest benefits for both groups, while renewals, cross-sells and upsells rounded out the top three. All of the top three benefits were more important to marketers than agencies, while the latter group was more likely to cite financial-related benefits, such as increased average order value, than the former.
A single customer view is critical to providing a personalized and thus better customer experience. However, the study found that few respondents leveraged these for all marketing activities. Less than one-fifth of respondents (18%) in both groups said they or their clients used a single customer profile for all marketing efforts, vs. 45% of marketers and 33% of agencies who didn’t.
Forming a single customer view and improving the customer experience require data integration, and further results indicated that most respondents still struggled when it came to this. Just 10% of marketers and 8% of agencies had tied together customer data across channels, tools and databases. Since nearly all respondents in each group placed some level of importance on customer experience optimization, the large majority had at least started to integrate data, but admitted they had a long way to go.
Other research highlights the buzz around the customer experience as well. In a January 2015 Econsultancy study in association with Adobe, client-side marketers worldwide ranked the customer experience as the single most exciting opportunity in 2015. Similarly, customized messaging and a personalized customer experience ranked as the leading marketing priority for 46% of marketing and communications execs polled worldwide in November 2014 by Teradata—the No. 1 response.
Furthermore, September 2014 research by Gartner and The CMO Club found that this was one of the top marketing areas that would see more dollars come in. Among US CMOs, the customer experience ranked as the second-leading marketing area for investment in the next two years, cited by 40% and trailing only digital commerce (46%).