If marketers want to upgrade their customer experience, they will have to take a hard look at revamping their data analytics.
According to an Econsultancy and Adobe survey of client-side marketers worldwide, 65% of respondents said improving their data analysis is a very important factor in delivering a better customer experience. That was the most popular answer for the second year in a row, up from a 63% response rate in 2017.
Providing a reputable digital experience for customers is important for marketers because it is one of the main ways that brands can differentiate themselves from competitors, according to Adam Kleinberg, CEO of ad agency Traction.
“In order to improve your customer experience, you need to understand the customer journey in relation to your brand and then identify moments of friction you can fix or moments of delight you can build upon,” Kleinberg said. “Analyzing data is essential to identify these insights, which can become business-building opportunities.”
The results of this survey are in line with previous research. A 2016 study by Forbes Insights and SAS found that 90% of executives worldwide who use data analytics noticed it improved their ability to deliver a superior customer experience.
According to a January 2018 survey of US senior decision-makers conducted by Verndale, big data/analytics was listed as the most important emerging technology for enhancing customer experience, cited by 63% of respondents.
While data analysis may be critical to improving customer experience, there are technical challenges to leveraging big data. For instance, identifying users and assigning attribution across devices remains a struggle for some marketers. In a Q1 2017 survey of marketers worldwide by the CMO Council and RedPoint Global, 38% of respondents indicated that customers’ fragmented digital consumption is a primary challenge in implementing a data-driven customer experience strategy.
“As we move into an omnichannel world, where the line between digital and retail is blurred, the complexity and number of types of data become greater from sales figures, store traffic, geographic behavior patterns,” Kleinberg said. “Often, it’s the creative application of data that uncovers the best opportunities to transform a customer experience.”