Customers these days keep raising the bar. They now expect marketers to anticipate their needs and to deliver a seamless experience that’s relevant to them. Conflicting, uncoordinated messages from a brand just annoy them, or even drive them away.
A recent report from Forbes Insights and Teradata, “Teradata 2015 Global Data-Driven Marketing Survey: Progressing Toward True Individualization,” examines how marketers can move closer to providing the ideal customer experience—one that’s not merely segmented into a fine demographic slice but actually tailored to each individual.
The report is based on a survey of 1,506 marketing and communications executives worldwide, representing all major industries. The survey was conducted in the fall of 2014, and follows a similar survey conducted in 2013.
Among the key findings:
• Today data-driven marketing is either embedded throughout the enterprise or strategic for 78% of marketers. Both of these states are more desirable than an ad hoc approach, which prevailed just a year ago. (Data-driven marketing is defined in the report as the process of collecting and connecting large amounts of online data with traditional offline data, rapidly analyzing and gaining cross-channel insights about customers, and then bringing that insight to market via a highly personalized marketing campaign tailored to the customer at his/her point of need.)
• A more strategic approach to data-driven marketing has already had a positive impact in decision making, especially in the speed with which decisions are being made. Speed was cited as a benefit of using data in making decisions by 59% of respondents versus only 31% in 2013. Speed is now the second most cited benefit, after accuracy, cited by 67%.
• The ultimate goal of data-driven marketing is to improve business. Yet as of today, just 39% of organizations are capturing significant business benefits—such as improved ROI, increased customer loyalty or more sales conversions—from acting on customer data.
• There has been progress since 2013, when just 18% of marketers were satisfied that they had a single, integrated view of the customer. In the latest survey 43% of executives say that they have achieved fully integrated data across teams.
• Individualized messages and relevant offers need to be delivered across multiple channels, according to 83% of executives. However, achieving consistency in omni-channel marketing is a problem for 44% of executives.
• Only 50% of marketers routinely apply data-driven marketing to individualize marketing messages and offers. Yet individualized marketing is a priority for 92% of executives.
• Marketers now control more data than they did a year ago (43% versus 32%). And marketers with direct access to their data tend to be further along in embedding a complete data-driven marketing solution into their regular processes than marketers who have to go through internal IT or an external vendor.
• Turning marketing and IT into strategic partners is a priority that 84% of companies surveyed are actively pursuing. yet continuing to improve cooperation remains an imperative.
• Making sure that data is integrated across teams is crucial. Yet more than 80% of marketers report that silos within marketing prevent them from having a seamless view of the campaign and of the customer across channels.
• Marketers have neglected to use data to make their business case. Just 3% of executives consider proving the effectiveness of marketing to be their priority. That’s despite the fact that 45% of executives fully leverage data to measure ROI and that the biggest group (41%) believe that the use of data-driven insights would have the most benefit in better allocating budgets for marketing activities.
This article was written by Hugo Moreno from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.