Although the marketer/consumer gap is narrowing, there is a continued disconnect in perceptions and expectations between the two groups, as well as a misalignment across key CX dimensions. For consumers, the most important element is consistency of experience. Lack of consistency is one major reason why 74 percent of consumers believe brands fall short of delivering an “excellent” experience, new research from CX software firm Redpoint Global reveals.
Consumers also have an expectation for omnichannel personalization, but many say that they still feel unseen (55 percent) and undervalued (48 percent) by the brands they interact with, according to a new report from Redpoint and Harris Poll—and that the experiences they’re provided rarely meet their expectations (48 percent).
Marketers on the other hand, remain very positive in their perspective about CX delivery
The vast majority say they believe that things in their industry are headed in the right direction (95 percent), and they are delivering an exceptional CX (93 percent). While confident in their personalization delivery, marketers are now more willing to admit rising challenges. In the survey, marketers indicated that they have an average of 16 customer engagement systems deployed, nearly double the amount reported in 2019. The explosion of data sources is a core reason marketers feel their MarTech stack is preventing them from managing the most effective omnichannel CX.
Consumers also believe brands are failing to personalize their experiences because their customer data is not accurate or up to date
Marketers agree data is a problem, with data quality/accuracy being the area they most want to improve (34 percent). As other data quality roadblocks, marketers cite a lack of data integration between the systems (41 percent), closed integrated marketing clouds (41 percent) and highly specialized applications that can’t be replaced (40 percent). The younger the consumer the more likely they are to view personalization as a tablestakes requirement (Gen Z/Millennials at 73 percent, Gen X at 70 percent and Boomers/Silent Generation only 55 percent) and 39 percent of all consumers who will no longer do business with a brand that doesn’t offer a personalized experience.
“Personalization is a must-have for any organization today—and the businesses that are flourishing are already focusing heavily on bringing data quality, speed and scale to the personalization process,” said John Nash, chief marketing and strategy officer of Redpoint Global, in a news release. “In our survey with The Harris Poll, it’s clear that marketers recognize the challenges of delivering optimal customer experiences, even when overestimating their own ability to deliver that experience. Bridging these gaps will require continued investment in solutions that can deliver perfected customer data and simplify orchestration of real-time decisions, interactions and overall customer engagement.”
The importance of personalization continues to grow and was further magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Key trends underscoring this include:
COVID is driving brand personalization
Nearly all marketers (95 percent) and seven in 10 consumers say the pandemic has made it even more important for brands to know their customers’ individual needs and preferences.
Transparency from brands matters too
Nearly eight in 10 consumers (78 percent) say brands that were transparent about challenges they experienced in delivering CX (e.g., supply chain issues, shipping delays, lockdowns, etc.) during the COVID-19 pandemic retained their loyalty more than brands that did not acknowledge those issues.
CX has also moved beyond traditional questions of privacy and personalization
A quarter of consumers go as far as to say they are less likely to do business with brands that do not embody their values.
Some of the largest gaps are around excellence
The gap of 25 points between the 26 percent of consumers that believe brands are truly “excellent” at CX vs. 51 percent of marketers is slightly down from the 30-point gap in 2019.
Future challenges lay ahead for marketers looking to consumer data for actionable insights as well. According to survey findings, tactical changes to the MarTech landscape like the elimination of third-party cookies are top of mind for most marketers. While consumers will share information if they feel it gives them a better CX, three in four have indicated they will opt-out of any cookies if given the option. Even in the face of those odds, 91 percent of marketers are confident in their approach to deal with these changes, relying heavily on incentives for consumers to opt-in to sharing data to gain added value.
Redpoint Global commissioned The Harris Poll to conduct the online surveys among marketers and consumers. The marketer survey was fielded between July 7–26, 2021 among 1,500 consumers as well as 150 adults aged 18+ residing in the United States who were employed full-time, working in selected functions at companies with annual revenue of at least $500M and held one of the following job titles: Chief Digital Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Experience Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, Vice President/Executive VP/Senior VP or Director.