New research from the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) shows more than 95 percent of marketers view enhancing customer experiences as an area of focus for their organization, with 57 percent calling it a “top business priority.”
The DMA’s new report, Elevating the Customer Experience, finds this priority is driven by customers expecting personalized experiences (according to 71 percent of marketers) and improved customer loyalty (61 percent).
The survey, conducted by Winterberry Group and sponsored by Pitney Bowes, also found that only 19 percent of marketers feel they deliver customer experience “substantially better” than their competition.
“The most valuable currency a brand can hold today is a customer’s trust, and a key component of nurturing trust is delivering relevant experiences,” said Neil O’Keefe, DMA’s SVP of content and marketing, in a news release. “Facing an ever-increasing volume and velocity of data, marketers are collaborating with business partners to become more informed and more adept at utilizing data to deliver relevant customer experiences. This effective, responsible use of data makes the digital ecosystem a better place for everyone involved.”
“Businesses today are on data overdrive. Within any given organization, customer information is being collected across the business, and few of these organizations have figured out how to break down the siloes between data,” said Chris Hall, VP of customer engagement solutions at Pitney Bowes, in the release. “Customer experience is king in the business world. It is the new battleground of differentiation. Organizational leaders must begin investing in solutions that allow them to analyze data quickly, to create a single view of their customer, allowing engagement with customers at their moments of need.”
“Today, the practice of ‘customer experience’ requires orchestrating a dynamic alchemy of content, offers and brand touchpoints to engage and delight an increasingly sophisticated consumer,” said Jonathan Margulies, managing director at Winterberry Group, in the release. “Marketers are clearly embracing the challenge inherent in that complexity—and unearthing real value from the effort.”
The report also examines the most significant challenges regarding enhanced customer experiences. Survey respondents identified lack of sufficient audience data and siloed organizational structures as the main inhibitors of enhanced customer engagements. This finding aligns with the recently-released report, The Data-Centric Organization 2018, which found that only 9.8 percent of marketers would describe their organizations as “extremely” data-centric today, while 90 percent either have or are developing an enterprise strategy centered on customer data.
Practitioners also expressed general satisfaction with third‐party partners and service providers, and continue to look to partners for strategic guidance on customer experience. Beyond introducing more impactful technologies, marketing practitioners say their service provider partners can add the most value by supporting cross‐channel efforts as well as introducing best practices and strategies learned from other market leaders.