Despite the availability of mounds of customer data, eye-opening new research from Oracle finds that, even on the cusp of the 21st century’s third decade, brands today continue to struggle with creating a unified view of customers.
The firm’s November 2019 study, Getting Customer Data Management Right, conducted by Forrester Consulting, includes insights from 337 marketing and advertising professionals in North America and Europe, revealing that brands want to unify customer data but face significant challenges in bringing different data types together.
Brands want to centralize customer data
As consumers expect more and more personalized experiences, the ability to effectively leverage customer data is shifting from a “nice-to-have” to table stakes:
- 75 percent of marketing and advertising professionals believe the ability to “improve the experience of our customers” is a critical or important objective when it comes to the use of customer engagement data.
- 69 percent believe it is important to create a unified customer profile across channels and devices.
- 64 percent stated that they adopted a customer data platform (CDP), to develop a single source of truth so they could understand customers better.
Unified customer profiles lead to better business results
Brands that effectively leverage unified customer profiles are more likely to experience revenue growth, increased profitability and higher customer lifetime values:
- Brands that use CDPs effectively are 2.5 times more likely to increase customer lifetime value.
- When asked about the benefits of unified data management, the top two benefits were increased specific functional effectiveness (e.g., advertising, marketing, or sales) and increased channel effectiveness (e.g., email, mobile, web, social media).
Marketing and advertising’s golden opportunity
While marketing and advertising professionals understand the critical role unified customer profiles play in personalizing the customer experience, the majority of brands are not able to effectively use a wide variety of data types:
- 71 percent of marketing and advertising professionals say a unified customer profile is important or critical to personalization.
- Only 11 percent of brands can effectively use a wide variety of data types in a unified customer profile to personalize experiences, provide a consistent experience across channels, and generally improve customer lifetime value and other business outcomes.
- 69 percent expect to increase CDP investments at their organization over the next two years.
“A solid data foundation is the most fundamental ingredient to success in today’s Experience Economy, where consumers expect relevant, timely and consistent experiences,” said Rob Tarkoff, executive vice president and general manager at Oracle CX, in a news release. “At Oracle, we have been helping customers manage, secure and protect their data assets for more than 40 years, and this unique experience puts us in the perfect position to help brands leverage all their customer data—digital, marketing, sales, service, commerce, financial and supply chain—to make every customer interaction matter.”
Forrester Consulting conducted an online survey of 337 professionals in North America and Europe who are responsible for customer data, marketing analytics, or marketing/advertising technology. Survey participants included decision makers director level and above in marketing or advertising roles. Respondents were offered a small incentive as a thank you for time spent on the survey. The study began in August 2019 and was completed in September 2019.