Half of Organizations Send the Wrong Marketing Messages to Customers

The marketing technology landscape has exploded in recent years, with more than 7,000 vendors offering mar tech solutions. These companies provide tools for independently managing everything from mobile advertising to interactive content to influencer marketing activities (plus dozens of other sales and marketing functions). Due to the rapid growth of tools and sources of data, many companies still struggle with integrating and analyzing information from these disparate technology platforms. 

The result of this data deluge? Organizations lack the insight into their customers they desperately need to deliver meaningful experiences, secure sales, and retain customers. New research estimates 48% of them struggle to gain these insights due to the data silos and more than half admit they don’t have a full picture of their marketing data and their customer journey.  

Why the Disconnect?

Companies with many different types of marketing technology often suffer the most from the silo effect because data in one system is difficult to use with software and data in other systems. For example, an email marketing solution might not be able to easily share data with the company’s mobile application, limiting the ability to provide an omnichannel experience. 

Another reason this customer journey can be hard to pinpoint is the number of touchpoints a customer has with an organization or brand ahead of purchase. The same research found that the majority of respondents had three or more pre-purchase customer touchpoints, with a third reporting they had six or more. Piecing together these disparate, high-volume data points is difficult. Consider a retailer who must pull from mobile, online, email, and in-store systems to pinpoint what approach is working. The length of customer journey also presents challenges, and nearly a quarter of organizations asked did not have any idea how long their customer journey takes from the first interaction to purchase. About 40% report buying cycles of four months or longer. 

These blindspots put achieving an exceptional customer experience at risk. Without a complete view of each customer journey, the odds of sending the wrong marketing message at the wrong time increase considerably.

What’s a Marketer to Do?

Given the many challenges marketers are up against, it’s no wonder they struggle to define their customer journeys and optimize customer interactions. Below I offer some advice for those in this data struggle.

Focus on attribution and adopt a multi-touch attribution strategy. How do your customers enter your pipeline? Which things do most customers do or experience right before they buy? Can you attribute a sale to several items, giving “partial credit” to each one? The right data platform and analytics can help you answer all of these questions. 

Break down data silos. Fully integrate the data you already collect by using tools that combine data from many sources, online and off, to create a full picture of the different customer journeys your buyers and prospects take. With more unified data you can find out what compels customers to buy and why. As a bonus, when you integrate your mar tech, it makes it easier to calculate ROI on all your efforts, not just each type of mar tech.

Create a customer journey map. Now that you have a full view of your customer data, get to work identifying and documenting your customers’ paths to purchase. Determine what content is most often consumed and the channels used before purchase.

Identify and optimize the channels and touchpoints that matter most. Examine your customer journey map. Where do you see the largest number of customers dropping out of your customer journey? Is there an integration or touchpoint here that isn’t working as well as it should be? Identify what you can do to remove friction at those points. Optimize these key points in the buyer journey for maximum impact and conversion. 

Marketers facing these data challenges are not alone. Those that successfully integrate their data, understand their customer journey, and optimize their strategy in line with their findings will stand apart. These brands will find themselves with increased sales, loyalty, and insight to fuel future campaigns.

Tom Treanor is head of global marketing at Arm Treasure Data.

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