Personalisation and bespoke digital experiences will be a major trend in 2020, but a new study by Oracle and Forrester Consulting has found that just one in 10 brands are effectively leveraging a “wide variety” of data assets to deliver the content that customers want across channels.
The ‘Getting Customer Data Management Right’ study, which is based on the opinions and insights of more than 300 marketing and ad pros based in Europe and North America, is the latest research this year to find that data is still posing a number of challenges for modern companies.
Brands recognise that centralising customer data so that it can be used to support marketing is now a critical activity and no longer just a nice-to-have, primarily due to shifting consumer expectations and the need to cut through the noise to reach and engage on a regular basis.
Three quarters of professionals said that improving the experience for customers is a crucial goal for them when attempting to make use of data, and more than two-thirds want to create unified profiles that enable simple targeting across a variety of devices and channels.
There are huge rewards for brands capable of doing this successfully as those adopting a customer data platform (CDP) generally see a 250% spike in the lifetime value of a customer while also driving revenue growth and higher profit margins.
Brands are making progress: 64% said that they have embraced CDPs during the last 12 months in order to eliminate data silos and bring assets together to create a “single source of truth”, which is crucial for better understanding the desires, needs and wants of customers.
CDPs can improve the efficiency of content marketing as they allow data to be deployed easily for a specific function and increase the effectiveness of campaigns run on channels such as blog pages, websites, social media and mobile.
All the benefits of data centralisation appear to be widely known then, but actually being able to achieve this objective is proving to be much more challenging.
Only 11% of brands are currently using the wide range of data types available to deliver consistent, personalised experiences that lead to a spike in customer lifetime value, despite 71% admitting that unified customer profiles are intrinsically linked to effective personalisation.
Issues remain, but brands are eager to improve as 69% of respondents said that spend on CDP initiatives will increase during 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,” Oracle CX executive Rob Tarkoff said.
The new report also found that established enterprises are 3.3 times more likely to invest more in martech in 2020 compared to start-ups and emerging companies.
Oracle concluded by urging marketers to work closely with business tech employees as a more mature data and analytics approach can pay dividends in the form of richer consumer insights and higher-quality and integrated data processes, both of which will help marketing and other departments and divisions.