How Has Marketers’ Ability to Reach and Engage Customers Changed?

January 21, 2016

CMOCouncil-Changing-Ability-to-Reach-Engage-Customers-Jan2016Over the past 5 years, marketing has had to more closely align with sales, service and support to truly connect the customer experience, say respondents to a new study [download page] from the CMO Council and Pegasystems. The survey of more than 150 marketers (60% exclusively B2B; 56% from companies with more than $1 billion in revenues) also finds many saying that customer expectations for more relevant, personalized experiences have increased.

Interestingly, respondents were about equally as likely to say that the proliferation of online and offline channels has made for a cluttered and confused market as they were to say that it is now easier to connect with customers thanks to digital experiences. In other words, it seems that over the past 5 years new digital channels have presented both challenges and opportunities. (For a look at how audiences vary across different media channels today, see MarketingCharts’ newest study, US Media Audience Demographics.)

Meanwhile, returning to the topic of personalization, the survey’s results indicate that of various options listed, marketers feel that personalized engagements that take customer preferences and engagements into account represent the campaign element most critical to realizing greater revenue and profitability from customer engagements.

But gaining the insights necessary for a 360-degree view of the customer isn’t easy. While marketers are using an array of channels and resources to better understand their customers, prospects and markets, just 3% say all of their sources of insight are completely integrated and aligned. The largest share – 48% – instead say that data is collected and analyzed separately and not well aligned.

Similarly, only 3% report excellent levels of understanding, insight and predictive knowledge about how the customer will react to experiences and engagement, with most saying they’re average on that topic or getting better at crafting omni-channel experiences.

Likely as a result, 47% marketers don’t feel confident that they are realizing the full revenue potential from their customers yet. And while a large share – 44% – are getting there, just 3% are not realizing their customers’ full revenue potential.

In order to maximize customer value over the next year, respondents are most likely to:

  • Connect fragmented campaigns into a complete customer journey across the entire organization (61%);
  • Add more personalized experiences based on customer data; and
  • Expand engagement channels to better meet customers where they want to engage.

About the Data: The survey was fielded among more than 150 marketers, three-quarters of whom currently reside in the US. IT (24%) and professional services (10%) were the most heavily represented industries. 60% of respondents come from B2B organizations; 13% from B2C; and 27% from hybrid companies. The majority (56%) are from companies with more than $1 billion in revenue.

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