Digital marketers are facing an on-going battle getting to grips with making sense of huge amounts of data, with linkage, technology and organisational structure as the three key challenges in digital marketing, according to new research.
The biggest hurdles and key priorities for marketers this year are dependent on having accurate, enriched data, linked together in a central location for a complete customer view, that’s according to new findings published in Experian’s 2015 Global Marketer Report.
Linkage topped the list of barriers to cross-channel marketing success, moving from fourth place in 2014 to first place in 2015.
89% of marketers say that they have trouble achieving a Single Customer View and a third of those questioned see effective linkage as the main barrier (32%) to creating a truly cross-channel marketing strategy.
The biggest challenge identified by marketers for achieving that Single Customer View is poor data quality (cited by 43% of marketers), followed by siloed departments (39%) and the inability to link different technologies together (37%).
View an infographic showing key findings below:
Experian Marketing Services surveyed more than 1,000 marketers worldwide to identify the biggest opportunities and challenges for marketers. The annual report benchmarks some of the key issues that brands face trying to engage audiences with relevant messages, in an often complex digital environment.
Separate research conducted by Experian Data Quality, found that 91% of companies are using data in an attempt to optimise their customer experience. However, only 28% are creating real-time, triggered messaging across multiple channels with their data.
To deal with this issue, Experian helps organisations link data sets together to find unique consumer insights, significantly improving the way organisations meaningfully connect with their audiences.
“Consumers demand exceptional brand experiences but without the right strategy and technology for collecting, authenticating, linking and managing all the data coming into an organisation today, brands are unable to meet that demand,” said Ashley Johnston, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing at Experian Marketing Services. “Accurate, enriched data allows brands to stand out against competitors, create relevant interactions based on the deepest understanding of their customers, and build successful customer-acquisition strategies as their priorities suggest.”
“Achieving a Single Customer View is a key step in the right direction but fully optimised and consistent cross-channel engagement is still the Holy Grail for marketers around the globe. The in-depth process required in setting up a strategy presents a range of hurdles and there are other important issues to overcome in the process,” said Simon Martin of Experian Marketing Services UK. “It takes entire companies working together to get a better understanding of their customers to plan an engagement strategy that will resonate uniquely with each customer at every point of interaction.”
A question of linkage
The 2015 Digital Marketer identified several top barriers to achieving a fully integrated cross-channel marketing approach – no Single Customer View (32%), companies’ current technology (31%) and organisational structure of the business (31%) came out on top.
Around the world
The top challenges for marketers from around the world share many similarities, but priorities and barriers differ slightly by region.
• Single Customer View (SCV) and data linkage is seen as more of a challenge than any other, with nearly two-fifths (37%) of UK respondents saying this was their top challenge, beating organisational structure (33%) and the company’s current technology (32%) into second and third.
• UK marketers are more likely to believe they understand customer behaviour and have a clear roadmap toward cross-channel success (with only 21% and 20% respectively identifying these as challenges) compared to the global average of 25% apiece.
• The picture is very different to the UK. In Spain, only 17% of respondents reported the same issue with linkage, and the major problem was instead identified as the company’s current technology, with a high proportion (42%) agreeing that it held them back.
• French marketers follow a similar pattern, and are also more confident with their grasp of linkage, with 24% flagging it as an issue. Again, technology (38%) is the most pressing concern for French respondents.
• Organisational structure is identified as the most important issue in North America, with 38 percent of respondents rating this as their highest priority.
• Respondents were also more likely to say they don’t have a clear roadmap to success (26%) than the global average.
• In Japan, marketers are apparently much more confident in their technology, with only 9% reporting this as an issue. Instead, 44% struggle to link data to create an SCV.
• Meanwhile, respondents from Australia and New Zealand identify technology as the largest single challenge to their cross channel strategy (35%).