Marketers readily believe that Big Data is a key enabler of personalization. However, according to a recent report conducted by the CMO Council, personalization of interactions is only happening at the marketing campaign level with email, direct mail, the Web, and social media engagements. In fact, some 65 percent say frontline resources do not have access to social media intelligence to leverage in personalized outreach. This has resulted in deficiencies in the delivery of real-time, account-specific customer insight that can boost the performance and productivity of sales personnel, service and support groups, and channel partners.
The report, "Know More to Grow More," which details findings from a 48-question online survey of 230 senior marketing executives fielded in Q3 of 2013, highlights the most notable areas of deficiency. These include fragmented ownership and quality of customer data, poor levels of CRM system integration, lack of prospect prioritization, and insufficient contextual selling.
Such shortcomings point to a lack of integrated customer information. In fact, just 9 percent of respondents said their organizations have customer intelligence systems that deliver real-time, account-based news, social insights, customer developments, and market shifts to the sales organization. And only 37 percent have systems that integrate and share any level of customer information between sales and service, support, channel, in-store, or field assets. Based on the findings, most companies received failing grades in having accurate and reliable customer data and having frontline access to the right level of customer data.
Among the key gaps in the customer intelligence engine:
- Data is only updated periodically (24 percent), with only 17 percent updating data constantly and in real time.
- Only 21 percent say systems are able to automatically notify the frontline to developments within customer accounts or markets, limiting its ability to capitalize on opportunistic selling within critical markets and accounts.
Other recent reports document similar findings. A recent global research study by Teradata found that almost half of marketers (45 percent) believe that data is the most underutilized asset in the marketing organization.
And this study, which was based on an analysis of millions of B2B contact records from customer and prospect databases, revealed that more than half of the companies assessed had a "data health" score of less than 2.7 on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the healthiest) across four practice areas: record duplication, record completeness, phone connectability, and email deliverability.
While technology is a key component of enabling customer data integration across an enterprise, so is building a culture of collaboration. For organizations to strengthen its Big Data and knowledge-sharing deficiencies, they must repair both areas. As such, today's enterprises face an immediate challenge of connecting relevant systems, breaking down silos, and creating synergies between departments in a manner that is scalable, manageable, and reliable.