Omnichannel is becoming more than a buzzword. Providing seamless experiences across channels and consistency in messaging and engagement is a 'must' for companies. In our connected world, the stakes are high for delivering CX that customers expect and want. Therefore, it's imperative for marketers to take on a greater role in evolving the experiences customers receive when interacting with their brands.
Two separate studies published last week shined a spotlight on both marketers' growing role in enabling better customer experiences. One revealed marketers' increasing role in seizing the customer experience, while the other highlighted the challenges marketers face in knowing their customers intimately.
The Economist Intelligence Unit's "The Path to 2020: Marketers Seize the Customer Experience," sponsored by Marketo, revealed that 86 percent of marketers will own the end-to-end customer experience by 2020.
The report surveyed 500 global CMOs and senior marketing leaders to examine the shifting marketing tech trends in enterprises. Some findings include:
- Eighty-seven percent of marketers believe their departments will exercise significant influence over business strategy by 2020, with 78 percent expecting to have the same influence over company technology decisions.
- Fifty-three percent of marketers aim to realize both customer loyalty and brand perception through a more positive customer experience.
- Mobile devices and networks (59%), personalization technologies (45%), and IoT (39%) are the three technology-specific trends that will have the biggest impact on marketing organizations by 2020.
"With 86 percent of CMOs and other marketing leaders of the mind that they will own the customer experience by 2020, it is essential that organizations maintain a singular, comprehensive view of their customers. This is the key to building enduring customer relationships and ultimately successful brands," said Sanjay Dholakia, chief marketing officer, Marketo.
A seamless view may be essential to enabling modern CX, but according to a second report, it's still difficult to achieve. Experian Marketing Services' annual global study finds that the top challenge and priority for marketers is knowing their customers. In the "2016 Digital Marketer Report" 52 percent named enhancing their customer knowledge as one of their top three priorities.
Ashley Johnston, senior vice president of global marketing at Experian Marketing Services, said, "Today's brand marketers realize the significance of knowing their customers, but it's still problematic. Our research found that regardless of the company size or industry, marketers around the globe still find this to be a top challenge."
Additional findings include:
- Eighty-one percent of marketers report challenges in achieving a single customer view.
- Enterprises cite making messages contextually relevant as their top challenge.
- Seventy percent of respondents work in marketing teams that are integrated either fully or somewhat, up from 61 percent in 2015.
Personalized customer messaging and interactions across channels and devices are essential for companies to foster customer loyalty and drive purchases. However, the rules of personalization are changing. Each customer and his or her channel and communication preferences require the ability to adapt in real time. This need for flexibility relies on data. Marketers may find themselves assuming more of a leadership role in driving the customer experience in their enterprises, but without having a firm grasp of their customers' data, they'll never fully achieve the level of personalization that consumers expect and want in 2016 and beyond.