Experian Marketing Services’ annual Digital Marketer report always provides a fountain of interesting findings on where marketers’ see room for improvement, and this year’s is no exception.
It appears the focus in 2016 is on tuning into customers so that interaction is more bountiful, with technology seen as the enabler to make this happen.
Over half of the 1,190 professionals questioned chose ‘Enhancing our knowledge of our customers’ needs, attitudes and motivations’ as one of their top three priorities from a list of seven.
The third most popular answer from the list, selected by 42% of respondents, was ‘collecting, linking and managing data’. Some might argue that improving customer knowledge and better management of data go hand in hand.
Experian analysts suggest that understanding customers’ needs, wants and attitudes is a top challenge faced by marketers regardless of industry or company size.
Meanwhile, for marketers in enterprise companies (more than $1 billion in revenues), the more pressing challenges are to make messages contextually relevant, to make analytics actionable, and to overcome internal silos.
While the first two challenges are likely to be relevant to smaller organisations too, the last point tends to be unique to larger firms, where marketing teams are often broken out by channel.
Technology is inevitably the solution to overcoming marketing challenges, so it comes as little surprise that second on the list of marketers’ top priorities is ‘integrating technology to automate, orchestrate and manage cross-channel customer interactions’.
However, if technology really is to be the solution to improving customer interaction, firms have to be tuned into what software is appropriate for their organisation and will yield actionable customer insights. My advice: do your research and reach out to those with knowledge of the different marketing software.