Customer engagement vital but marketers lack a single integrated view: Report

New report of Australian marketers by Econsultancy and Responsys finds lack of internal resources, technology, data access and vision are keeping marketers from moving from a campaign mindset to an engagement one

Marketers agree customer engagement is vital to their company, yet the majority lack the single customer view and strategic focus needed to effectively drive it, a new report claims.

The first State of Customer Engagement Report produced by digital marketing-focused firms Econsultancy and Responsys, found 46 per cent of Australian marketers surveyed still centre their marketing activity around sending campaigns and not the customer journey. A significant hurdle for 56 per cent of respondents was not having a single view of each of their customers.

More than one in three also claims their organisation is too focused on short-term objectives, and a similar ratio believes their marketing campaigns lack direction. This is despite 94 per cent citing customer engagement as important to their company today.

When it comes to achieving individual customer engagement, 65 per cent of respondents cited an inability to effectively manage data as a major stumbling block, and 71 per cent claimed insufficient internal resources. Twenty-three per cent believe a lack of vision is their biggest barrier.

Of those surveyed, 58 per cent said they lack the adequate tools and technology to address customers on a one-to-one basis. Just 35 per cent said they are well equipped to measure the value of customers. In addition, only 13 per cent of respondents claim to be using data effectively.

The report also found 87 per cent of marketers are engaged in cross-channel activity yet 69 per cent rate the cross-channel experience of their customers as either ‘average’ or ‘poor’.

“CMOs and marketers must focus on the engagement economy, rather than the campaign economy of the last century,” Responsys Asia-Pacific president, Paul Cross, told CMO. “Customers want to be individually recognised, not sent the same messaging.

“The important first step to driving customer engagement is to understand them at an individual level. The challenge is accessing data, which could be because it is located in multiple systems, or the data is not in a format that is easy to work with for marketers.”

CMOs need to create an envisaged goal for their organisation, that includes not just the softer benefits of marketing, but also the hard, long-term value and profitability benefits of a customer-centric view, Cross continued.

“The c-level team is looking to drive competitive advantage, and through multiple research and survey it has been made clear that higher customer engagement drives all things that create sustainable and long-term competitive advantage,” he added.

The Econsultancy/Responsys report was based on an online survey of 50 senior marketing representatives from large and enterprise-sized brands followed by qualitative research with companies including Accenture, AMP, Betfair, Kimberly-Clark and Virgin Mobile.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia or take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia.

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