Report: Martech making CX delivery more complex

New reserch into CX expectations between marketers and consumer shine light on martech complexity, data challenges and contradictions in expectations

Three in four marketers say technology is making it harder rather than easier to deliver the personalised experiences customers are seeking, a new report claims.

The global survey was commissioned by CMS vendor, Acquia, undertaken by Regina Corso Consulting and entitled Closing the CX Gap: Customer Experience Trends Report 2019. The research was based on a survey of 5000 consumers and 500 marketers across Australia, North America and Europe, and highlighted several disconnects between marketers and customers when it comes to brand engagement and the expectations both have of such experiences.

For example, nearly half of Australian consumers participating in the survey said brands aren’t meeting their expectations when it comes to customer experience. In addition, two-thirds of consumers could not recall when a brand exceeded their expectations.

In contrast, 89 per cent of local marketers felt they are hitting the mark in delivering engaging customer experiences. This is even as 71 per cent of them felt disappointed by their own experiences as consumers.

Globally, the report showed 60 per cent of consumers believed brands were not doing a good job of using their personal preferences to predict their needs, and 55 per cent agreed brands are behind the times with how they interact with customers both online and offline.

As a result, 61 per cent of consumers felt brands that should know them simply don’t, lacking basic insights such as purchase history and personal preferences. And it’s impacting loyalty, with 78 per cent of global consumers more included to be loyal to brands that understand them.

Clearly data utilisation is playing a role. The report showed consumers prefer having a personalised brand experience, yet many are sceptical about whether brands have their best interests at heart and were concerned about the information brands held on them. This was despite 92 per cent of marketers feeling their organisations are doing a jog job of ensuring compliance with data regulations.

A major hurdle in meeting expectations, according to marketers, is their utilisation of technology. Acquia’s report found 72 per cent of Australian marketers saw technology as making it harder to offer customers personalised experience, rather than easier. This was a result of siloed technology and an inability to get a clear, unified view of the customer.

Despite this, at least six in 10 marketers globally are planning to spend more on marketing technology in 2019.

Another big challenge is data silos, and 83 per cent of global marketers reported customer data living in silos across their organisation, impeding efforts to personalise experiences further.

Yet there were several points of discrepancy where marketers appeared to be tougher on CX than the consumers they serve. One was online experience, where marketers were clearly the harshest critics on experience. The report found 44 per cent of global marketers strongly agreed online experiences needed to be made easier, against 18 per cent of consumers.

What’s more, 77 per cent of marketers agreed they’d abandon a brand which had a poor online experience, against 63 per cent of consumers. The report was unclear as to what impact this is having, although it’s perhaps unsurprising marketers are more acutely aware of the CX challenges they face.  

Commenting on the findings, Acquia director of marketing for Asia-Pacific and Japan, Nicole Stirling, said the research shows technology has become more of a barrier than an enabler for great customer experience.

“As the marketing landscape becomes more competitive and demanding, marketers need the very best insights, tools and resources to compete. Yet companies and data remain more siloed than ever,” she said. “Marketers now need to take back control and put in place strategies that provide the right level of personalisation and data privacy to drive compelling customer relationships.”

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