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Industry Research : Marketers are Still No Closer to Understanding the Customer Journey
In four years, marketers have made little-to-no progress in joining the dots across their customers' journeys. This fact is included as part of new research unveiled by Call-based Marketing Automation company ResponseTap in partnership with Econsultancy, focusing on companies' and agencies' understanding of the customer journey, unveiling the marketers' view of the omni-channel experience.
When comparing marketers' views on integrated touchpoints between 2011 and 2014, the lack of change is crystal clear: when asked about it in 2011, 38% of the respondents said that the customer's journey was understood, but that there was very little management across touchpoints. However, when asked the same question four years later in 2014, the statistics remained the same.
This finding is surprising, given the technological evolution during these past years, especially when it comes to collecting customers' data. Surely, if the journey was understood in 2011, there should be some noticeable improvements by now? In addition, only 46% of the company respondents and 33% of the agency respondents consider it very important for businesses to join up online and offline activities, which is technically the definition of an omni-channel strategy.
So, why are marketers stagnating? The research identifies some of the barriers preventing organisations from getting a better understanding of the customer journey, the top one being siloed internal structures. Indeed, two-fifths (39%) of the agency respondents identified siloed organisational structures as a barrier, while 21% of marketers agreed that a lack of sharing between departments was an issue.
Call centres are one of the most relevant offline channels for businesses, cited by 66% of responding companies in our research as important, yet only 37% agreed that they are using this call centre data to understand the customer journey. The process should be seamless and shared between the different internal departments; 49% of companies and agencies pointed to digital marketing or ecommerce operations as responsible, while 24% identified traditional marketing departments or offline parts of the business such as call centres - only 27% of them said it was an even mixture.
Bhavesh Vaghela, Chief Marketing Officer at ResponseTap, said:
"After seeing the results, we have to understand why marketers stagnated for four years: were they biased by digital strategies, or are there other reasons? Is digital stealing the show, to the detriment of the other traditional channels? If so, with 66% of the companies identifying call centres as the most relevant offline channel for their business, it is becoming essential to make the link between all the businesses' activities: it's now, or never."
"For an innovative business to deliver a premium customer experience, clarity around who in the business owns the customer journey is key. Ensuring that the internal teams are working coherently together across all channels will determine how successful the customer experience is."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, April 1, 2015