In fact, 70% of these executives say they continue to have trouble capturing the attention of customers and 65% are struggling to integrate and share customer data across the organization (Web, call centers, etc.) in order to develop a single view of the customer.
These are just some of the obstacles facing marketing executives and uncovered by the study, based on interviews conducted with 175 marketing heads in the U.S. and U.K. earlier this year. Other challenges frequently encountered by a large percentage of marketers include measuring the return on their marketing investments due to shortcomings in a company's ability to integrate its sales, marketing and customer service tools.
The study also discovered that a majority (58%) of marketing executives frequently struggle to shorten the cycle time it takes to create and launch a marketing campaign. Nearly 20% of companies participating in the survey take more than four months to develop and launch a campaign, and 33% take between two and four months. The average company's campaign cycle time is approximately 2.5 months.
In addition to uncovering marketing's principal challenges, the study sheds light on what marketing heads consider their most pressing needs. These include access to more accurate and fresher data (68%), integration between the numerous customer touch points (67%), better overall customer strategy (67%) and more collaboration, both within the function and with the sales and customer service departments (59%).
“Customers are becoming less loyal to brands. They use new sources of information to build impressions and make decisions in buying a product or service. Yet marketing executives are not equipped with the tools they need to keep up with the changing customer expectations, achieve greater share of wallet and maximize the lifetime value of customers,” said Pat O'Halloran, partner at Accenture's Customer Relationship Management practice. “Marketing executives need the right information at the right time to be more responsive to ever changing customer behavior,” added O'Halloran.
While input from interviewees was largely consistent between those in the U.S. and the U.K., there were some differences worth noting. For instance, establishing a single view of the customer and measuring campaign ROI were viewed as much more of a problem in the U.K. than in the U.S.
While a virtually equal percentage of U.S. and U.K. respondents noted taking more than two months to create and execute a marketing campaign, 25% of those in the U.S. said they take more than four months to do so compared with just 9% of their British counterparts. And, a far greater percentage of U.K. respondents than those in the U.S. cited the need for more accurate, fresher data and stronger integration between customer touch points: 79% vs. 60%, and 75% vs. 61%, respectively.