Capturing one complete view of the customer journey remains ridden with obstacles, yet it is imperative for success. A recent study reveals weaknesses in data-driven marketing, with just 6% admitting they have access to one view of customer data across their enterprise.
The remainder of the 171 brand marketers and agencies participating in Signal's study continue to struggle. The numerous challenges stem from an inability to collect and merge data across devices and channels. Nearly two-thirds say gaps in cross-channel data collection or severe shortcomings in their platforms and strategies hinder their ability to achieve the complete customer view.
An overwhelming majority know that building a unified view of the customer is essential, but only a tiny sliver of marketers have reached the goal. Some 43% admit to having a solution in place, but there are gaps. About 19% have implemented a solution, but find its shortcomings severely limit its practical effectiveness, and 32% have yet to implement a solution at all.
The Signal study, Preparing For Cross-Channel Success: Solving the Identity Puzzle, found that 56% of marketers are not happy with their cross-channel progress, or with their ability to collect and match data. They say this remains a nearly impossible task.
Data fragmentation remains the main obstacle to achieving an unobstructed view, with more than half of marketers saying incomplete or disconnected data hinders critical goals such as marketing measurement and personalization.
Despite the challenges, marketers rank cross-channel identity and a unified view as an essential strategy that will allow them to offer a better user experience, strengthen customer relationships and increase the return on marketing investments.
The March study also shows a preference to manage unified customer-view efforts in-house, with only 7% of organizations fully outsourcing the projects. The others are generally working with a patchwork of technologies and providers to accumulate the capabilities they need. More than two-thirds combine a variety of in-house and outside resources. The biggest issue here involves piecemeal combinations that typically have glaring gaps in data.
Marketers may recognize mobile as the next success story, but less than 40% are able to collect and integrate mobile app data, and half are unable to connect their CRM data.
Other offline channels, such as point-of-sale, call center and kiosk, have received the least attention. One-quarter or fewer respondents can currently integrate such data, despite the potential to wow consumers as they move between digital and physical environments.