Commentary

Still More Room To Please Shoppers

According to the latest research from the CMO Council, conducted in partnership with Bazaarvoice, while marketers have made strides in meeting the expectations of customers, there is still opportunity to reach deeper to create the competitive difference that cuts through the clutter, and leverage channels that truly make an impact.

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The findings are based on two online surveys, the first including insights from 166 senior marketers, and the second including insights from 2,100 North America-based consumers. On the surface, says the report, customers are making their preferences known to brands. But deeper, customers real desire is to be known, understood, and to receive real value in channels they use. Marketers, though, are struggling to connect data with action, still facing silos and disconnections that derail even the best intentions, concludes the report.

According to 84% of marketers, customer data has helped marketers understand what customers are browsing on company-controlled websites while 53% say data has helped track purchases from the brand, says the report. But research revealed that marketers are struggling to see beyond their own walls, as few are currently able to leverage data that informs them of actions and behaviors across other partner or retailer websites. Even fewer can access competitive intelligence to understand how customers are browsing other products outside of their own brand’s portfolio.

According to 47% of consumers surveyed, they are really looking for, from brands, are offers that align with their personal buying and browsing behaviors—something marketers simply can’t deliver if they don’t have visibility across the customer’s entire journey, especially beyond their own properties, says the report.

How Customer Data Helps Inform Brand And Marketing Initiatives (% of Respondents)

  • 84% Informs marketing of customers browsing on our brand's website
  • 53% Tracks purchases from our brand
  • 48% Monitors customer sentiment
  • 33% Recomends new customers likely to purchase our brand
  • 20% Informs marketing of customers browsing on our retail partners’ websites
  • 14% Informs marketing of customers browsing outside our brand and retail partners’ websites
  • 12% Informs marketing of customers browsingproducts other than our brand’s products
  • 4% Other

Source: CMO Council/Bazaarvoice, October 2016

 This limited view could be contributing to the lack of overall confidence that marketers have in the strength of their customer profiles: 41% of marketers say they are not very confident in the current state of their data because profiles are missing pieces, and only 14% are highly confident in their customer profiles, feeling they have insights into customer behavior, action, sentiment and intent.

To deliver the relevance their customers desire, marketers must expand their data horizons, looking well beyond marketing-controlled data resources and into those from across the organization and throughout the partner ecosystems, says the report.

Q: Do You Have A Formal Customer Data Strategy That Is Embraced Across The Organization? (% of Respondents)

  • Partially… there is a strategy in place for marketing, but not across the organization:   34%
  • We are establishing a strategy now:   26%
  • No, there is no strategy in place:   24%
  • Yes, there is an organization-wide strategy in place:   17%

 Source: CMO Council/Bazaarvoice, October 2016

For many marketers, a data strategy is more of a goal than a reality. First and foremost, says the report, 54% of marketers are looking for predictive intelligence based on customer intent and behaviors, 45% crave insights into customer lifetime value beyond an individual transaction, 45% look for indicators on which marketing action will lead to a profitable customer reaction, and others few are seeking out more retailer or in-store behavioral insights.

While nearly half of respondents are turning to customer-generated content as a source of customer intelligence and insights, only 9% of marketers can actually connect the dots between this content and customer shopping behaviors.

Q: Are you able to connect consumer-generated content insights with customer shopping behavior? (% of Respondents) 

  • Sometimes   43%
  • No    41%
  • Don't know   9%
  • Yes   8%

Source: CMO Council/Bazaarvoice, October 2016

When asked what advertising or promotional channels most impacted a consumer’s intention to buy, coupons and discounts, regardless of delivery channel, topped the list, according to 71% of consumers. 

Factors That Influence Consumers to Purchase

  • 71% say coupons and discounts
  • 40% suggestions from friends and family
  • 35% ads from a brand
  • 32% follow up on product browsed online or left in cart
  • 22% say brand recommendations of similar or complementary products

Source: CMO Council/Bazaarvoice, October 2016

Despite the willingness to receive coupons and savings, this should not be mistaken for a willingness to be bombarded with advertising. In fact, consumers admit that while brand advertising has impacted purchase decisions, television advertising can be the most ineffective and even the most bothersome. 

Least Effective Advertising Channels (% of Respondents)

  • 29%   Ads on TV
  • 20%   Ads on social network
  • 20%   Mobile text ads
  • 20%   Ads on the radio
  • 19%   Mobile display

Source: CMO Council/Bazaarvoice, October 2016

Email tops list as communication channel of choice, not mobile apps. Not only do consumers see emails as being among the more effective advertising channels, but email is also the overwhelming channel of choice. When asked how consumers would prefer to hear from brands, the overwhelming majority (86%) pointed to email. Surprisingly, only 12% selected mobile app messages as their communication channel of choice. 33% of consumers indicated they would prefer to hear from brands by text message, concludes the report.

For additional information, please visit Bazaarvoice here.

 

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