When Your Email Bombs Out: What the CMO Council Survey Says

You may think it was the copy or subject line that sank your email campaign -- but it may be your failure to deliver a unified experience across all channels. And if so, you’re not alone. That’s our sad conclusion after reading the new report from the CMO Council with RedPoint.  

Of the 263 marketers surveyed, only 7% ”are always able to deliver real-time, data- driven experiences across all customer touchpoints and across both digital and physical engagements,” the CMO Council reports. That presumably includes email.

And it gets worse. Scrolling down, we learn that only 3% say that “all systems and technologies are totally connected, and data metrics and insights seamlessly transfer across all technology.”

That’s shocking, given the hype we hear daily about the state of data technology. At the same time, 25% say “there is little or no connection between systems — any connection in data, intelligence or metrics is made through spreadsheets or offline tools.”


That said, it may be that email is an exception, as in the area of personalization. 

“We often take the idea of personalization to mean that my experience is completely different from someone else’s experience so that none of us has the same interaction with a brand,” one anonymous marketing director comments.

“We can certainly deliver that from an email and digital marketing perspective, but the bottom line is that personalization needs to add value for the customer when they interact with us, so the degree of personalization can vary based on the context.”

Right. And obviously, other channels take some time to catch up to email. “While email and digital insight delivery is seamless, being able to create next best actions based on those insights can take two to four weeks from a marketing perspective,” the study states.

There’s one problem with those comments, however: Email is seen as an afterthought. It can deliver limited personalization, and can be quickly deployed. But it’s very much out there on its own.

The answer to that is to focus on the accuracy and governance of data to provide more tailored engagements in all channels, as the report states.

But here’s the quandary: Why are companies in this shape? It’s much as you would expect -- 54% of the respondents have a budget that is not sufficient to pursue a “truly data-driven” customer strategy. And 43% fail to fully embrace a customer-centric culture. At the same time, 31% lack the right data foundation, and 30% have a cultural aversion to change. And 28% suffer from a lack of “unified understanding of what data means to the bottom line.”

Our cynical advice? Do the best you can with the tools you have. And don’t worry if you’re segregated in the email silo. The survey found that 78% feel “the CMO should be leading the customer experience strategy and the charge toward business-driving engagements.” So blame it on the CMO. 


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