Improving the customer experience was the top-ranked priority of more than 14,000 marketers and ecommerce professionals surveyed by Econsultancy for its 2017 Digital Intelligence Briefing, and a key point of differentiation will involve focusing on the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
At the same time, only 1 in 10 of the surveyed marketers said it had a well-defined strategy in place.
According to Jeff Rajeck, Econsultancy’s Asia-Pacific research analyst, another piece of research may explain why. When nearly 1,000 marketers were surveyed for a report on "Understanding the Customer Journey in Asia Pacific," only 17% reported having an “advanced” understanding of the customer journey. The rest reported a lot of missing parts and lacking the systems, analysis and data skills to effectively interpret the mobile journey.
Two-thirds of the companies said they rely on email data to figure out the customer journey.
Part of the problem, according to Rajeck’s analysis of the report, is that 54% of the survey respondents say the marketing department is in charge of the customer journey when it may make more sense for the insights department to own this function.
One recommendation is to create a customer experience team that transcends departments and because customer insights often act as a bridge, he believes there is logic to putting responsibility there. Those who have more advanced understanding of the journey, according to the research, have already assigned responsibility there.
The other outstanding issue that emerged is too many touchpoints. When asked about the greatest barriers preventing an understanding, 50% of agency respondents and 44% of clients said complexity and the number of touchpoints are the leading issue.
On the client side, the remaining points of contention in order of importance were:
Agencies, on the other hand, saw silo-based organizational structures and lack of leadership as the key barriers, with 34% ranking these as the second most important issues.
Rajeck recommends diagramming all systems in the marketing stack — labeling their purpose and how customers interact with them to ease touchpoint analysis and enhance understanding of the customer journey.
What has been your experience? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.
Marketing as a department and marketing as a customer centric function as envisioned above are disconnected. In most large organizations, outside of CPG anyway, Marketing is a department that brings traffic, buys media, sets up events and prints brochures. Their mandate is quite remote from the customer centric end to end journeys mentioned here. This is by far the metric that dwarfs everything else, so "34%" stuff above just suggests that the sample population for this back of the envelope study was far from representative.