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Marketers Look To Boost Agility, Responsiveness

Only 16% of marketers feel their organizations are extremely responsive to the consumer, according to the Chief Marketing Officer Council in a survey report released today.

According to 90% of the 150 brand marketers surveyed, responsiveness — or the ability to source, understand and then quickly react to feedback, preferences and needs — is important, if not critical, to the delivery of an exceptional customer experience, per “The Responsiveness Requirement: Meeting the Consumer When and Where It Matters to Drive Growth.” 

The study was undertaken this spring by the CMO Council in partnership with Danaher Corporation's Product Identification Platform companies in the second quarter of 2017. It investigated how organizations are faring when it comes to responding to customers and leveraging customer data and intelligence to deliver the right experience in the right moment and through the channel of the customer’s choice, whether it is a physical or digital touchpoint.

It includes input from more than 153 senior marketing executives. Fifty-four percent of respondents hold the title of CMO, head of marketing or senior vice president of marketing, and 33% represent brands with revenues in excess of $1 billion.

Marketers are struggling with a variety of issues including lacking the budget to move forward on more frequent updates to physical touchpoints, not having the data or intelligence to make changes based on customer reactions and behaviors, functional teams separating marketing from product and packaging decisions and vendors unable to work quickly or meet expedited timelines.

To remedy these challenges, marketers feel a cultural shift will need to occur, including new processes and tools to execute changes faster, as 60% of respondents believe a focus on customers over product will need to take place for any significant progress to be made, according to the report. 

Customers expect brands to engage at the speed of light, said Liz Miller, senior vice president of marketing for the CMO Council. Exceptional customer experiences from brands like Amazon and Starbucks have proven that rapid response, personalization and real-time (or near real-time) omnichannel engagements are possible at the push of a button or click of an app.

“This is engagement at the speed of digital, and the customer expects a similar level of responsiveness across all experiences, regardless of whether the channel is physical or digital,” Miller says in a release. 

On average, marketers feel they are able to respond or react to consumer feedback, requests, suggestions or complaints specific to marketing campaigns in less than two weeks. In fact, 78% of marketers surveyed are able to meet this fast expectation, with 43% actually saying that they are able to respond to the consumer within 24 hours. However, when it comes to physical touchpoints, 77% of respondents admit it can take up to 90 days to respond and react to customer feedback, suggestions or issues, with 36% needing up to three months to respond.

Agile marketing teams are looking to address this execution and engagement gap as 53% of respondents acknowledge that their goal is to deliver updates and make changes to physical touchpoints in under 14 days, with 20% of marketers hoping to see that gap narrow to just 24 hours to deliver updates across physical experiences.

Despite great advances in digital media delivery, the capability to make changes to physical media has lagged behind, says Joakim Weidemanis, group executive and vice president, product identification at Danaher Corp.

“Advances in technology today allow business leaders to demand more speed, higher quality and greater transparency from their partners and vendors than ever before,” Weidemanis says in a release. “Even more powerful for global brands is that such technology is available all over the world.”

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