The Mechanics Of Customer Satisfaction: DMA Study Cites Obstacles And Goals

Brands are trying to improve their customer experience. But they are hampered by problems ranging from lack of data to siloization, according to "Elevating the Customer Experience," a study by Winterberry Group presented by the Data & Marketing Association and sponsored by Pitney Bowes.  

Of the professionals surveyed, 95.6% say elevating the customer experience is a business priority, with 57% calling it is a top one. And many want to improve their data management to achieve a holistic view of their buyers.

By improving the experience, firms are better able to meet customer expectations (70.8%), improve customer loyalty (60.5%), execute omnichannel strategies (57.4%), improving conversion rates (50.1%) and reach other business goals.

Personalization is a challenge, with 50.3% seeking to deepen their efforts and 49.4% hoping to improve their cross-channel customer identification. In addition, 40.2% want to improve the “persistence” of their content personalization (delivery of personalized experiences without requiring customer login/identity verification).



In line with this, the study also found that 62% of marketers need more sophisticated segmentation strategies. The answer is email, some sources say.  

“Email marketers are ideally positioned to deliver personalized and highly relevant communications direct to the customer on their desktop or mobile phone,” says Neil O’Keefe, senior vice president, content & marketing for DMA.

He adds: “With email volume escalating its imperative for marketers to elevate the customer experience through personalization. 80% of customers will leave a brand as a result of a poor personalization experience. Tailoring the message by better incorporating data into the messaging and product recommendations will allow email marketers to stand out among the competition. 

O’Keefe continues that “71% of marketers say customer expectations drive CX prioritization and this research shows that businesses are investing in personalization and CX as a priority.”

How do marketers think they’re doing?

Of those polled, 32.4% feel they are on a par with their competitors, and 19% say they are substantially better. Only 2% admit they are substantially worse. 

Their main obstacles are:

  • Lack of sufficient data — 39.6%
  • Siloed organizational structure and/or fragmented technology management — 38.3% 
  • Lack of measurement and analytics tools supporting customer experience — 32.8%
  • Lack of investment and/or support from senior management — 23.1%
  • Lack of appropriate content/content is too difficult or expensive to create — 22.7%
  • Lack of internal expertise and/or talent — 22.4%
  • Don’t have access to or the means to acquire the appropriate third-party technology/tools — 18.5% 
  • Lack of case studies and best practices in market — 18.5% 

What can vendors do to help?

Beyond the obvious service of providing better technologies, they can support cross-channel efforts by helping firms follow best practices and strategies learned from market leaders.

Brands also hope to do a better job of offer management. Their objectives:

  • Behavioral targeting — 54.9% 
  • Better timing of marketing messages — 42.9%
  • Intensified demographic segmentation — 38.2%
  • Integration of richer customer transaction data — 35.3% 
  • Expansion of creative versioning — 27.8%

The findings are based on a survey of 455 advertisers, marketers, publishers, technology developers and marketing service providers, most based in North America.

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