Brands Seeking Omni-Channel Strategies Still Find Answers In Data

Some 88% of marketers are moving to an omni-channel campaign strategy to make all purchase experiences consistent, but what they use to create these strategies becomes the key to success, according to a report released Tuesday.

Respondents in Merkle’s survey of 400 marketers at U.S. and UK brands report the expansion of personalization efforts and an increasing focus on the customer in both their investments in marketing technology and measurement methods.

The quarterly customer relationship management (CRM) report -- Q1 2020 Customer Engagement Report -- focuses on how marketers deliver personalized experiences.

New to the report is an expanded data sample of 400 marketers at major U.S. and U.K. brands spanning across retail and consumer goods, high-tech, financial, travel, media and entertainment, health, insurance, and nonprofit. 

Despite the shift to an omni-channel strategy, just one-quarter of respondents focus on real-time personalization tactics, with the remaining three-quarters still focused on pre-defined personalization or somewhere in the middle.

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Survey respondents say they use a variety of marketing tactics to gain information about their customers to personalize campaigns. Some 72% said they offer promotions, while 69% cite loyalty, 53% use opt-in tactics, and 40% rely on log-ins.

Engagement metrics have become a strong measurement tool when measuring the effectiveness of marketing efforts. Seventy-one percent of respondents say engagement is key, yet just 40% cite multi-touch attribution as a tactic.

Some 59% cite absolute conversion and sales, followed by 55% who point to customer retention rates, 54% who cite ROI and 19% who struggle to measure effectiveness with any tools.

The report also shows how marketers can explore their measurement effectiveness by looking at how brands align with their key performance indicators.

Just 54% have clear definitions for each metric, while 63% say their teams work together to align on a core set of KPIs.

A strong relationship between the company’s IT department and marketing is important.

When asked how closely marketers work with their company’s IT teams to understand marketing technology, 65% said they work together very closely, while 19% said they work somewhat closely, 5% not very closely, and 1% not at all. Another 1% are not so sure.

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