Slow-Time Data: Brands Are Having Trouble Tracking Customer Behavior

It may sound unlikely given the tools that are now available, but marketers are challenged when it comes to collecting — and using — customer behavioral data. 

While 75% say real-time experience data is critical to their business, only 47% are now collecting it, according to Strengthen Customer Retention Data And Engagement With Behavioral Data, a study from Acoustic, conducted by Forrester.

Moreover, only 45% are pursuing journey orchestration using customer behavioral signals. And 67% say their company has too many point solutions with overlapping capabilities.

In addition, 73% find marketing automation at least moderately challenging, while 69% say the same about audience management and segmentation. Another 67% are flummoxed by personalization of customer outreach. 

Here are the functions they find very challenging:

  • Marketing automation — 31%
  • Audience management and segmentation — 29%
  • Personalization of customer outreach — 28%
  • Analyzing customer data and signals — 28%
  • Reporting/ROI of marketing efforts — 27%
  • Journey orchestration — 25%
  • Collecting customer behavioral signals — 24%
  • Content marketing — 21%
  • Customer query support — 20%



Just what do we mean by behavioral data?

“Customer behavioral data has evolved into a sophisticated and valuable range of nuanced signals that can indicate how consumers interact with a brand, both today and in the future,” the study states. “These signals may include email and site clicks, hover, time spent on page, on-site marketing impressions, content consumption, repeat visitor sessions, and soft conversions.”

With that in mind, companies are measuring these customer behavioral signals: 

  • Channel engagement data — 68%
  • Web/mobile data — 63%
  • Customer data — 56%
  • Real-time experience — 47%
  • 1% say they re not collecting customer behavioral signals at this time

“As brands attempt to navigate the changing privacy landscape, investing in first-party data strategies that enable privacy-compliant personalization is critical,” says says Mark Cattini, CEO of Acoustic. ”Yet Forrester’s findings demonstrate that marketers continue to struggle with collecting and leveraging customer behavioral signals throughout the customer journey,” 

Forrester surveyed 1,203 customer engagement decision-makers at companies in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America in January 2024. The study found that North American respondents did not "focus on new customer acquisition as much as their peers did in other regions.”



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