With Customers Expecting More Personalization, Majority of Marketers Consider Customer Experience a “Key Business Priority”

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New DMA Research Examines Goals and Hurdles for Marketers Improving Personalization

Today, the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) released a new report – “Elevating the Customer Experience” – showing more than 95% of marketers view enhancing customer experiences is an area of focus for their organization, with 57% calling it a “top business priority.” This priority is driven by customers expecting personalized experiences (according to 71% of marketers) and improved customer loyalty (61%). The survey, conducted by Winterberry Group and sponsored by Pitney Bowes, also found that only 19% of marketers feel they deliver customer experience “substantially better” than their competition.

“The most valuable currency a brand can hold today is a customer’s trust, and a key component of nurturing trust is delivering relevant experiences,” said Neil O’Keefe, DMA’s SVP of Content & Marketing. “Facing an ever-increasing volume and velocity of data, marketers are collaborating with business partners to become more informed and more adept at utilizing data to deliver relevant customer experiences. This effective, responsible use of data makes the digital ecosystem a better place for everyone involved.”

“Businesses today are on data overdrive. Within any given organization, customer information is being collected across the business, and few of these organizations have figured out how to break down the siloes between data,” said Chris Hall, VP of Customer Engagement Solutions, Pitney Bowes. “Customer experience is king in the business world. It is the new battleground of differentiation. Organizational leaders must begin investing in solutions that allow them to analyze data quickly, to create a single view of their customer, allowing engagement with customers at their moments of need."

“Today, the practice of ‘customer experience’ requires orchestrating a dynamic alchemy of content, offers and brand touchpoints to engage and delight an increasingly sophisticated consumer,” said Jonathan Margulies, Managing Director, Winterberry Group. “Marketers are clearly embracing the challenge inherent in that complexity—and unearthing real value from the effort.”

The report also examines the most significant challenges regarding enhanced customer experiences. Survey respondents identified lack of sufficient audience data and siloed organizational structures as the main inhibitors of enhanced customer engagements. This finding aligns with the recently-released report “The Data-Centric Organization 2018,” which found that only 9.8% of marketers would describe their organizations as “extremely” data-centric today, while 90% either have or are developing an enterprise strategy centered on customer data.

Practitioners also expressed general satisfaction with third‐party partners and service providers, and continue to look to partners for strategic guidance on customer experience. Beyond introducing more impactful technologies, marketing practitioners say their service provider partners can add the most value by supporting cross‐channel efforts as well as introducing best practices and strategies learned from other market leaders.

About DMA (http://www.thedma.org): Founded in 1917 and driving the data and marketing agenda for a full century, the Data & Marketing Association (“DMA”) champions deeper consumer engagement and business value through the innovative and responsible use of data-driven marketing. DMA’s brand-leading membership is made up of over 1,400 organizations that are today’s innovative tech and data firms, marketers, agencies, service providers and media companies. By representing the entire marketing ecosystem—demand side and supply side—and engaging more than 100,000 industry professionals annually, DMA is uniquely positioned to convene and guide the industry to bring win/win solutions to the market and ensure that innovative and disruptive marketing technology and techniques can be quickly applied for ROI.

DMA advances the data-driven marketing industry and serves its members through four principal pillars of leadership: advocating for marketers’ ability to responsibly gather and refine detailed data to identify and fulfill customer needs and interests; innovating to bring solutions forward to the data & marketing ecosystem’s most vexing challenges; educating today’s members of the data & marketing ecosystem to grow and lead marketing organizations in the ever-increasing omnichannel world; and connecting industry participants to stay current, learn best practices and gain access to emerging solutions through &THEN – the largest global event for data-driven marketing – and DMA’s portfolio of other live events.

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Mike Uehlein
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