Despite massive amounts of data, retailers are failing to keep pace with consumer expectations for frictionless, omnichannel experiences. According to new research from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and RedPoint Global, only 7% of marketers are able to deliver real-time, data-driven engagements across both physical and digital.
In addition, only 5% of those surveyed are able to see the bottom-line impact of real-time engagements due to disconnected systems.
The study highlights a large gap that still exists between collecting data and making it actionable for retail marketers.
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“While the customer wants to see real-time responses and reactions to their behaviors, what we are finding is that marketers are still dealing with complex processes and offline data, which is delaying their access to the intelligence they need to create the next best action with a customer,” explained Liz Miller, senior VP of marketing for the CMO Council. “These delays are further increased due to a lack of clear ownership over the customer experience strategy as a whole, with multiple teams and departments battling for customer attention across a growing, fragmented landscape of data and engagement systems.”
However, many marketers are trying to make engagement improvements through new technologies. For example, in the past five years, 42% of marketers have installed more than 10 individual solutions across marketing, data, analytics or customer engagement technologies. An additional 9% have brought on more than 20 individual tools or solutions.
Also, 44% of those surveyed said they have spent more than 25% of their marketing budgets to replace existing technologies. Despite the implementation and discarding of various data, only 3% of marketers believe they are totally connected and aligned across all systems.
But who needs to make sure these changes happen across retails and brands? According to the research, 78% of marketers agree that it's the job of the company CMO to drive a data-driven customer strategy. However, only 19% are actually charged with this job today and 51% develop these strategies through teams.
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Marketers told researchers that the gap between strategy and execution are due to the fractured execution of systems and siloed customer data. In fact, only 6% believe they get a complete view of their customer from all data sources.
Again, the biggest gap exists in turning the data into real-time action. In fact, only 43% of those surveyed said data was not the issue, but the ability to use it in real time was the problem.
Other roadblocks cited in the study include budget limitations, 54%; failure to embrace a customer-centric culture, 43%; lack of senior-level support, 32%; and lack of solid data foundation to build a strategy, 31%.