Marketing managers still have big problems breaking open data silos and bringing customer data together to realize this vision. Second, significant organizational changes are currently taking place in marketing departments and in collaboration with other departments such as sales and customer service to meet changing customer expectations. Third, respondents expect a tremendous increase in the use of marketing technologies over the next two years. Last but not least, marketing is currently experiencing an AI revolution.
The respondents assume that their AI usage will increase by more than 50 percent in the next two years in order to significantly increase efficiency and personalization. Below are some more detailed explanations of the four trends. Despite data-related hurdles, marketing specialists are striving to achieve a networked customer journey
In order to create a consistent customer journey, it is crucial that the individual steps build on each other seamlessly and fit into the context of each previous customer interaction. However, the number of channels through which customers interact is growing. As a result, it is becoming increasingly complex to unify data and ensure a unified customer view to achieve this goal.
Creating a common, unified customer view, leveraging data from multiple sources, and budget constraints are the top 3 challenges marketing executives face in creating a networked customer journey.
67 percent of respondents say a networked customer journey across all touch points and channels is critical to their success, but only 23 percent say they are highly satisfied with their ability to use customer data for this purpose.
On average, respondents now spend 34 percent of their budget on channels they said they didn’t even know five years ago. And they expect it to be as high as 40 percent by 2019.
Shifting priorities requires organizational change
Providing a personalized customer experience throughout the entire customer journey is no longer a matter for the marketing department, but includes many other departments and contact points such as customer service.
64 percent of respondents (57 percent in Germany) believe that a successful customer journey strategy requires organizational change and are working to redefine collaboration between sales, service and marketing teams.
Top marketing teams work closely with sales and service teams and value mutual communication. High-performer companies report 2.2 times more frequently than under-performers that marketing consistently supplies sales with leads, 2.2 times more frequently draw the service’s attention to special offers and promotions, and 2.5 times more frequently keep marketing out of an open service case.
As the boundaries between marketing and customer service become increasingly blurred, 88 percent of high performers manage requests and service requests through social media channels with the service.
Among under-performers, this compares to only 37 percent. 61 percent of respondents in Germany are extremely or very satisfied with their cooperation with other departments and 57 percent are also very satisfied with their ability to address customers via different channels.
Marketing technology causes a stir with focus on IoT, AI and DMP
In order to remain competitive, marketing specialists are investing in new technologies. The largest increase in technology use is in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). There are also top performers who cite data management platforms (DMP) as the most important technology for personalized marketing.
66 percent of respondents work with IoT/networked devices and 23 percent plan to do so in the next two years.
Successful marketers use a variety of marketing technologies to deliver targeted, personalized experiences to their customers. Top performers are 14 times more intensive technology users than under performers.
Marketers consider a DMP to be the most important technology for achieving 1-to-1 marketing across all contact points. Successful teams are 4.3 times more likely to intensively use a DMP as an under performer.
Marketing takes up the challenge of artificial intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) helps marketers better understand customer behavior and predict their next steps. Organizations that invest in AI to test recommendations and predict results are already seeing positive results.
Approximately 50 percent of marketing executives already use AI and more than a quarter plan to use it in the next two years.
In addition, nearly three-quarters of high performers say they already use AI technology in their marketing programs. For 57 percent of respondents who use AI, it is absolute or very important to achieve 1-to-1 marketing across every contact point.