Don’t make your marketers experience a spaghetti junction

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Throughout my 10 years at a leading direct marketing and CRM agency, a chief issue we solved for our clients was what we affectionately referred to as a spaghetti junction.

180469566It’s a nickname often given to a massively intertwined road traffic interchange that resembles a plate of spaghetti, like this one in Los Angeles that I used to commute on every day. How did I endure that? Podcasts. Many, many podcasts. But as you can imagine, it also resembles how customer data in many companies appears before it’s integrated.

Times were simpler then – before we took Uber anywhere or could order pizza with just an emoji and a tweet. But it was still a significant challenge for us to integrate disparate data sources for big brands. Our clients (major automotive, gaming and satellite TV brands) had mountains of customer data but needed help using it to understand their consumers and create better experiences.

How much more complex is your spaghetti junction?

A new report from Forbes Insights sheds some light on this. In the study, more than 350 global executives share their current challenges and achievements in integrating data to enhance customer experience with their brands.

What they found is that even among leaders whose organizations provide a data-driven customer experience (CX), only one-third can see most of the activity related to their customers. That leaves two-thirds of customer behavior and activity unaccounted for.  What’s standing in the way?  Internal processes and organization – of both people and of data. And it’s no wonder. Most companies more than a decade old have data infrastructures originally designed to account for only a handful of data sources. Now, our data sources have multiplied exponentially.

Making sense of an organization’s current spaghetti junction of data is overwhelming. So it’s not surprising that only 36 percent of companies say they’ve been able to do it.  Yet, we all want to (and even expect to – within just two years).

And we’re on the right path: a majority of organizations surveyed are fully embracing data analytics as a means to improve CX.

What we have to look forward to

There is a sizeable pot of gold at the end of this rainbow. Here are some of the organizational, customer and financial benefits we can look forward to as we strive to deliver highly data-driven CX:

  • Faster decision making.
  • Increased sales and revenue.
  • More repeat business from customers.
  • Greater ability to target and optimize for specific customers.
  • Improve consistency across channels.

Where to start?

To see where your company stands on the journey towards a more data-driven customer experience, take the Marketing Confidence Quotient. This online assessment is designed to help you understand how modern your marketing organization is and what the next steps are. Along the way, you’ll get tips and tricks to help get you there faster. You’ll also see how your status compares against other companies in your industry and of your size.

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About Author

Kristin Wehmeyer

I manage the marketing efforts for SAS Customer Intelligence and have long been passionate about using data and analytics to elevate the customer experience for brands. Before joining SAS, I ran loyalty and CRM marketing for a major women's retailer in Florida. Prior to that, I spent 10 years in Los Angeles on the agency side as a client service lead for automotive, satellite television and casino accounts.

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