Minority of North American Enterprises Understand Cross-Channel Buying Journeys

September 21, 2016

econsultancyepsilonconversant-enterprise-org-data-related-capabilities-sept2016Almost 9 in 10 brand and business executives at enterprise organizations in North America (at least $225 million in revenues) say that it’s at least a medium priority to provide and maintain an integrated consumer experience across digital media and devices. But far fewer are able to understand their customers’ cross-channel and cross-device behaviors, according to an Econsultancy report [download page] in association with Epsilon and Conversant.

Indeed, while 58% of respondents say they use data about their customers to find similar audiences, levels of customer understanding are lower when it comes to journeys and devices. Just under half (48%) of respondents agreed that they understand their customers’ typical cross-channel buying journeys, and fewer (39%) understand their customers’ cross-device behaviors.

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There’s evidence of other areas in which organizations’ capabilities aren’t yet matching their priorities. These wide gulfs exist across areas including:

  • Matching customers across multiple devices (74% saying “very important” to growth; 14% reporting strong capability);
  • Understanding customer behavior over time (75% and 12%, respectively);
  • Tailoring messaging by channel (76% and 13%, respectively); and
  • Associating conversion events with marketing (84% and 10%, respectively).

At issue is the continued difficulty in achieving a “single customer view,” an issue that has plagued marketers for several years. Even companies that believe they have achieved this may not yet have done so, per the Econsultancy study. Indeed, while 45% claimed that their organizations have a single customer view, just 12% have the technological capabilities of a single customer view, which depends on “having a usable output that gives marketers a 360-degree view of their customers’ characteristics, behaviors and interactions.”

The report recommends that marketers:

  • Reduce data friction with consumers (such as by using advanced personalization solutions that don’t require the use of personally identifiable information);
  • Align behind measurement (beyond using proxies such as clicks);
  • Catch up with consumers in terms of spending alignment with consumer behavior and time; and
  • Identify the right solution, including by seeking out those with the ability to apply test and control measurement consistently across devices and channels.

The full report – which contains more data and fleshed out recommendations – is available for download here.

About the Data: The report is based on a survey of 220 brand and business-marketing executives in North America who were qualified for the sample based on revenue, seniority and knowledge in relevant areas.

  • Any respondent below the “manager” level was disqualified. Seventy-two percent were at the director or senior director level, with 24% at a VP level or above.
  • The study represented a wide range of sectors. The most heavily represented industries were financial services (17%), technology (12%) and retail (12%).
  • All qualifying organizations reported annual revenues above $225 million, with 63% reporting over $1.5 billion in 2015 revenues.

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