Customer data - the new currency

Sitecore Reveals Brands Fail to Use Customer Data to Deliver Personalised Digital Experiences

Sitecore, the global leader in experience management software, today released results of a global study[1] conducted in partnership with Vanson Bourne, to understand how brands are managing the data they collect from consumers, securing and analysing it, and using it to deliver a more personalised customer experience.

The research, which included 50 marketing and IT decision makers, and 500 consumers in the UK, found that while brands face pressure to be data-driven, and while 66% of UK respondents place a high priority on personalisation, they struggle to manage and mine customer data to both inform customer experience strategies and deliver on the promise of personalisation.

An overwhelming 98% of UK consumer respondents believe that there is such a thing as ‘bad personalisation’, with UK consumers particularly frustrated by poor personal touches. They cite as examples; brands using out-of-date information about them (66% in the UK compared to 59% globally), brands that get personal customer details wrong (63% in the UK compared to 57% globally), and brands making assumptions about what consumers want based on single interactions (64% in the UK, compared to 54% globally).

Overwhelming data

For brands, poorly personalised experiences are often the result of an overwhelming amount of data and the complexities that arise around managing it. On average, brands say they’re collecting seven different types of data about online customers, ranging from transactional details to behavioral insights and trends. Yet almost a fifth (18%) of UK brand respondents point to a lack of skills needed to properly use or analyse the data collected, and 42% don’t have the capabilities to integrate data collection. Only 18% have the ability to collect online data on an individual (vs. consumer segment) level.

“Customers are openly providing insight for brands to understand their wants and needs, but brands are struggling to follow through on their end of the deal,” said Scott Anderson, CMO of Sitecore. “The level of expectation that today’s consumer has, coupled with the level of dissatisfaction brand marketers have with the tools and resources available to them, suggests brands must take urgent action to improve their ability to collect, connect, analyse, and act on customer data.”

With pressure from all sides to use data more effectively, many organisations don’t have the appropriate tools and knowledge they need to move forward and meet the expectations of their stakeholders, and more importantly their customers. Without addressing these internal obstacles, brands are missing out on the actionable insights that could enhance the customer’s experience and overall, increase loyalty and sales.

Additional research highlights include:

• Customers think brands know more about them then they do: Customer respondents (63%) thought brands knew their purchase history more than brand respondents said they were collecting (40%). • Many brands struggle with existing analytics solutions: Only 18% have the ability to collect online data at an individual level, and though 58% of brands report using digital analytics software, nearly two thirds (62%) say they’re not completely satisfied with their current solution. • Brands crave more insight about their customers: When asked what they most want in a customer intelligence solution, just over half indicate both the ability to view customers on an individual level and real-time insights into customer behaviour (both 54%), and 48% want automated responses based on customer actions.

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