With audiences becoming increasingly unpredictable, the path to purchase is no longer linear.

For marketers this poses a great challenge, as many find it difficult to break free of traditional methodologies in order to create a truly omnichannel customer experience.

Econsultancy's New Marketing Reality report, published in association with IBM Watson Marketing, delves into these challenges, specifically in the three areas of data, customer experience and business.

Here are three key charts from the research:

Ability to interpret data

While we assume that most businesses understand the importance of customer data, it is interesting to note that there is a direct split between the marketers who are able to intelligently deal with it and those who are not.

In Econsultancy's survey, 43% of marketers rated their ability to act on insights derived from customer data as ‘good’, while 43% also rated it as ‘poor’.

This suggests that a large percentage of marketers still need to make the leap from accessing data to actively analysing and identifying what is most relevant.

Internal silos

Changing customer behaviour has meant that marketers have been forced to follow suit – moving away from the traditional funnel into a more holistic approach.

However, overcoming ‘siloed organisational structures’ remains one of the biggest barriers for this, with 53% of advanced organisations citing it as a challenge.

From this, it appears that both sales and marketing are still fighting for ownership of their piece of the customer pie, when in fact, the aim should be a shared victory. 

Strategy focus

Though the below chart indicates that the focus on retention and acquisition is fairly even, it is still skewed towards the latter. 

With acquisition typically being more expensive than retention, this means that marketers are using already limited resources to acquire new customers, when they should be focusing on fostering existing customer loyalty.

In turn, new customers could become a byproduct, with a strong and loyal audience helping to strengthen a company's authority and reputation.

For lots more information on this, you can download the New Marketing Reality.

Nikki Gilliland

Published 12 December, 2016 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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