It’s a rather hefty round-up of stats this week, so do get comfortable.

There’s news on customer loyalty, retail budgets, analytics, and B2B buying behaviour. Plus, there’s always the Internet Statistics Compendium should this leave you wanting more!

Enjoy.

93% of consumer-facing businesses are unable to use predictive analytics

According to a new report by SAS – based on the responses of 350 heads of marketing, customer service and experience - businesses are at risk of offering repeated recommendations to customers. This is because 93% said they are unable to use analytics to accurately predict what individual customers will want in future.

Meanwhile, 54% mistakenly believe that they are ‘best-in-class’ or ‘transformational’ when it comes to using customer intelligence to shape their marketing campaigns.

Other interesting takeaways from the report include the fact that 30% of companies say they use less than half of the customer data they hold, and 70% of organisations are typically not collecting meaningful data to personalise digital experiences. For example, just 25% are analysing previous transactions, and only a fifth are using CRM data.

More on predictive analytics:

59% of UK consumers think all brands should offer loyalty schemes

A new study from YouGov and Mando Connect suggests that the majority of UK consumers expect brands to reward them for their loyalty.

In its research, YouGov discovered that 59% of adults think all brands should offer a loyalty programme, while 77% are subscribed to at least one programme already. This figure rises to 85% among women compared to 70% of men.

Meanwhile, 72% of people think loyalty programmes are a great way for brands and businesses to reward their customers, and as a result, 59% think all brands should offer loyalty schemes.

However, the research also shows that no one size fits all, with people citing very different motivations for engaging with loyalty programmes. For example, benefiting from discounts and offers is the top reason that people join loyalty programmes – cited by 87%. However, 55% also cited discounts and rewards from partner brands, and 52% wanted free services, products and experiences.

consumer opinion on loyalty

More on loyalty:

Almost half of B2B buyers make their minds up before talking to vendors

According to research by Miller Heiman Group and CSO Insights, 68% of B2B buyers see little or no difference between vendors, largely due to a lack of insight provided during the decision-making process. 

In a survey of 500 decision-makers, only 23% of buyers said they identify sales-people as a top three resource for solving their business problems.

In fact, 70% of buyers fully define their needs on their own before even approaching or engaging with a seller. Meanwhile, 44% of potential buyers identify specific solutions before engaging with sales reps and 20% don’t contact sellers until they’re ready to commit to a deal.

It’s not all bad news for sales, however, as buyers still want fresh insight and expertise if it is relevant – 65% said they find value in discussing their needs with reps.

Related reading:

Retail digital marketing budgets on the increase, but investment in skills neglected

Econsultancy’s 2018 Digital Trends in Retail report in association with Adobe states that retailers are increasing digital marketing investment, with 72% of respondents (from a survey of 600 senior leaders) saying that they plan to do so in 2018.

However, just 29% of respondents say that they plan to invest significantly in digital skills and education during 2018, while 24% say they will be making little or no investment in upskilling their staff this year.

The combination of difficulty in recruiting and retaining experienced practitioners, and the fast-changing nature of digital marketing and commerce, means that a failure to invest in training and skills could lead many to come unstuck in future.

digital marketing spend for retail

Related reading:

Social marketers focused too much on sales

Sprout Social’s latest report suggests that marketers are still wrongly focusing on the ROI of social media activity, despite most users not falling into the ‘buy now’ mind-set.

55% of survey respondents (from a pool of 2,000 social marketers) listed measuring ROI as a primary challenge. And while 41% of marketers note generating sales as one of their primary goals on social, only 14% of marketers say they are able to quantify the revenue from social.

The report states that this is not necessarily because social marketers aren’t sophisticated enough to focus on conversions. Rather, it’s because social’s true value isn’t in direct attribution, but it in the awareness and consideration stages of the funnel.

In fact, consumers’ top preference for social content falls into the consideration category, with 30% of those surveyed saying they want links to find out more information from brands on social.

challenges for social marketers

Related reading:

78% of executives struggling to execute digital transformation

In a survey of select CDO’s, CMO’s and IT professionals, Acquia has found that the majority of executives are still struggling to see through digital transformation initiatives. 

More specifically, 78% said that they have experienced difficulties during the implementation of their digital transformation project, with a fifth of those organisations finding executing their digital transformations projects ‘extremely difficult’.

Despite this, marketers remain committed to completing plans, indicating a number of compelling reasons why. Overall, companies are largely motivated by a need to catch and pass competitors, as 56% of respondents admitted that they think they are behind their competitors when it comes to digital marketing. 

Lastly, 71% also said that - despite the immediate challenges - they believe digital transformation will give their business far greater freedom to innovate.

More on digital transformation:

To learn more, check out Econsultancy’s Fast Track Digital Transformation Training

The majority of consumers would pay more for ethical brands

A new study by Media.com has found that consumers particularly value brands with strong ethical principles, with the majority stating that they wouldn’t mind paying more for their products.

From a survey of 1,000 consumers, 67% of respondents stated that they would pay more for environmentally-friendly products, while 68% said the same for products that do not test on animals. 60% also said they would pay more to brands which give back to the local community.

Meanwhile, consumers also want brands to be held accountable, with 81% saying that brands should take responsibility for their environmental impact. 88% also say they expect companies to take action in order to tackle plastic waste and pollution. 

Related reading:

Nikki Gilliland

Published 11 June, 2018 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

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

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