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The challenge of collecting and acting upon customer data across multiple channels remains a big issue for marketers, with just 22% of companies having a framework for analysing multichannel customer journeys. 

This is one of the findings from Econsultancy's Online Measurement and Strategy Report, produced in association with Lynchpin, based on a survey of more than 800 companies and agencies. 

More from the report after the jump...

Using data to drive decision making

Thanks to the growth of analytics tools and the increasing number of channels, companies are gathering more data than ever, but the real challenge is to make sense of this data and use it to produce actionable insights.

According to the report, 62% of companies say that less than half of the data they collect from web analytics tools is useful for guiding business decisions, though 10% find more than 75% to be valuable, so they must be doing something right...

Approximately, what percentage of the web analytics data you collect is useful to your organisation for driving decision-making? 

Percentage of useful data

The average amount of web analytics data thought to be useful for driving decision-making is approximately 43%, a slight drop from 44% in 2010.

Tracking customers across channels

In an increasingly multichannel world, the amount of data that can be collected presents a real challenge, but also a massive opportunity to gain a single view of the customer as they move between channels. 

Potentially, this 'single view' would allow companies to provide more relevant marketing to individuals, improve the quality of customer service, and understand how and why customer switch between channels. 

However, according to last year's Multichannel Customer Experience report, only a small minority of companies are close to achieving this. 

We surveyed more than 500 company and agency respondents, and though 90% of companies see the importance of providing a joined up customer experience, just 4% claim to have actually achieved this. 

The Online Measurement report found that just 22% of companies (and 28% of agencies) have a framework in place for analysing cross-channel customer journeys. 

Does your organisation have a framework for analysing customer journeys that cross online and offline?

Barriers to measuring multichannel data

We also asked respondents about the barriers which were preventing or hampering their efforts to measure customer journeys across offline and online channels, and there were three main issues. 

Lack of resources

This problem was frequently cited by respondents. Many companies are unsure of how to put an appropriate framework in place, and some companies do not see the value of doing this. 

Lack of buy-in from senior management

A common barrier, neatly summed up in this quote:

Senior Management don't have time to listen to how the relationship between online and offline is so important and what we can gain from it.

Lack of quality data

The lack of compatibility between offline and online data was an issue. To quote one respondent: 'Television commercials, TVRs and media stats are square pegs, online analytics are round holes'. 

Graham Charlton

Published 23 June, 2011 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

2565 more posts from this author

Comments (4)

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Peter Austin @MarketingXD

Any feedback on how often this year's useless data is the same as last year's useless data?

When they are the same, there is an obvious opportunity to save money.

over 5 years ago

Linus Gregoriadis

Linus Gregoriadis, Research Director at Econsultancy, Centaur Marketing

Hi Peter, not sure exactly what you mean here but certainly the study has not shown any evidence of improvement in the ability to translate data into something meaningful.

There is often nothing wrong in the data itself,or the tools, it just becomes meaningless if it is not interpreted within some kind of over-arching reporting framework which relates to business objectives.

Just as companies get to grips with one source of data, there are more tools and information requirements which cloud the picture. So there is frustration out there, but also an appetite to get to grips with data and implement a meaningful and coherent measurement strategy.

There is certainly an onus on vendors and agencies to help make sense of the information.

over 5 years ago

Arthur Moan

Arthur Moan, Country Manager / UK & Ireland at UserZoom Limited

We should take a lesson from the Google researchers who have addressed this issue by creating their own framework HEART for online channels http://research.google.com/pubs/pub36299.html
With the online channel being measured effectively then triangulating other channel data can more easily be achieved.

In my experience most organisations still:
Deliver haphazard and chaotic customer experiences.

Don’t recognise that managing customer experience is a strategic imperative.

Fail to appreciate that customers are empowered like never before.

Talk about customer centricity but don’t practice it.

Are neglecting to systematically manage the customer experience.

Introduce customer experience initiatives but lack staff commitment.

This is starting to be addressed, slowly but surely as Customer Experience Managers are looking at frameworks for their organisations like Google's HEART and beginning to build executive level dashboards to pull the multi-channel data into a single view.

over 5 years ago

Hero Grigoraki

Hero Grigoraki, Head of Media Product at lastminute.com

Am I the only one who finds this alarming? 22% of respondents answered "Don't Know" to the question "Does your organisation have a framework for analysing customer journeys that cross online and offline?"

over 5 years ago

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