How to achieve ‘consumer-first martech’ – and how the marketing clouds don’t quite stack up

James has a passion for how technologies influence business and has several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

If you’re going to invest in marketing technology, then it needs to have the customer experience at its heart. While this may seem a self-evident statement, new research from the CMO Club argues more can be done in aligning a consumer-first approach to marketing technology.

The study, which polled 69 chief marketing officers and was put together alongside Selligent Marketing Cloud, noted that both sides of the brand-consumer relationship was frustrated. Two in three marketers polled said their primary goal in terms of marketing automation was to speak to customers in a more relevant way.

Not surprisingly, the problem of data was brought up. You may have tons of data, you may have the desire to get tools in place to make the most of it – yet it is not that simple. For respondents who were customers of the main marketing cloud players, access to data was consistently the key issue. One Salesforce customer bemoaned having to ‘bolt on’ Google Analytics, as well as an external loyalty app, alongside the expenditure for its Marketing Cloud suite.

Almost half (47%) of those polled who used marketing cloud tools said they had issues with data, compared with only a quarter of other respondents. 42% of those polled overall said customer data management was the most difficult element of their implementations.

This is by no means the only piece of research which goes through such a conclusion. According to Walker Sands’ 2018 State of Martech report in August, almost two in three organisations planned to up their spend on martech in the coming year. Yet while the majority of those polled said the marketing landscape had evolved rapidly over the past 12 months, just over a quarter (28%) felt the same about their usage of marketing technologies.

The report notes a four-step metric to attain a consumer-first technology approach: identify consumer needs first; assign value to those consumer needs; use consumer value to make decisions – in other words, don’t put a project together based on a new toy – and use data as currency. “With this list in mind, a marketer can vet each option and determine the relative cost of achieving a consumer-driven goal compared to the relative value of hitting that goal,” the report notes.

“As a CMO, the frustrations brands experience is clear,” said Nick Worth, CMO at Selligent Marketing Cloud. “Technology providers need to remain focused on personalisation tools that help marketers close the gap between what customers expect and what experiences they want to deliver.”

You can read the full report here (pdf, no opt-in required).

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Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.  

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