As if to put an exclamation point on what many marketers already know, CRM manufacturer Salesforce has revealed the results of a recent survey showing that 84% of respondents say that to get their business, companies must treat customers like people and not numbers. What was even more revealing is that 80% said the experience the business delivers is equally important as its goods and services. And the big news is that the meaning of a good experience has evolved from offers to being understood.
The latest findings mean that marketers need to personalize their messages even more. Salesforce further indicated that only 54% of marketing teams currently head up customer programs in the country. In its survey, Salesforce discovered that marketers agree that the number one marketing priority, as well as the number one marketing challenge, are the same – interacting with customers in real-time.
However, the survey also found that less than half – 49% of marketers feel they currently meet that expectation. Of the top five priorities in priorities and challenges, there were no similarities among the remaining four.
Other Key Findings
Salesforce reported that the high performing organizations encouraged shared interactions within their companies. This enabled them to successfully use data from customers to engage them and potential customers in real-time.
The percentage of marketing teams that reported their company heading up initiatives on customer experience nearly doubled from 24% in 2017 to almost 45% in 2018. Key to moving in that direction are unified goals and coordinated efforts toward stated goals among dissimilar departments.
The report expressed optimism that advertising units, many of which had operated in solos, are now teaming with marketing in 87% of the companies surveyed.
Similarly, the report discovered that marketing and customer service departments are closing the gap in working with customers. The study revealed 55% collaboration between the two in responding to queries and other issues that arrive over social media. About 60% of marketing departments currently track customer satisfaction and retention.
An alarming finding of the study was that marketers rely on a potpourri of sources in an attempt to get a clear picture of their customers. Salesforce discovered that many respondents use different programs for their marketing database, CRM, email service provider, data management platform, customer data platform, public relations, marketing automation platform, and oftentimes a special in-house program.
Not only does employment of different platforms that don’t talk with each other handicap customer familiarity, but these different programs are usually housed and run in different departments. Salesforce reported that the “average marketing department leans on three different technologies for this purpose.”
These are just partial results of the Salesforce study. However, they emphasize the urgency for many companies to get their departments that collect customer data to huddle together.
Companies that fall into the category of working in silos or having numerous platforms that don’t connect to each other would be wise to consider conducting an audit. That audit should not only identify the silos and independent platforms but consider ways in which data can be more uniformly collected, shared, and leveraged to improve customer personalization.
Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5WPR.
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