The pace of digital disruption and the growing number of connected devices is opening doors for marketers to understand their customers like never before. But consumers expect marketers to earn the right to keep those doors open, by connecting with them on a more personal level.
With customer experience (CX) serving as the new brand battleground, modern marketers have adopted the mantra to become more customer-centric using data. But what does it take to successfully use data to this end? And what defines the marketers who do it best?
To find out, Microsoft teamed up with Advertiser Perceptions
to glean insights from the marketers and advertising agencies immersed in this quest for data-driven marketing excellence.
Through a combination of in-depth interviews followed by an online survey, we uncovered insights from marketing leaders who are excelling at creating a better customer experience.
We focused on two aspects: Understanding the buyer journey and then improving marketing based on that understanding, which adds up to what we call the Customer Experience Quotient – CXQ
. Those marketing leaders, 20% from our study, who were ‘excellent at both’ we call ‘High CXQ Performers’.
Here are 5 characteristics of the High CXQ Performers:
1. 100% have designated — or plan to designate — a Customer Journey Officer.
High CXQ Performers have adapted their organizational structure to reflect their customer-centricity. 86% of high CXQ performers work in organizations that have assigned someone as a lead in the effort to understand and market to the customer decision journey. And the other 14% plan to do so.
While the title may not always be Customer Journey Officer, this person’s mandate is clear: Achieve a coherent view of — and define an intentional strategy accounting for — every touchpoint between the brand and its customers. In other words, these brands understand that focusing on the customer decision journey is critical to their marketing success.
2. 78% prioritize unified first- and third-party data.
Marketers with a high CXQ see the combination of first- and third-party data as the holy grail of a single source of truth and improved marketing performance. In fact, 78% prioritize using first- and third-party data together effectively versus 40% of low performers. But they’re not satisfied. These high performers are keen on increasing their use of third-party data in 2019 to better market based on deeper customer insights.
3. They are 1.7x more likely to use agencies
Even as they’re developing more in-house expertise, marketers with a high CXQ recognize that partnerships enable faster time to market, lower costs, and fewer risks. To that end, they engage agencies at nearly twice the rate of marketers with a low CXQ to accelerate their customer decision journey marketing aptitude. In a similar vein, high CXQ performers also invest more in emerging digital channels: 71% of them advertise in channels such as native like that offered by the Microsoft Audience Network compared to just 50% of low CXQ performers. Higher performers also tend to invest more confidently in digital overall, spending around $20 million more annually versus their lower-performing counterparts.
4. High performers achieve an enviable flywheel effect.
By using customer data strategically, marketers with a high CXQ unleash a flywheel effect. First, they call upon unified data to deliver compelling, personalized marketing that drives engagement. They then use their well-developed understanding of the buyer journey to engage across more touchpoints. With each successive engagement, these high performers gather more data and derive more customer insights to drive even greater engagement that leads to growth and revenue.
5. They see a 45% incremental lift in ROI/ROAS.
On average, those with a better understanding of the customer decision journey deliver better marketing performance in the form of an average 45% incremental lift in ROI/ROAS. That’s because these marketers can tap into those additional touchpoints and opportunities for engagement and in turn deliver more relevance in shopping and purchasing experiences. Their better campaign impact translates into more sales and ultimately higher ROI from corresponding marketing efforts.
High-performance data-driven marketing is democratic
While only 20% of those we surveyed ranked high on the CXQ scale, within that group we found marketers from companies of all sizes and across many vertical industries — regardless of focus on brand or performance marketing. In other words, any marketer can learn and apply the blueprint we’ve developed to achieve a high, data-driven marketing CXQ. The key is right talent, prioritization of resources, and application of data and technology.
Visit our Intelligent connections page
for more findings and insights from the study and the blueprint to customer-centric marketing success. Discover how high-performing marketers call upon cloud solutions and advanced technologies like AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning to widen their leadership gap.