Despite recent progress in MarTech innovation, brands can still expect to face significant obstacles when it comes to implementing customer experience (CX) strategies. We wanted to find out more about the exact nature of these barriers and commissioned a study by Forrester Consulting.

The main goal of our research was to delve deeper into the CX challenges and opportunities threatening marketing decision-makers today. As it turns out, the results led us to the importance of improving the customer experience for business growth and high revenue.

Updating the CX strategy has many benefits but companies find it challenging to perform the act itself. Specifically, they cite the difficulty of linking business outcomes to real customer needs, insufficient technology platforms, and a lack of vision and alignment among leaders, teams, and employees.

The lack of customer insights is the biggest challenge in improving CX

Marketing decision-makers, although well aware of the importance of customer analytics in developing a CX strategy, are not all acting on this knowledge. Our research shows 88% of them agree on the necessity to use customer analytics, but only half of the number is planning to implement it in 2021. The study also uncovered that over half of marketers report they are unable to identify customers on their website, even though this is the first vital step in gaining insights and improving CX.

For 54% of respondents, the lack of customer insights is by far the biggest challenge when it comes to enabling better brand experiences. On the other hand, following Google’s announcement that it will no longer support third-party cookies, first-party data will play a crucial role moving forwards. Valid data collection and the identification of the right insights will become more important than ever.

Guiding talents to unlock the value of data

Right now, marketers are mainly concerned with finding a way to unlock value from their data streams. Enlisting the help of a dedicated data team could help, although finding such a group of people could prove difficult. Over half of the marketers surveyed consider lack of skilled talent as their primary challenge in delivering better CX. Yet, only a quarter attribute their success in recent years to talent improvement.

Now, investing in employee hiring and development is important but not the only thing to look out for when overcoming CX challenges. Marketers also need the right tools to unlock the value of data. In our survey, 65% of respondents expect that new technology will lead to improved customer insights. Fundamentally there needs to be a blend of strategy and technology to action insights and extract value from data.

How can technology empower CX development?

Investment in MarTech stacks is already underway as companies look for overcoming CX challenges through a better understanding of their customers’ needs. We have seen from our survey that marketers consider customer analytics, customer data management, and marketing automation to be the top investments for customer understanding in the past two years.

Additionally, half have already achieved greater performance using customer insights. Companies that have implemented AI or ML tools also report having a greater ability to update their strategy, understand customer intent, and gather consumer insights.  

AI and MI tools enable marketers to manage the customer journey in a data-driven way. Throughout the process, everything revolves around obtaining a holistic view of each individual contact across all channels so they can be effectively targeted. Furthermore, marketers can use information including transactions, sociodemographic profiles, and interactions through the central contact profiles for targeted personalization.

The role of customer analytics in the marketing field

From all of the above, we can now conclude that the implementation of customer analytics is essential for deepening customer understanding. The practice leads not only to effective brand experiences but also faster business growth and higher revenue. Therefore, marketers should consider making customer analytics their top priority.

Once the goal is set, the entire marketing field should be aligned with impeccable efficiency. Without a doubt, technology helps identify actionable insights for achieving personalized customer experiences and placing brand messages across channels. However, it should be used with caution and a clear strategy in mind for overcoming CX challenges.

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