Integration of data poses a major challenge for marketing

The integration of data represents the biggest challenge in the field of marketing within Dutch business. This is evident from research by data-driven marketing agency 2bMore. Particularly retailers, publishers and media and event agencies participated in the research. 

The data-driven marketing agency from IJsselstein interviewed Dutch companies about their marketing goals and their communication with customers (both b2b and b2c) in April-June 2017. In addition to these branches, there were also participants from the automotive, financial services, education, telecom, transport and logistics and ICT. Most respondents are managers in marketing, online, crm or e-commerce (67%). The remaining participants have functions as a database marketer, data / market analyst and online marketer.

The investigation shows that for many organizations it is still too far to operate data-driven 1-on-1 marketing. “Customers expect a supplier to know who they are, what they want and what information they are waiting for,” says Erik van Stiphout, managing partner at 2bMore. “But companies often do not have a single customer view because customer information is stored in data facilities that are not centrally available.” In addition, data is often not real-time available to respond directly to a current situation.

Of the surveyed companies, 72 percent maintain contact with over 100,000 relationships. In 38 percent of the companies that participated in the survey, even more than one million customers are being contacted.

Automation of the marketing process is called by half of the companies (48 percent) as the biggest marketing challenge. Real-time data availability (38 percent) and the integration of offline and online data (31 percent) also end in the top five. The other two marketing goals in the top five are “traditional”: customer expansion and retaining (41 percent) and gaining more from the marketing budget (38 percent).

The importance of digitization is also reflected in the agenda of the directors of the companies surveyed. The highest priority on the 2017 Executive Calendar is to receive customer satisfaction and retention, by 76 percent of the participants being named as top priority. In the second place, with 45 percent, the digital transition comes. These include the digitization of products, services, operations and customer service.

Missed opportunities
“Organizations with large amounts of relationship data struggle to get a central customer image. Relationship data are divided between different source systems, “concludes Van Stiphout. As a result, companies miss a lot of opportunities. “Due to the lack of a 360 degree customer image, organizations are not or unable to bring online and / or offline information to serve customers 1-on-1.”

This urgent business is definitely felt. Six out of ten companies say to fear in the next two years to lose their connection with the customer if they fail to get data-driven marketing on the rails. “We are in the middle of a transitional period,” said Van Stiphout. “Companies must now switch to marketing. Otherwise they miss the boat. “

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