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Just 15% of CMOs know consumers well enough to build relationships

...Yet 61% aspire to do exactly that.

A new report reveals that while 61% of senior marketers’ top digital marketing strategy is to build customer relationships, only 15% of those senior marketers are confident that they know their customers well enough to do so.

Further, the report finds that while 52% of marketers connect with more than half their customers online, just 16% of of those marketers are very confident that they can reach customers across multiple devices over time.

"Understanding customers goes beyond demographic data or the interactions they have with only your brand,” explains Elliott Clayton, Vice President of Media, UK at Conversant. "It requires unifying each customer’s lifestyle trends, purchasing habits and behavioural data over time.

Building relationships across devices, online and offline

"But as customers jump from device to device, it gets harder to deliver messages to them. Devices get lost, broken, replaced and shared, making it difficult to know who you’re really talking to. Pieced-together solutions that rely on cookies or segment targeting can’t accurately recognise your customers. You’ll have data leakage and an overlap of matched audiences."
The modern CMO: Dream versus reality

Jointly conducted by the CMO Club - a “heads of marketing only” community - and Conversant, the report surveyed over 60 CMO Club members from around the world. The final report offers analysis of the findings, paired with actionable solutions to resolve the issues addressed.

The group of CMOs admitted that just a third (35%) of them track both online and offline sales, while fewer than a quarter (24%) use real-time customer activity to tailor their digital marketing, relying instead on serving one-off messages. A third (34%) of marketers are also still measuring channel impact solely based on click data.

Clayton concludes: “With 17% of all retail spend occurring online, it’s essential to understand what’s going on offline. Data is such a vital asset for this, but only if it is used correctly – it’s tempting to rely on lazy metrics like clicks, but these simply don’t gauge return. And if you can’t identify your customers, nor identify incremental improvement from your marketing activity, then you don’t actually know who you’re communicating with and how these communications are affecting your business.”