New research uncovers why the single customer view eludes marketers

DALLAS — September 14, 2016 — Epsilon®, a global leader in creating connections between people and brands, and its leading digital marketing business, Conversant®, today released The Customer Recognition Report in partnership with Econsultancy, a global research firm. The study surveyed 220 brand and business-marketing executives in North America to explore digital marketing priorities, realities around data management capabilities and how to develop unified customer profiles. The findings help marketers better understand how to achieve strategic customer recognition goals with technology and data capabilities that enable consistent consumer experiences across devices, time and media.

The research finds that while over 40% of large organizations surveyed report having integrated data sources in place, when looking deeper at the integration of specific sources such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), channel and behavioral data, the number of large organizations with a unified view of customers across devices, time and media drops to only 12% of the sample.

“We’re well past the point of serving a single ad and hoping the right people see it. The ‘spray and pray’ tactics of old are a tremendous waste that don’t benefit marketers or their consumers. It simply annoys everyone,” shared Ric Elert, president of Conversant. “By joining online and offline data, marketers can develop a single, anonymous profile of each of their consumers that allows them to deliver unique and relevant messaging. And depending on their digital marketing partner, they can do so at scale, eliminating a significant waste in their ad spend.”

In looking at 2017 priorities, 86% of respondents prioritize both providing an integrated customer experience across devices and media and growing an addressable audience.

Achieving the level of customer recognition required is often inhibited by technology and data management capabilities. 84% of marketing executives surveyed describe identifying users, personalizing messaging and measuring impact as ‘very important to growth,’ but only 10-14% report having ‘strong capabilities in these areas.’

“As chief marketing officers invest in more addressable channels like digital, they require partners that understand the holistic issues of customer experience, and what’s truly required to deliver on personalized communications,” explained Chris Harrison, chief technology officer at Epsilon. “A one-size-fits-all approach is not enough. Organizations need integrated solutions that align with the strategic priority to understand consumers across devices.”

Additional findings from the report include:

Today’s greatest marketing challenge is understanding the relationship between online programs and offline sales:

Even for those organizations that report having tied together the necessary data sets, some activities are still obscured. Findings indicate that roughly 5% of the industry as a whole is able to tie offline sales back to online activities.

Promise vs. reality in data management vendors:

Nearly 60% of respondents say that the reality of their data management capabilities does not align to the promises they were sold. Further, 73% report that vendors lack the ability to apply test-and-control measurement across devices and channels consistently.

Marketers need to catch up with consumers and align media spend to audience behavior:

The majority of responding companies agree that their growth depends on customer experience, but only a minority position themselves to provide a personalized and valuable customer experience. Nearly two-thirds of respondents acknowledge that their online spending lags behind users’ habits and share of time spent online.

For more information, including a simple self-test for organizations to evaluate their customer recognition capabilities and specific recommendations for organizations to move their analytics practice forward, download "The Customer Recognition Report” here.



About Epsilon

Epsilon is a global leader in creating connections between people and brands. An all-encompassing global marketing company, we harness the power of rich data, groundbreaking technologies, engaging creative and transformative ideas to get the results our clients require. Recognized by Ad Age as the #1 World’s Largest CRM/Direct Marketing Network, #1 Largest U.S. Agency from All Disciplines and #1 Largest U.S. Mobile Marketing Agency, Epsilon employs over 7,000 associates in 70 offices worldwide. Epsilon is an Alliance Data company. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @EpsilonMktg or call 1.800.309.0505.

About Conversant

Conversant is a leader in personalized digital marketing. Conversant helps the world's biggest companies grow by creating personalized experiences that deliver higher returns for brands and greater satisfaction for people. We offer a fully integrated personalization platform, personalized media programs and one of the world's largest affiliate marketing networks—all fueled by a deep understanding of what motivates people to engage, connect and buy. For more information, please visit

About Econsultancy

Econsultancy is an international research and training group, focused on helping businesses do more digital business. Its data and insight, best practice guides, training and events focus on improving organisations’ digital capability, effectiveness and revenue generating potential. Founded in 1999, Econsultancy supports a subscriber base of over 210,000 marketers and businesspeople at the world’s top brands and agencies; it informs their digital strategy and helps them get to grips the what, the why and the how of all their digital initiatives. Web: Twitter: