Getting Customer Experience Right Proves Challenging


Here’s a thought experiment: Imagine a company where marketers have solved their problems with technology and organizational incentives, and have all the pieces in place to personalize experiences for their customers in real time, across all channels, including advertising and in-store. Would these marketers stand at the vanguard, delivering the ultimate in tailored, holistic brand experiences—or simply discover the next obstacle to doing so?

To get an answer to that question, eMarketer polled thought leaders for this week’s report, “Customer Experience 2018: Personalization Still Elusive as Marketer Seek Answer to Single View of Customer.” Two responses predominated: Those marketers would either be getting to “the fun part” or “the hard part,” perhaps depending on the disposition of whom you asked.

“Creating the content at scale is not the problem,” according to Jay Friedman, COO at programmatic agency Goodway Group. “The problem is, what are we creating? Who’s going to think about the psychology behind how the image or the copy will move someone?”

“Hyper-relevance requires an ingredient that traditional personalization methods have typically lacked, and that’s context,” said Kevin Quiring, managing director at Accenture Strategy. “That’s a deep understanding of the reason that a customer is shopping, is evaluating, is requiring service around a product, and that context is very difficult to get to because it means understanding the circumstances [of the consumer].”

Currently, most marketers are not looking at context as part of their segmentation strategy. A study conducted by CMO Council and RedPoint Global in March 2018 found that a majority of respondents segmented their audiences according to basic demographic attributes, as well as behavioral data like search and past purchases. But just 11% were using intent analysis, and only 22% used psychographic data for segmentation. Marketers may be taking behavior into account, but they’re largely ignoring context and emotion.

For more on the current state of the data-driven customer experience, what’s standing in the way of it, and how marketers are moving forward to offer more holistic omnichannel experiences in the future, read the report. (Available to eMarketer subscribers.)

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