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What Were a Marketers Top-5 Challenges in 2020?

Updated: Feb 14, 2021

2020 was not the best time to make improvements. Let's make a New Year's Resolution


Note, “Unifying Customer Data” came in a strong finisher as well. I detect a trend. All of these common marketing challenges can be met with the right complement of business technologies utilized and governed by the right team and processes. The exact solution-application composition needed to overcome these obstacles will vary from industry to industry, but there is a common thread. You need these apps:

  1. CRM integrated with ERP & Ops

  2. A Marketing Automation platform: focus on omnichannel campaigns

  3. Digital technologies for SEO, paid search, digital display and analytics

  4. A Customer Data Platform (CDP) that ties all marketplace information together and recirculates the data in real time

Of these, most companies are well up the maturity curve in applications 1, 2, and 3. But admittedly, they do not have an enterprise CDP in place. It’s time to hatch a plan.

Here’s how a CDP meets these top concerns and challenges for marketers:

  • Innovating: Innovations are like experiments. They need validation. The best and perhaps only proper way to do this is with market research, from category to segment to customer. To understand who is likely to respond to innovations that impact the customer (innovations to products, services, offers, policies, pricing, etc.) you need to know exactly who your market is and what they are saying about current and future changes to these value points. Since your consumer and partner information is disseminated across many systems, you need a central data object about all customers, and an understanding of the proper clusters. Then as you share innovative ideas, you need to know the sentiments they express. Only a CDP can get you what you need.

  • Real Time Engagement: One of the reasons marketers listed this is challenge is because they have made inroads into the pace of marketing engagement, but their customer journeys are too static, limited and asynchronous. Sales, advertising and marketing response management needs immediate and intelligent assistance to present the right product price, offer, program and next-best-actions to maintain revenue-generation momentum across all channels. CX investments and CRM by themselves just don’t do it where needed, when needed. This embodies the notion of personalization, but it is more like real time relevance in words and actions. To have any chance at this, you need to coalesce your customer and marketplace data into a unified omnichannel “golden record” with up to date KPI’s and scores that can be presented to the proper channel.

  • Privacy Compliance: this is mandatory for consumer-oriented businesses and frankly a good idea for all businesses. How to anonymize, remove detailed data and support data service requests. A CDP isn’t the only answer, but it can serve as a single point of knowledge and a way to begin the “forget me” process while allowing non-identifiable business analytics residue to persist.

  • Improved Use of Technology: Well, this is a surprise! Not. Let’s agree a CDP cannot save the day here, but it can address a very common issue: do you really need to pass every piece of customer-centric data back and forth among transactional apps or is it better to consolidate all knowledge into a single record set and present it to the users of all the other systems at the time it is needed. This reduces integration and compatibility hassles. You will be smart with data and this will make you govern your data-creating and data-consuming applications in a more practical way.

  • Modernizing Tools and Technologies: If you can’t boil that ocean, at least consider aggregating and compiling critical customer-specific (and prospect or partner-specific) data into a platform that all users can understand and use, not just the smartest of marketing analysts. Democratize the data and you will take pressure off the everyday business applications that drive revenue.

Look us up at Ascendant Group. to explore ways to get affordable CDP working for you.

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