As consumer omnichannel activity continues to increase, so does consumer expectations in regards to brand experiences.
The good news is businesses have access to a litany of real-time data from consumer purchase behaviors to lifestyle characteristics. The bad news is few businesses possess the skills and staff needed to convert such real-time data into real-time action.
According to research from the CMO Council and RedPoint Global, only 7% of marketers say they are able to leverage their existing data to effectively produce “data-driven engagements across physical and digital touchpoints.” Due in part to the general inability to connect isolated data sets to produce actionable data-driven insights.
Compounding these CMO challenges is the steady flow of new data piling on top of existing data, leaving marketers struggling to stay afloat. The problem isn’t necessarily data quality or availability; rather it’s the siloed, fragmented nature of complex data sets making it nearly impossible to produce detailed analysis.
In other words, gaps within consumer data sets are making it difficult to gain a clear picture of who the customer is and what they want. Thereby presenting a common obstacle among global marketers; finding ways to bridge these data-gaps for a clear, complete picture of their customers.
The CMO Council’s research also identified capability gaps as a key factor of underutilized consumer data:
- Only 6% of marketers surveyed believe they are able to get a complete view of their customer from all available sources
- Just 7% of the respondents are able to leverage in-line analytics to drive real-time decision making within the engagement platform to deliver better experiences
- Only 8% of the marketers said they have been able to implement and onboard systems in an effort to establish a best-of-breed model of technologies and platforms
- A high number of the participants (43%) agree that they are not lacking data; rather, they are missing the ability to transform data into real-time action
So, if a majority of marketers are facing the same obstacle why hasn’t a universal solution been found? Answer, obstacles that are similar from a macro-level are usually distinctly different from a micro-level.
While there may not be a universal solution to bridging consumer data-gaps, there is a universal starting point at which any business can begin moving toward their data-driven customer engagement goals… data strategy.
Successfully identifying and overcoming data-gaps relies heavily on a strong research and data management strategy. The first step is taking an inventory and organizing existing data across all internal sources and file types. This is similar to opening the box for a jigsaw puzzle and organizing the pieces by color or shape; thus making it easier to start connecting individual pieces without having to sift through the entire pile every time.
Upon organizing and connecting all existing pieces producing a high-level image, the missing pieces (or data-gaps) will be easy to spot. This will streamline the process of double checking existing inventories to ensure the needed pieces aren’t lying around somewhere waiting to be found.
If all pieces from the inventory have been used and the picture is still incomplete, marketers needn’t call the puzzle manufacturer demanding a new box and having to start all over.
Instead, since the surrounding data pieces are organized and connected, marketers can locate and examine any gaps as they exist within the context of the overall picture. Now they can take proactive, strategic measures filling gaps on their own by conducting primary research focused on their own unique needs.
For a great read about data-gap obstacles and suggested solutions, click here.
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