Data linkage may be one of the biggest challenges for UK marketers at present - proving a barrier to the single customer view - but it would be wrong to suggest this is a problem felt around the EU.
The 2015 Digital Marketer Report from Experian, which pools responses from over 1,000 marketers worldwide, shows that professionals in France and Spain are streaking ahead of their British counterparts when it comes to pairing data for use in cross-channel marketing efforts.
In the UK, 37% of marketers cite data linkage and a lack of a single customer view as key issues in their pursuit of this goal, above proportions of 24% and 17% in France and Spain respectively.
However, before conclusions can be drawn over who has cross-channel nailed, it is worth noting the issues that both France and Spain have in other areas. It is more common for their marketers to have qualms with the general standard of tech, a problem for 38% in France and 42% in Spain, but 32% in the UK.
In Britain, understanding customer behaviour is a problem for only 21%, which rises to 24% and 23% in Spain and France respectively. There were also worryingly high numbers of Spanish marketers who had no clear roadmap for their cross-channel marketing efforts (24%), as the table shows.
One thing that is likely to help the marketers build on their cross-channel strategies is a fully-integrated team, where employees are centered on catering for the customer rather than the channel.
It was the turn of Spain to edge ahead with their forming of connected teams, boasted by 70%, with the UK falling behind on just 42%.
Where Experian is concerned, a 7% year-on-year rise in fully-integrated teams around the world - up to 35% - shows that marketers are taking note of the things that will help address their cross-channel issues.
Still, the fact this proportion is only just ahead of those for ‘somewhat linked’ or siloed teams shows the work that needs to be done in bringing marketing departments together.
While improving departmental structure may be a key priority for marketers in 2015, the earlier revelations about their ability to link and collect information may be the best things to address when it comes to making serious ground with a cross-channel approach.
Another table from Experian, looking into the most critical skills for cross-channel success, is littered with references about data and shows no option gaining above the 50% level for success.
Ashley Johnston, senior vice president of global marketing at Experian Marketing Services, said: “Consumers demand exceptional brand experiences but without the right strategy and technology for collecting, authenticating, linking and managing all the data coming into an organisation today, brands are unable to meet that demand.
“Accurate, enriched data allows brands to stand out against competitors, create relevant interactions based on the deepest understanding of their customers, and build successful customer-acquisition strategies as their priorities suggest.”