Progress in joining up touchpoints and cross-device data appears to have hit a wall as just 6% of marketers say they have their single customer view under control.  

A global survey from cross-channel marketing tech provider Signal shows that while gaining a panoramic view of customers is a hot topic in boardrooms around the world, the same struggles with data collection and connection remain.

When asked about whether they have a single view of their customers – both potential and current – a mere 6% said this was the case at their firms. 

A total of 43% claimed to have a solution that lacked gaps in gleaning insight from devices and data, with 32% failing to have even implemented tech for gaining the single customer view.

Notes from the study concluded that marketers are intent on learning more about their customers in order to cater for their demands. Yet with their technical shortcomings in full view, their chances of gaining the single customer view are looking slim.

Technical difficulties 

In most cases being able to collect and apply online data to various practices is not a problem for marketers. Doing the same for offline data, however, is being cited as a sticking point by many, as Signal found out.

While 88% of the group could collect and integrate data from the web, applying this to the kiosk (6%), call centre (20%) and point of sale (22%) was deemed far more difficult.

Most of the marketers said their current technology was not up to the task of building the single customer view, proven by low levels of satisfaction in a query about the performance of data-gathering tools.

As for the known issues with their technology, device and channel coverage scored highly in levels of dissatisfaction, followed by data processing speed and match accuracy.

But as Signal states, marketers are not prepared to throw in the towel just yet.

“It’s not that marketers don’t care about having a complete picture of their customers’ journeys. Of course they do. The study found that 9 in 10 marketers consider a single view of the customer important or essential to their success.

“But in today’s innovation-crazed, fast-changing marketing environment, it often seems like they’re chasing a moving target. It’s just plain hard to collect the right data from the right cross-channel sources, and merge it into unified profiles across the many platforms and toolsets brands are using to interact with customers and store customer data.”

Signal’s research is based on a poll of 171 marketers from this year, answered by respondents from the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.