Further evidence of chief marketing officers struggling to provide seamless customer journeys has come to light, courtesy of a new survey from Oracle Marketing Cloud.

The software group asked 110 CMOs if they could deliver a “seamless, personalised” customer experience across their various touchpoints, to which just 13% said they could.

Later on, 66% of the marketing heads said they had “ways to go” before they could achieve the end goal of a unified approach, yet optimising the customer experience represented a number-one priority for those involved.

Notes from the survey added that CMOs are now trusted with a greater range of responsibilities linked to customer experience. This means regular collaboration with chief information officers and “breaking down” organisational silos could help them meet consumer expectations. 

Doing more with less

In Oracle Marketing Cloud’s research, which summoned responses from brands such as American Express, Hilton Worldwide and DHL US, it was revealed that CMOs could benefit from making the most of their current technology, rather than investing in more solutions.

This was a point picked up on by Mayur Gupta, global head of marketing technology and innovation at Kimberley-Clark, who told Oracle: “Most brands and marketers are only utilizing 15 percent of technologies and capabilities they are already paying for, so the focus should not be in adopting more technologies, but in applying them to solve business needs and inspire behaviors.”

Fortunately marketers do have their eyes on such issues – proved in readings that listed measuring the impact of touchpoints and developing technology to enable seamless experiences as top priorities for this year.

The main “roadblocks” cited in Oracle Marketing Cloud’s study, conducted in partnership with the CMO Club, were internal silos, issues with budget, staff and the performance of current marketing platforms.  

Branded view

Previous studies have indicated that CMOs have a huge task on their hands to develop a seamless experience across channels, with consumers driving the demand.

Four years before Oracle Marketing Cloud’s latest research was published, 72% of consumers answering to a survey from MyBuys demanded an integrated marketing approach from their brands, while 85% said the same about their shopping experience.

However, even with a lack of case studies to learn from, brands appear to be finding their own ways of solving their issues with connection.  

Mary Ann Fitzmaurice Reilly, SVP of marketing integration and consumer insights at American Express, said:  We had divided functions by business line and lost sight of the customer. My job now is to look at the decision journey of the customer, and optimize based on what the customer wants. 

“We have to create solutions to connect legacy systems that don’t speak to each other.” 

Also commenting on the study, Jenn McMillen, vice president of marketing & CRM at Michaels Stores, chose to focus on the “substantial time investment” required to manage her marketing tech.

“I want a partner who can lay out a roadmap for me. We have 57 vendors just in marketing technology. And you need a data scientist who has the keys to unlock what you’re sitting on.” 

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