Marketers from around the world are taking to more consumer-centric strategies, according to new research based on a survey of over 100 worldwide brands by cloud technology company Experian Marketing Services.

Benchmarking companies’ understanding of customers and context, personalisation efforts and customer experience optimisation, the ‘State of Cross-Channel Marketing’ report found that organisations are more customer-focused in their marketing than they were just over a year ago.

The trend was most noticeable among enterprise brands. Multi-channel retailers were 62% more likely to invite customers to set their own preferences for branded communications than in 2013.

Retailers are also 89% more willing to allow them to select the type of messages they receive, and nearly half as likely to provide options for how subscribers prefer to receive them.

Meaningful interaction

Other key findings from the report included an increased likelihood (53%) of executing ‘data hygiene’ practices among marketers in general, and an increased prevalence of customer segmentation within email marketing campaigns.

While demand for brands to create relevant and meaningful interactions with their customers has never been greater, the means and technology to do so has been playing catch-up until now, according to Experian Marketing Suite president, Matt Seeley.

“Cross-channel marketing technology and predictive analytical tools have become smarter and more accessible to marketers, helping brands to manage data, understand the preferences of their customers and turn that intelligence into action across every channel at scale.”  

However, despite marketers showing improvement in customer-centric strategies, only 4% reported having an integrated customer journey across touch points. The groups cited siloed organisations (39%) and a focus on ‘product over customer’ (28%) as their main barriers.