Make your way through the data labyrinth

If you are a customer experience (CX) or marketing leader, you know data. You understand what data you want and need. But do you have a framework that lets you retrieve, analyze, and make use of meaningful data? To bring your CX data strategy to life, a plan of action is in order.

Karyn Furstman

Welcome to part three of our CMO white paper blog series. If you’re new here, make sure you don’t miss part one, ‘How can you turn a moment into a movement?’ and part two, ‘Create a humanity-centred brand strategy’ before you read on.

‘Marketing without data is just fluff.’ CX and marketing leaders believe strongly in the need for data. But all too often, it’s getting good data that’s the tricky part. Sometimes it’s tool-related – a suboptimal set of tools certainly hinders the ability to retrieve meaningful data. Sometimes it’s support-related – you need the right people, with the appropriate time required, dedicated to the job and aligned to the mission. And sometimes, it’s both.

Marketers know that they desire – and need – a toolset that will help them elevate their customer experience. And many brands recognise the importance of having good data solutions that give real-time signals and enable meaningful analysis to truly make a personalised customer experience come to life. But still, many executives have little access to the data they want and need, or too much unstructured data. This means it’s difficult, and sometimes impossible, to make genuine data-driven decisions. In fact, 70% of leaders wish they could more effectively employ data with a seamlessly integrated marketing tech stack.

Leaders recognise that the need for better data and an integrated tech stack isn’t going away. Looking to the next two to three years, 81% believe they need personalisation and customer centricity at every digital touchpoint to be successful, and 62% say that a 360-degree, data-driven view of their customers will be critical. In looking at how they’ll get there, 84% of executives say they need frictionless integration of emerging technologies, such as AI and machine learning. That means there’s a lot to do in a relatively short period of time.

How can you sharpen your CX data strategy? It starts with a plan.

Perhaps you relate to some of the sentiments from other marketing and CX leaders. With so many options available, and such a clear need for a better solution, it’s easy to feel lost. That’s why a plan of action is in order.

A strategic approach begins with internal alignment, between the executives who make decisions around data and analytics, and then more broadly across the organisation’s stakeholders. Once the right people are aligned, building a data strategy with the customer at the centre is key. Last comes streamlining and connecting it across the appropriate systems, technology, and channels.

While it requires commitment, bringing an effective CX data strategy to life is possible. There are many ways to collect customer feedback and blend customer sentiment with analytics, tailored to the needs and objectives of your business. A successful CXM (customer experience management) data system may incorporate a blend of the following elements:

  • Digital monitoring (DEM) platforms to support digital metrics and analytics, personalisation, and experimentation
  • A well-defined search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy
  • Digital experience platforms (DXP) and content management systems (CMS) that enable customised and personalised experiences across channels
  • A customer journey mapping platform that can be readily updated as customer touchpoints evolve

To measure success, take into consideration your business goals and the needs and expectations of your customers. It’s critical to move beyond business case realisation alone to continuous value realisation, revenue attribution and impact, customer conversion rates, number of innovations successfully brought to market, employee experience and productivity, and customer experience and loyalty.

How will your data strategy come to life?

Like so many other executives, perhaps you, too, need a data strategy and a framework for implementing it. And if you’re relying on siloed quick fixes, hoping the problem will resolve itself, you’re not alone. Implementing a true data strategy and roadmap can be challenging, but with the right plan and strategic framework, it’s entirely possible – and we’re here to help you make it a reality.