Study: Brands fall behind in an important metric

Marianne Wilson
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Despite all the hype around customer data platforms, most brands are still struggling to create a unified view of customers.

That’s according to a study conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by Oracle. The report, "Getting Customer Data Management Right," which includes insights from 337 marketing and advertising professionals in North America and Europe, found that brands want to unify customer data but face significant challenges in bringing different data types together.

As consumers expect more and more personalized experiences, the ability to effectively leverage customer data is shifting from a "nice-to-have" to table stakes, the study advised. Seventy-five percent of respondents believe the ability to "improve the experience of our customers" is a critical or important objective when it comes to the use of customer engagement data. And 69% believe it is important to create a unified customer profile across channels and devices. Sixty-four percent stated that they adopted a CDP to develop a single source of truth so they could understand customers better.

Brands that effectively leverage unified customer profiles are more likely to experience revenue growth, increased profitability and higher customer lifetime values, according to the report.  When asked about the benefits of unified data management, the top two benefits were increased specific functional effectiveness (e.g., advertising, marketing, or sales) and increased channel effectiveness (e.g., email, mobile, Web, social media). 

In other report highlights:
•    Seventy-one percent of marketing and advertising professionals say a unified customer profile is important or critical to personalization. 

•    Only 11% of brands can effectively use a wide variety of data types in a unified customer profile to personalize experiences, provide a consistent experience across channels, and generally improve customer lifetime value and other business outcomes. 

•    69% expect to increase CDP investments at their organization over the next two years.

"A solid data foundation is the most fundamental ingredient to success in today's experience economy, where consumers expect relevant, timely and consistent experiences," said Rob Tarkoff, executive VP and general manager, Oracle CX.