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Survey: What brands do CMOs think get omnichannel right?

A new study of chief marketing officers reveals the brands these executives think do the best job of omnichannel engagement.

According to “Bringing a Human Voice to Customer Choice,” a report from the CMO Council and Harte Hanks, 42% of CMOs identified Amazon, Google, Apple, Nike and Starbucks are getting customer experience right. Specifically, these brands were cited for looking at omnichannel engagement as a means to guide and inspire customers on a journey, and not just push them forward in a buying process.

The study of 152 senior corporate marketing executives also examined issues posed by technology-based marketing. Four in 10 (41%) respondents admitted that focusing on the relationship being built instead of the campaign being deployed has been a key challenge. Nearly one-third said that they sometimes forget that their "targets" are human beings.

In addition, 42% of respondents indicated they are not prepared to leverage intelligence gathered across listening posts to deliver a better customer experience. Not a single respondent (0%) felt they were well-prepared to integrate new experiences and new points of intelligence to improve brand engagement. Nearly 30% admit they think of their customers in terms of targets, records and opportunities, while an equal percentage said they are struggling to define and deliver returns from customer experience strategies.

The study also examined how CMOs view “small data,” or the data used to describe the small, specific attributes delivered directly from the customer through channels such as the Internet of Things. More than one-third (36%) of respondents believe that small data will be the greatest challenge for the organization.

However, marketers also believe small data will help extract better signal from the noise (45%), reveal the "why" behind customer actions and behaviors (41%), help focus on the people behind the data to deliver more human interactions (35%) and aid in filling key gaps across the customer journey (35%).
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