The current pace of change and innovation within the marketplace is verging on a revolution. Digital disruptors such as Uber, Netflix, Tesla and AirBnB are challenging existing business models and engaging customers in new ways, while increasingly empowered, savvy consumers are pushing for a seamless brand offering, across a wider range of channels.

It is no surprise then that customer experience, digital transformation and data intelligence are of top priority for businesses in this new age of marketing. Digital transformation is redefining not just how companies communicate with their customers, but entire business models too. The sheer volume of customer data available presents as many opportunities as it does challenges and data is increasingly being acknowledged as an organisation’s biggest asset.

Digital transformation and data intelligence are central to creating a customer-obsessed model, something that is particularly important as in this ‘age of the customer’, the only competitive battleground that is arguably left is customer experience.

According to Gartner’s 2015 – 2016 CMO spend survey, 56% of marketers ranked customer experience as one of their top five marketing technology investments. Forrester predicts, “companies that shift to customer-obsessed operations will gain sustainable differentiation[1].” And yet, worryingly only 10% of companies are using marketing technology for improving customer experience as a whole. Technology, however, is the life-blood of modern marketing and, as such, goes hand-in-hand with ambitions to implement a customer obsessed operating model.

The subject of choosing and implementing an effective technology solution does, however, raise many challenges…

With literally thousands of marketing technology providers to choose from, from start-ups, to large, recognised vendors, this vast market presents a multi-faceted challenge to organisations. While not only attempting to embrace new operating models and approaches, in order to stay competitive and stave off disruptive forces, these businesses are also faced with a wide array of technology to choose from, as they attempt to both navigate new terrain and implement new marketing and data technology eco-systems. Though the potential for these businesses is huge, in reality, many will just be blind sided by the perfect storm of challenges, which they are unlikely to know how to overcome.

While the role of marketing and data technology is just one part of a much bigger picture, the very important role it has to play should not be overlooked, especially given the potential it offers to businesses who are looking to reach a truly customer-centric model. Nevertheless, there is never just a one size fits all solution and businesses need to think carefully about the solution they select, how they go about implementing it and also how they ensure that it continues to deliver the deliverables that are required in the short, and the long-term.

Despite the challenges however, data technology success is achievable but things are moving fast, not just in terms of customer demands, but also with technological advancements too. This means that businesses need to take action now, before they fall too far behind.

In the coming weeks, Bench is going to be sharing its practical advice for achieving data technology success, in the form of excerpts from its recently launched ‘Ask The Experts’ report. To read the report in full – request here.

Talk to us if you want to learn more.



[1] Forrester Research ‘Companies will thrive and fail in the age of the customer in 2016’

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