Big Data, only one in three companies uses them for the customer experience

The strategies of omnichannel customer experience, and use of big data, for companies still seem to be mainly short-term. The 95% of companies collects customer master data, but only 33% customize the content depending on the individual.

This is what emerges from the second edition of the Omnichannel Observatory Customer Experience, promoted by the School of Management of the Milan Polytechnic.

Yet the opportunities are enormous. Multi-channel customers are those for whom digital has a role in the purchase process. These reach 35.5 million individuals (+3.8 million compared to 2017) and represent 67% of the 14+ population.

In fact, 40% of companies declare a strong commitment from the top management. But the main objectives of an omnichannel approach are still tactical and not long-term. This is what the Digital Innovation Observatories of the Polytechnic of Milan still underline.

Strategies and misalignments

The main objectives of the omnichannel customer experience strategy for companies are currently linked to improving customer acquisition and increasing sales. These are both reported by 33% of the companies analyzed; in addition to the improvement of the engagement (for 27% of the sample).

Only a third are companies that today personalize content according to the specific individual. About 44% say they do not do it; the remaining 23% of the sample is currently working to foster customization logics. Omnichannel strategies require the involvement of multiple business functions. Only in a reality of five, however, there is a high degree of commitment and harmony between all.

The company organization remains a big drag to the full development of omnichannel strategies. In most cases, companies declare a misalignment in the commitment of the various functions involved (77%). This is due to two different reasons: for 56% there is a different perception of benefits. For 21% of cases a misalignment in the specific objectives of each function.

The search for the Omnichannel Customer Experience Observatory was based on over 100 interviews on the demand and supply side. A survey conducted on a sample of large and medium-large companies belonging to the main sectors. Furthermore, on three plenary moments of discussion and discussion that involved a total of over 150 companies in the demand.

Big data

Big data and marketing

Almost all companies collect and store customer data (95% of cases analyzed). As well as customer contact information (95%). The collection of data on the history of products and services purchased offline (81%) is also very widespread. As well as analytics data on proprietary channels, such as site behavior, apps, official social pages, DEM and newsletters, etc. (81%).

The technologies potentially available to companies are many today. From the data collection point of view, most companies (69%) report having a single CRM. However, there remain a good number of companies that have not yet completed this step.

23% of the companies interviewed said to use a dynamic CRM- type platform, Customer Data Platform or Customer Data Hub (CDH). A platform able to integrate all customer data, of different nature and coming from different sources.

Furthermore, 21% of companies have a Data Lake. A Data Lake is a system typically used to manage and analyze big data. It allows you to store a large volume of data of different nature and source in their native format, without any structure.

The study shows that technologies related to content management are not yet at the center of the attention of companies. 2% use a Creative Management Platform, 16% a Dynamic Content Management System (or User Experience Platform) and 15% a DAM (Digital Asset Management).

Finally, the Marketing Automation solutions intervene downstream of the entire process in the content delivery phase. The 71% of companies has set up e-mail marketing platforms. 46% of platforms for sending SMS and 28% of solutions for managing multiple channels.

A look at startups

During the research, the main and foreign startups operating in the omnichannel area of the customer experience were also analyzed. 26% of startups are focused on the creation, organization, analysis and management integrated on the different touchpoints of the content.

20% of the analyzed sample deals with collecting and integrating data and creating a unique view on the client. As well as the generation of insights relevant to the later stages of the process. This is done through the creation of specific data hubs, or Integration Platforms, or, again, using machine learning technologies.

19% support the company by managing the entire omnichannel process across the customer experience management. The same percentage of startups is focused on the management of a single touchpoint. These are the companies that support the company in the automation and personalization of messages on a specific channel.

Following (11%), the category of startups focused on the phase of data activation and, in particular, on Marketing Automation. Finally, a residual category (5%) includes startups that do not belong to previous clusters. For example those of Salesforce Management or those related to feedback surveys, quizzes or surveys to be conveyed to consumers.

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