If your company struggles to find valuable insights in its customer analytics, it’s highly likely your competitors are struggling too. In a new report, “The State of Customer Analytics 2012″ Forrester analyst Srividya Sridharan surveyed 90 customer analytics executives on the obstacles they face in leveraging vast amounts of customer data.
Data management, integration, and quality are among the largest obstacles, according to the report. More than half (54 percent) said managing and integrating data from multiple sources inhibits their ability to develop sophisticated customer analytics. Half of the respondents said ensuring data quality was also an issue.
Companies are commonly tracking marketing effectiveness at the macro level using metrics such as campaign lift and response, but are missing opportunities to track marketing programs at the individual customer level. In terms of how companies prioritize their use of customer analytics, nearly 90 percent of respondents used analytics for customer acquisition, yet only 70 percent deployed analytics for existing customer loyalty and engagement, suggesting companies were missing opportunities to deepen their relationships with customers.
Forrester’s findings are similar to research from Columbia Business School’s Center on Global Brand Leadership and the New York American Marketing Association (NYAMA), which found that organizational hurdles and barriers to data implementation were some of the biggest challenges companies faced in leveraging their data.
More than half (51 percent) of U.S. marketers cited a lack of sharing of data among company departments as one of their biggest challenges. In addition, 42 percent of the respondents said it was still too difficult to tie data back to individual customers, and 45 percent said personalizing marketing communications was a major challenge.
In terms of advice, both reports recommend sharing data between departments (duh) and tying separate analytics models together so that the output of one model can inform the other, and thereby deliver more efficient insights.