A recent global study, commissioned by Acquia, has uncovered some interesting (and some slightly alarming) findings about marketers’ ongoing struggles with technology.
Amongst other notable findings, the Acquia CX Research Report, conducted by leading market research provider, Regina Corso Consulting, highlighted a common issue of disconnect and silos – between different marketing solutions, platforms and customer data repositories.
The Australian findings revealed that almost two-thirds of marketers are dealing with technology that is just too complex to create good customer experiences, the main criticism being a struggle between marketing and IT to bring new customer experiences to life (63 percent), while three in five are concerned with the speed at which they can bring new customer experiences to market.
An underlying cause (or perhaps a symptom?) of this disconnect is the number of different technologies that marketers are using. The latest tally on available marketing technologies is a whopping 6,829 (Chiefmartec.com), and most marketers are still opting for multiple solutions to achieve their goals, rather than one holistic platform.
In Australia, 37 percent of marketers are working with between four and six different vendors, and 18 percent are working with between seven and 10.
Unsurprisingly, working with multiple solutions creates data silos. Eighty-five percent of those surveyed cite data siloed in multiple systems as a problem, and 88 percent recognise that being able to connect and understand this data better would enable them to more effectively automate customer experiences.
Despite ongoing efforts, 76 percent of marketers are unable to make their various technology solutions work together and 80 percent admit that the providers they work with have limitations.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. In spite of the challenges being faced, marketers are forging ahead with ambitious plans for improving customer experiences. Firstly, marketers are still heavily investing in technology, with 61 percent increasing their spend compared with 2017; of those, 33 percent are increasing spend by as much as 25-50 percent.
There’s also very little doubt around investment levels, with almost 80 percent of marketers feeling comfortable with the amount that their organization is spending on marketing technology.
When looking at specific goals, an overwhelming majority see open source as the future, with 92 percent wanting to adopt an open source approach to their customer experience platform. There’s still very much a buzz around personalization, and nine in 10 Australian marketers are focusing on technologies that can provide added personalization for customers (91 percent) and potential customers (90 percent) as part of their marketing strategy.
Other areas interest for the next 12 months are AI and machine learning (83 percent), the internet of things (86 percent) and linking with in-home devices (73 percent). In fact, more than four in five (84 percent) say that they are looking forward to AI improving brand interactions.
What’s very clear to see in the findings is that marketers see current struggles with technology as short-term problems. The majority of Australian marketers are taking a proactive and positive stance, with 93 percent stating that technology should (and will) make experiences with brands more valuable in future.
To read the full Acquia CX research report, click here.