Marketing and the Identity Puzzle

There’s a lot of information out there that could help marketers better understand their customers – like behavioral data from web, mobile, email campaigns and digital ads. But marketing departments are failing to take the first step to making any of that data useful: Creating a single, consolidated view of the customer based on data.

According to research by Signal, a global leader in real-time, cross-channel marketing technology, “only 37% of marketers can collect and integrate mobile app data, and only half can do so from CRM systems. Even fewer – 42% – can collect and connect ad impression data, and only 23% are able to gather and merge POS data.”

This from a whitepaper Signal published earlier this year, Preparing for Cross-Channel Success: Solving the Identity Puzzle. The paper was the result of conversations with more than 170 brand and marketing agencies in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Even if companies are able to aggregate customer information from their digital properties, call centers and point of sale systems, they can’t bring it together to get a clear picture of any one customer.
Lisa Petrucci, VP of Global Alliances & Partnerships, Dun & Bradstreet

So even if companies are able to aggregate customer information from their digital properties, call centers and point of sale systems, they can’t bring it together to get a clear picture of any one customer – much less understand how to best support and grow their most valuable relationships.

Today, only 6 percent of marketers say they have a single view of the customer. Considering that 90 percent of marketers say that gaining a single view is a top priority, that gap is staggering.

Of course, establishing a single customer view isn’t easy. But solving what Signal calls the “identity puzzle” is more essential than ever. Because fragmented customer data doesn’t just make it difficult to market, it costs companies in a number of ways.

  • 62 percent of marketers said the lack of a single customer view hindered their ability to measure their marketing impact and prevented them from engaging in any kind of personalization.
  • 35 percent said they can’t understand the customer journey.
  • 25 percent said this confusion was leading to inefficiencies and wasted spending on media.

That’s the kind of confusion businesses simply can’t afford any more. But it should also offer another key takeaway: For companies that grasp the problem and solve it, they’re going to gain a clear advantage over competitors who may still be stumbling around in the dark.

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