Is data technology holding back customer engagement?

A global CMO survey shows that new platforms haven't always lived up to their promise.

Marketers recognize the importance of data and the technology that collects and analyzes it, but a recent survey shows many are disappointed in the results they’ve seen from the tools and systems they’ve used so far.

The findings were compiled from a survey, conducted by IBM and the CMO Council, of 165 marketing, supply chain and ecommerce executives worldwide.

Many of the marketers surveyed believe data and technology will be of the utmost importance when it comes to delivering experiences for consumers. According to the report, 63% plan to use customer intelligence to reshape engagements in the year ahead, while 58% believe the need to deliver personalized, intelligence-driven experiences will drive advancement and innovation, and 53% believe they will need to meet the customer wherever and whenever the customer initiates engagement.

However, only 42% of respondents say they have technology systems that leverage real-time data to deliver insights, 51% believe they need new tools and tech to get a “full view” of the customer, and 60% say they recently replaced technology systems that did not connect data in the ways they hoped (or would be replacing them in the near future).

When asked if their investments in data were paying returns, 48% said they were delivering partial returns and had doubts that their vendors would be able to live up to promises they made about their abilities. Only 8% said their investments were delivering the returns they expected, while 31% said they “mostly” delivered.

There’s also a disconnect that persists between different systems: 52% of respondents say that “some” of their processes are aligned, with only 1% saying their marketing and commerce systems were fully working together. However, many of those surveyed are working on improving that, with 55% saying they are implementing new solutions to improve visibility between marketing and marketing technology. The biggest thing currently missing from that chain, according to 47% of those surveyed, is predictive analytics.