Marketers’ top priority this year is enhancing their knowledge of their customers’ needs, attitudes and motivations, according to Experian Marketing Services’ latest annual Digital Marketer report. 52% of respondents from around the world (half in APAC) chose that as one of their top-3 priorities from a list of 7, ahead of other priorities including the integration of technology to automate, orchestrate and manage cross-channel customer interactions (43%).
42% of respondents noted: collecting, linking and managing data is one of their top-3 priorities, while 4 in 10 pointed to investment in attribution tools, as ROI concerns persist.
Currently, multi-touch (32%), fractional (28%) and first touch/last touch (26%) models are the most commonly used by enterprise marketers, while mid-market and smaller companies gravitate first to fractional models. 34% of small companies either do not track attribution (24%) or don’t know if they do (10%).
Some marketers are less concerned with better understanding their customers than others. For marketers in enterprise companies (more than $1 billion in revenues; 14% of the sample), technology integration to manage cross-channel customer interactions ranked as the top priority, likely due to these companies saying they’re more likely than smaller ones to run cross-channel campaigns this year. And for C-level executives in enterprise companies, technology integration, attribution tools, analytic investments and greater internal alignment around the consumer all ranked as greater priorities than a better understanding of the customer. (Presumably all of these would contribute to that understanding, though previous research suggests that integration and analysis of data isn’t a top factor inhibiting marketers from better knowing their audiences.)
Understanding their customers’ needs, wants and attitudes is the top challenge for marketers at enterprise organizations as well as marketers overall. Analysts note that this is one of the crucial challenges faced by marketers regardless of industry or company size. This is a key challenge faced by creatives as well.