1. Complexity and Fragmentation
48% of marketers reported that the fragmentations of the audience, and complexity of solutions and options for audience engagement, are significant disruptions to the success of their marketing efforts. There doesn’t seem to be much hope for a near-term fix; 44% of marketers reported that these factors will remain a challenge in the next 1-3 years.
2. Mobile Tops Budget Allocation
There is a lot of debate on what effect mobile technologies and mobile adoption among consumers have really had on marketing; many of the mobile opportunities and threats once prophesized by analysts have yet to come to fruition here in North America. Yet, B2B and B2C marketers once again point to mobile as both a major obstacle and opportunity – so much so that it tops the 5 areas that are being allocated greater budgets.
3. Migration to Networked Organizational Structures
A challenge that is receiving less publicity than technology and social networking is the shift from more traditional organizational structures (where lines of authority are clearly defined and linear) to matrixed organizational structures, which feature multiple reporting lines that see employees reporting to more than one formal boss.
4. Analytics Capabilities to Understand Customer Behavior
While marketers are keen to report the disruptions their businesses face, they also acknowledge the number of challenges in managing those disruptions. It should not surprise us that decision-making based on big data analysis and ROI measurement still top the list.
5. Poorly Defined “Customer Journey”
What dismayed me the most in reviewing the study’s findings is that only half of the businesses surveyed have a clearly defined “customer journey” mapped out.
That said, with 77% stating that they will have this figured out within the next 3 years, it seems that the importance of this roadmap is understood, if perhaps not how to map it.
The customer journey can be defined as the full experience of being the customer of a specific business. In other words, it’s the sum of interactions between an individual and a brand, and the net effect that journey has on the business’s bottom line. Those interactions include initial awareness of a product or the brand (lead generation, community, advertising, etc.) to the purchase decision (sales transaction, billing, sales personnel), and from purchase to advocacy (customer service, billing, loyalty programs, etc.).
It’s this customer journey that is at the center of almost every disruption and challenge highlighted by this study. Managing any of these disruptions, be they mobile adoption, data analytics, or changing organizational structures, requires an understanding of the customer journey – and where that journey may be blocked – as a baseline from which to effect change, make improvements, or track progress in the business’s value.
Is the customer journey more important in today’s fast-changing business landscape?
Is the customer journey the key to better managing business disruptions?
Feed Your Ego, Not Your Community