Marketers Still Face Challenges with Understanding Data

by Marketing Team,
Friday, June 16, 2017

Marketers Still Face Challenges with Understanding Data

In today’s data rich environment, marketers have more access to customer data than ever before. But no matter how far we’ve come in our quest for more data, many marketers still struggle with transforming that data into insights. In a recently released SendGrid-commissioned study, Forrester Consulting stated that almost half of marketers still face challenges with understanding customer behavior across channels and touchpoints, and 43% struggle with understanding the optimal customer journey.

While accessing the marketing data is easy, 40% of the organizations represented in the Forrester report stated data consolidation as a significant challenge in evolving their email campaign personalization. Additionally, 50% of respondents said their biggest challenge was personalizing experiences across channels and customer touchpoints. Working with brands on their digital analytics, I see these challenges arise at almost every level. 

The reality is that few marketers can provide their customers with truly personalized messaging – and I’m not talking about sending an email that starts off with “Hi FirstName,” or something similar. Rather, I’m talking about creating timely, personalized interactions based on attributes such as an individual’s interests or a customer’s lifecycle phase. With the data available to marketers today, it is time to make the leap from a fancy hello and begin interacting with customers based on their preferences and behaviors.

For many marketers, this process will not be simple. In many ways, it feels like translating data has a bigger learning curve than learning a new language. Understanding this challenge, the first step is to address the causes of the issue in the first place. The root causes may be unique to different brands and their marketing teams based on the gaps within each organization. 

In my experience, these causes often emerge when we delve into the underlying factors for the challenges that the brands face. As examples, the chart below addresses some of these challenges and the underlying need that marketers can solve for to move towards a better understanding of their data.



Although identifying root causes and fulfilling needs is a great start to a better understanding of your data, fundamentally altering how you evaluate your customer data is not an easy task and will require a substantial amount of time and energy. This is one reason why so many organizations still struggle with translating data and continue to focus on marketing channels analysis and foundational retargeting methods as their go-to approaches. However, you can change your team’s routines to start using your customer data to develop a marketing strategy that spans the customer lifecycle and ensures that you are truly gaining insights from the numbers.

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