By Rebecca Martin

Marketers are constantly looking for new ways to connect with customers and earn their loyalty. A recent report by Calabrio highlights just how much change marketers face every day: 81% of chief marketing officers (CMOs) say they have experienced digital disruption in the past 12 to 18 months compared to 59% of CEOs1.

To manage this shift, and meet growing customer expectations, companies are collecting oodles of customer data. But, while decision-makers are hungry for insights, having access to data and leveraging it to make informed decisions are two different things.

What’s the problem? Our recent report reveals it starts with mentality: 68% of decision-makers avoid a major change initiative because of an “if ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset. But in a high stakes world, that approach prevents organizations from delivering the innovative experiences customers want and can even alienate them in the process. And companies that fail to prioritize the customer experience will fall behind: IDC estimates that enterprises will spend over $2 trillion in 2019 on digital transformation efforts2.

To get a return on that digital transformation investment marketers must be customer-centric. And that requires a new approach that captures the right insights to get to the heart of what customers want.

Widen the scope
Data is everywhere, but many decision-makers haven’t looked beyond a few specific points. In fact, our report shows 63% of CMOs admitted to relying too heavily on just one source of data, while 39% of decision-makers look at revenue numbers and 35% rely on social media insights to make decisions.

Revenue numbers don’t indicate what customers want on a day-to-day basis and offer no guidance on which changes to make to keep customers happy. Social media interactions often only show customers when they’re really happy—or very angry—and marketers can’t base strategies off of these polarizing insights.

While these sources are a start, they simply don’t tell the whole story. Marketers must use multiple data sources to gain complete views of the customers across all points in the journeys. From there they can understand how consumers buy, what they want and whether the companies are doing enough to earn their business: and they can do it before revenue numbers dip.

Leverage analytics
Analytics is a great way to turn data into insights. According to our report, many organizations are overwhelmed by what it takes to deploy analytics: 24% of decision-makers say it’s too complicated, 20% think there are too many sources and 19% simply don’t find it valuable. However, as omnichannel strategies become the new normal for marketers, they should rethink how they’re using analytics: even if it’s uncomfortable.

Customers interact with companies via e-mail, web, phone and other channels, which means companies have to connect those disparate sources and turn subsequent data into insights that matter. To capture the power of analytics, it is imperative for marketers to move away from solutions that aren’t delivering and utilize new technology that gives them the insights that matter.

Heed customers’ conversations
A broader view of data points and robust analytics solutions are building blocks toward a customer-centric strategy, but they aren’t enough. 59% of business leaders admit that they have led unsuccessful change initiatives, and 22% said it’s because they didn’t deliver what customers wanted. And it might be because they didn’t ask: only 12% of decision-makers rely on contact centre data. That means they’re missing out on insights from the best place to capture the true voice of the customer.

When customers interact with contact centre agents, they’re telling them what they prefer, require and areas where the organization can improve. And, unlike social media, this feedback isn’t just given when customers are highly emotional or unhappy. In those everyday conversations companies have the chance to build meaningful relationships: and marketers the ability to analyze interactions to understand customer sentiment. From there, organizations can deploy effective training strategies to ensure that agents are well-versed in brand knowledge and messaging and make strategic improvements across the entire customer journey.

There’s one thing that’s constant for marketers, and that’s change. Though it can be hard to navigate change with massive amounts of data pouring into an organization, with the right mindset and tools, marketers can extract insights from the noise and use that knowledge to drive real business change. When all of this is combined with robust contact centre insights and a data-driven team of agents who are empowered to delight customers along the way, companies win.

Rebecca Martin is CMO at Calabrio (

1 Calabrio, “New Study Reveals Reliance on Too Few Data Sources; Organizations Likely Missing Opportunities to Meet the Real Needs of Customers,” study, March 2018.
2 Joseph Pucciarelli, “4 things successful CIOs know about digital transformation”, CIO, April 18, 2018.

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