Are We Getting Dumber?

Every day there are more articles written about the vast treasure trove of data marketers, publishers, and others gather from their interactions with customers.  Every mouse click, every social interaction, every store visit is another source of information that a business can use to make the

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customer experience more enjoyable and, hopefully, more profitable.  Nice ideal, but the reality is far from it, since most of the time the data is not collected, analyzed, and organized by capable people.  In fact, I’m willing to bet that the folks who could benefit most from all of this information know the least about it.

Here is something from eMarketer:

In a March 2015 study by Signal, 51% of marketers worldwide reported that they did not have a single view of customers/prospects across devices and touchpoints. In comparison, just 6% said their current solution provided an adequate single view of their customers. And Econsultancy polling in association with ResponseTap in March 2015 found that only 5% of client-side marketers worldwide had a seamless integration of customer touchpoints across channels that allowed for exploitation of opportunities. Just under a quarter had integrated channels but were channel-focused, not customer-focused.

That was about marketers’ understanding of mobile but there is much evidence that the same sort of low integration applies in other channels as well.  I mean think about your own experiences on-line and off.  I know my supermarket knows everything I buy because I’m diligent about using my card to get gas rewards – cents off gasoline purchases. That is a great value received – along with some good store discounts –  in return for me giving up my data.  That said, when I check in the scanner doesn’t acknowledge me by name nor are the coupons I sometimes receive at checkout very well targeted.  The mailings I get from the store – not the circulars – that’s asking a bit much – the coupon packs and email offers don’t seem very well targeted at all.  They have the data – they should be getting smarter and I should never want to go shop anywhere else – but nether of those things are true.

Every customer interaction counts.  We are getting a lot better about collecting them but we’ve got a long way to go to create a better experiences for our customers.  Media need to understand how to create that same better, efficient experience for their advertisers.  Heaping 15 minutes of ads into a 60 minute window isn’t it and the data can show us that.

So are we getting dumber?

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