Top marketers make extensive use of customer data, but underperformers don’t. With consumers happy to share in exchange for personalised offers, what stops us?

New research from the State of the Connected Customer report shows that consumers are willing to give their data to trusted companies in exchange for personalised experiences. However, many marketers aren't yet equipped to capitalise on this new data-sharing attitude.

Salesforce Research surveyed more than 7000 consumers and business buyers to understand what makes the modern customer tick. The world is hyperconnected – and this connectivity is shaping customer expectations and the resulting demands on companies.

Personalisation is expected

When evaluating purchases, customers give almost equal weight to a company's personalisation as they do to reputation – 58% of consumers say a personalised experience is very important when purchasing from a company, and 59% when buying from a well-respected or well-known brand.

If you don’t get to know your customers and tailor your comms to suit them, they won't hesitate to shop around – more than half (52%) of consumers are somewhat likely to switch brands if a company doesn't make an effort to personalise their communications to them.

Customers know you need data

In fact, 57% of consumers are willing to share personal data in exchange for personalised offers or discounts. A similar proportion will share their data in exchange for product recommendations that meet their needs (52%) and personalised shopping experiences (53%).

Customers also increasingly expect companies to anticipate the products they need next. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of consumers say it's acceptable for companies to send personalised offers and discounts based on items they've already purchased.

Why aren’t marketers giving customers what they want?

To deliver the level of personalisation that the connected customer expects, marketers need more intelligent technologies, and the 2016 State of Marketing research revealed that many of these technologies are underutilised.

For instance, 49% of high-performing marketing teams extensively use predictive intelligence, while only 5% of underperformers say the same. Predictive intelligence tools make it easier for marketers to track customer behavior and use insights to create highly personalised interactions.

Top marketers are 3.6 times more likely than underperformers to strongly agree that predictive intelligence and data science are important to their overall marketing strategy.

These smarter tech types are also breathing new life into established channels. High performers are 7.2 times more likely than underperformers to extensively use web personalisation, and 4.2 times more likely to leverage predictive intelligence or data science to personalise emails to customers.

Marketing teams with a competitive edge work differently:

  • Their business empowers them with the right tools

  • They work closely with IT developing apps and embedding personalisation in the entire customer experience

  • They embrace data-driven decisions to quickly adapt to changing consumer needs and perceptions

Customer data management – the way a company collects information about customers’ preferences and habits and uses this in its marketing – is powered by tools that are designed to boost efficiency and customer engagement.

Today, companies that treat customers with awareness and intelligence, and put the customer experience at the centre of their business strategies are blazing a trail to success. Join them – get the full State of the Connected Customer report to find out how.