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Optimize Omnichannel Engagement With Actionable Consumer Insights

Industry Study & Analysis by Multichannel Merchant



There are revolutions happening in the way companies capture and analyze customer and prospect data. The explosion in the amount of data and information being created and captured is providing companies with significant opportunities but also challenges. These changes driven by technology are rapidly transforming the marketing industry.

To gauge this transformation, Multichannel Merchant and Neustar developed a unique and timely study on how leading companies are leveraging customer data and predictive analytics technology to implement omnichannel marketing strategies and other key initiatives.

The new study, Optimize Omnichannel Engagement With Actionable Consumer Insights covers trends, best practices, challenges and opportunities for cross-channel consumer engagement by personalizing and synchronizing experiences across multiple touch points. The information and analysis in this report will help executives make more informed decisions and better manage their consumer data and analytics technology strategies and approaches.

The primary information source is an exclusive survey of a cross-section of leading marketing and brand executives. In total, survey responses from 351 marketing and brand executives were used to develop these analysis, including many of the top companies in retail, information technology, consumer products, media, healthcare, travel, financial services and other key sectors.

Areas studied in the report include:

  • Top Data and Predictive Analytics and Omnichannel Strategies and Priorities
  • Consumer Data Analytics Trends
  • Senior Management View of Consumer Data Analytics
  • Touch Points and Identifiers
  • Customized Website Creative and Messaging
  • Revenue, Budgets and Measurement

The findings are broken out by seven key industry sectors in the main parts of the report, and an appendix provides a separate analysis of the findings by marketing budget size ranges.

Multichannel Merchant and Neustar thank all of the respondents for their invaluable contributions to this study

Executive Summary

Based on the survey results, some of the most compelling findings and insights from the study are provided below, followed by additional key results from the survey of leading corporate marketers

1) Sixty-Two Percent of Companies Currently Have or Plan to Implement an Omnichannel Strategy

Out of the 62% of companies, 35% have an omnichannel strategy currently and 27% plan to implement one in the near-term.

Companies with an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy

percent of companies with omni-channel marketing strategy

2) Omnichannel Strategies are Very Important/Critical or Important to 70% of Companies

Seven out of ten of the companies surveyed feel having an omnichannel strategy that consistently delivers more personalized and satisfying experiences with customers and prospects across multiple touch points is very important/critical or important. Only 14% of the survey respondents felt having an omnichannel strategy is not important.

Importance of Omnichannel Strategy

omni-channel marketing strategy importance chart

3) Spending on Customer Data and Predictive Analytics was Forecasted to Grow by Over 11% in 2013

Based on the key industry sector analysis, retailers increased their spending on customer data and predictive analytics technology by over 22% in 2013, the fastest rate out of the seven key industries analyzed in the study. This was followed by the budget increases for these technologies by healthcare organizations (9 4%) and consumer products companies (8 3%).

2013 Spending Forecast

predictive analytics spend chart

4) There’s No Consensus on the Most Important Consumer Data Analytics Trends

Interestingly, no single consumer data analytics technology and services trend tracked by the survey received more than 50% of the response in terms of being selected as important. This suggests there are a number of important issues to a range of companies. But the top three trends based on the total responses are (1) integration with other data, media and marketing programs, (2) the need to analyze internal data to uncover actionable consumer insights, and (3) the proliferation of available data sources, providers and platforms. These three areas received between 38% and 48% of the responses

5) Delivering Personalized and Satisfying Customer Experiences was the Top Data and Predictive Analytics Strategy and Priority

In contrast to the question on overall key trends, there is more agreement on the specific topic of the top consumer data and predictive analytics technology strategies and priorities. The most commonly cited was to consistently deliver more personalized and satisfying customer experiences, which was selected by 58% of the respondents.

6) Omnichannel Marketing Provided a Significant Sales Lift

A total of 41% of respondents felt they realized (or they would expect to experience) a sales lift of between 6% to 15% with an integrated omnichannel marketing strategy. A total of 37% said they saw or would expect a sales increase of over 11%.

7) Most Companies Don’t Know the Cost to Their Brand from Negative Customer Experiences

Sixty-nine percent of the responding marketers indicate they did not know the cost to their brands when a customer had a bad experience. Although an analysis of the respondents with annual marketing budgets over $50 million finds that 44% say they did in fact know the cost of a negative experience.

Biggest Data Challenges and Pain Points

Besides cost, the top challenges and pain points related to data and analytics were finding staff with analytical experience, the time required to learn and use the technology, and overcoming integration issues. The table below compares the total responses to those from retailers only. Lack of staff with analytical expertise, overcoming IT integration issues and data silos were particularly key issues for retailers, as is the ability to analyze and implement the data findings effectively. Retail is the sector that received the higher percentage of survey responses

  All % Retailers
Cost 63% 67%
Lack of staff with analytical experience and knowledge to use effectively 54% 65%
Time required to learn and use the platforms 45% 46%
Overcoming IT integration issues and data silos 43% 56%
Analyzing and implementing the data effectively 35% 42%
Inability to action on information in real time at point of contact 22% 19%
Integrating with other marketing and media campaigns and efforts 21% 25%
Getting agreement from key players 19% 14%
Communicating the value and need to senior management 19% 23%
Inability to consistently leverage information across channels 19% 19%
Privacy issues 13% 10%
Other 3% 2%

Senior Management View of Data Analytics

A total of 65% of the respondents indicated their senior management considers consumer data analytics technology, usage and services to be very important/critical or important to their organizations. A total of 66% of the respondents that work for retailers said these technologies and services are very important, critical or important — and an additional 26% feel this area is somewhat important.

  All % Retailers
Very Important, critical 22% 33%
Important 43% 33%
Somewhat Important 22% 26%
Not Very Important 9% 8%
Not At All Important 4% 0%

Linking Customer Identifiers

A total of 73% of the respondents said the ability to link all key customer and prospect identifiers or contact points to identify consumers across channels was very important/critical or important

  All %
Very Important, critical 31%
Important 42%
Somewhat Important 17%
Not Important 11%

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