If you answered “Yes” to our title question, you are not alone. In a recent online survey of over 300 B2C marketing and IT professionals we conducted with Forrester Consulting, “misaligned priorities” and “organizational silos” topped the list of reasons why true customer-focused strategies could not be achieved.
Key findings from the “Utilize a Change Agent to Become Customer Focused” research survey of VPs, managers, and directors uncovered several key areas that marketers and IT professionals need to focus on to make their organizations more customer focused. Organizational readiness, alignment of internal priorities and technology advancement led the list of concerns for achieving a customer-obsessed organization.
Readiness Must be Tested & Customer-Focused Structures Need to be Implemented
All levels of leadership at B2C organizations, from managers to the C-level executives agree they must test their readiness and implement/expand their customer-focused marketing structures.
Alignment doesn’t exist for the majority of the B2C organizations we surveyed. No one level is to blame. Organizations struggle at all levels to meet their marketing objectives. One third of the organizations surveyed said they don’t have internal agreement on who their target is. In addition, nearly 40% said they lacked understanding from upper management about priorities, needs and goals.
Technology — A Mixed Blessing
Alignment alone isn’t the only reason why companies are struggling. Many are also saying that technology is moving way too fast to keep up. Thirty-four percent of respondents felt technology is moving faster than they can keep pace. Marketers and IT professionals need to ensure that new, advanced technology solutions will integrate with data and legacy systems. Over one third of respondents said they have legacy systems that are not integrated to share data.
What Do Marketers Need to Get Closer to Customers?
Achieving complete alignment and true customer obsession requires overcoming significant organizational, process, and technology challenges at all levels and across teams and departments. VPs, managers and directors we surveyed agreed that siloed organizational structures were a key barrier to marketing in a more customer-focused manner.
How can marketers overcome this struggle? Today’s marketers need to centralize not only the data, but the people, processes and platforms, to close the gap between insight and activation. Only then will marketers be able to link this data together at the individual customer level, in real-time, across all channels to proactively address the Connected Customers expectations for an experience that is unique to them — a Journey of One.
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