One in three marketers see complex customer journey as biggest barrier to the CX

As retailers look at how changing consumer habits impacted sales over the holiday period, Williams Lea Tag and the DMA have found that over a third of marketers believe that today’s complex customer journey landscape is the single biggest barrier to delivering a consistently good customer experience.

The biggest challenge faced by marketers today is limited internal resource according to the findings in the joint Williams Lea Tag and DMA ‘Evolving the customer journey’ whitepaper, which is based on a survey of 150 UK marketers and contains case studies from leading UK brands.

The report also reveals the differing goals B2B and B2C brands have when it comes to their marketing strategies. While 80% of B2B marketers view sales as a key aim for communications campaigns, only 34% of B2C marketers share that view. For direct to consumer brands, engagement (86%), brand awareness (72%) and long-term loyalty (72%) were the most frequently stated goals.

While the complex customer journey landscape is the biggest barrier to customer experience, only 28% of marketers feel it is one of the biggest challenges they face today. Instead limited internal resource (56%), inefficient processes (46%), limited budget (44%), lack of internal digital integration (35%) and a lack of talent or skills within their organisation (35%) are the five biggest challenges most frequently chosen by marketers today.

Fig 1. Top five biggest challenges marketers face today

However, brands are responding to the needs of marketers and over half of those surveyed revealed their firms were creating more digitally led products and services (58%), assessing the impact of digital on their customers (55%), transforming IT to become more agile (54%) and researching brand new digital initiatives (53%).

Jonathan Simpson-Dent, EMEA CEO of Williams Lea Tag, commented: “Managing the different customer touch points on the path to purchase is front of mind for marketers but internal barriers are often getting in their way. Successful brands are showing the way by utilising digitisation to be able to better manage online and offline experience in truly integrated marketing campaigns. Working with the right marketing activation partners empowers these brands to engage and work with different partners on both global and local levels.”

Rachel Aldighieri, MD at the DMA, said “Not all that long ago, brands and their agencies could comfortably push their marketing messages through a limited number of established media channels, confident in the predictability of the customer’s journey from each channel through to engaging and potentially purchasing from the brand. Then the internet came along and completely changed the world in which we all live and work. Despite the challenges in keeping pace with this change, what’s most important is that these are all within an organisation’s own power to resolve. By putting the customer first, organisations can focus on experience and journeys they want, aligning their digital futures to these.”