2014-30-september-digital-minefield.jpg

This part goes with that one. Now that one connects there. Wrap that one into the next one. And plug it in over there.

It's a minefield of digital marketing technology for enterprises — and a challenge they haven't quite mastered yet.

Teradata Corporation learned this in its survey of 400 enterprise digital marketers and subsequent report, "Enterprise Priorities in Digital Marketing," which hit the streets today.

Digital marketers confirmed "that there’s a long way to go in terms of integration, of both data and of technologies," Michael Lummus, director of digital marketing solutions of Teradata Marketing Applications, told CMSWire.

Integration Challenges

digital marketing, Enterprise Digital Marketers Still Struggle with Tech Integration

A key challenge, according to the survey results, is making technology and data work together at scale and across corporate functions. Nearly 50 percent of organizations cite full integration with other technologies as their top criterion for new technology adoption.

Integration is always a challenge, it seems. Will the technologies actually talk? And that seems to be a must for digital marketers because not one provider will soon offer a be-all, end-all solution that covers it all, we have learned.

"Strategic direction is only as good as the investment that supports it," Lummus told CMSWire. "Marketers can use this report to help make the case for more cross-departmental data and technology integration, getting the C-suite to view customer-centricity as a strategic business imperative and take steps to continuously personalize their relationships with customers by using data and technology, together, more strategically."

Customer Experience Goals

What's not surprising from the survey is that digital marketers care about customer experience. 

Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of respondents view improving customer satisfaction as the top reason to invest more in technology. Becoming more customer-centric is a top-two priority for 49 percent of respondent organizations. 

digital marketing, Enterprise Digital Marketers Still Struggle with Tech Integration

After all, this is the age of the customer, as Forrester Research says.

"What’s clear throughout the report is the goal of building a customer-first approach is REAL," Lummus said. "Current and near-term plans for the technologies of customer analysis and experience validate that companies are moving away from simple platitudes toward optimizing the investment of their hard-won budgets."

Path to Personalization

Lummus calls the trend toward customer centricity and personalization undeniable. "Personalization is the path and customer centricity is the destination," he told CMSWire. "This is what is moving the enterprise marketing applications category today."  

He noted that 86 percent of enterprises are practicing some forms of personalization, but fewer than 20 percent are doing so in real-time.

"What this suggests," Lummus said, "is that many companies may think they are achieving personalization with simple things like citing the name of the recipient in the body of an email. But true personalization happens in real time. It is about marrying the historical relationship you have with a given customer with the context they are providing at any particular moment of need, and having just the right information you need to determine how to interact with them."

Can smaller entities and their digital marketers also benefit from this survey?

"Yes, in fact smaller companies can gain even greater value from these insights because they are more nimble and can execute more readily on many of the recommendations found in the report," Lummus said. "No matter what size your company is, technology and data play a strategically central role in your customer’s experience."

Title image by Pascal  (Flickr) via a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.