The true cost of disconnected data to your company

There is a lot of noise in the B2B marketplace at the moment surrounding customer experience management. Many studies have shown that it has a powerful role to play enhancing lead nurture activity and driving revenue growth in the digital age.

The ability to use data to inform customer conversations is a key differentiator between companies that are achieving successful CEM and those who aren’t. It’s an enabler for truly personalised interactions geared towards an individual customer’s of-the-moment needs. However, a study we conducted across 154 senior B2B marketers indicates that 85% are not satisfied with their organisation’s ability to use data to make informed decisions.

Why is this? In the digital age, B2B organisations have more data – both structured and unstructured – at their fingertips than ever before. Many use up to eight channels to capture a wealth of information surrounding customer behaviour and sentiment. In theory, this should be fuelling meaningful interactions with customers. In reality, the more data a business has, the harder it can be to pinpoint up-to-date information quickly and efficiently.

The root cause of this problem is that the majority of organisations haven’t yet managed to join up their multiple data sources. This is causing them to fall behind in their CEM strategies.

The CEM impact of disparate data

So what are the full implications of this lack of connectivity? We compared the performance of ‘best in class’ data users – the 15% who are satisfied with their ability to use data -  versus ‘all others’.

Best in class were significantly reducing response times to customer requests, boosting customer retention and satisfaction and enjoying much higher average profit margins. This all translated into better revenue growth: 128% higher than that experienced by all others.

The ability or inability to access and use data efficiently also has a fundamental impact on employee productivity. In the majority of organisations, revenue producing staff were spending around 11% of their time looking for and verifying the data they needed to engage with customers. If you take an average salary of £30,000, this translates to a business cost of £3,300 per employee per year wasted due to data silos.

Benefits of master data management

Best in class organisations are typically further along the journey in terms of addressing systems integration issues. Master data management is being used to eliminate data silos and create a single source of reliable information. Consolidating data in this way creates a foundation stone for omni-channel marketing. This facilitates an omniscient customer experience, where buyer conversations are personalised and messaging is consistent across all channels at all times.   

We’re living and working in what will become a golden era of B2B customer experience. Businesses have access to more data than ever before. Right now, our findings indicate that many feel they need to do a better job of managing this data before they can enjoy desired performance outcomes.

Disparate data systems, resulting in siloed views of customer data, are the most common challenge causing businesses to fall behind in their CEM programs. It renders them unable to integrate the vast amounts of structured and unstructured data they capture, or to provide stakeholders with easy and timely access to the resulting insights. However, as they take the steps required to build and manage data-driven customer experience programs, they have an opportunity to drive significant performance improvements.

The bottom line is that in the digital age, companies that can successfully build and manage a data-driven customer experience hold a significant advantage over those that cannot.