What Do Consumers Really Want? The Gap Between Marketer and Customer Perceptions on Brand Loyalty

Perception is everything when it comes to building brand loyalty: How consumers respond to your brand in the wild is an essential measure for long-term satisfaction.

Thanks to the many tools and techniques to reach them today, marketers are poised to understand their customer better than ever before. With data as the source of new intel on consumer behaviors, preferences, and historic activity, new opportunities for engagement are around every corner.

But are marketers really tapping innovation to meet and greet their customers in new ways? Our latest research at Boxever indicates this may not always be the case. Whether overwhelmed by channel-centric options, struggling to effectively carry out personalization techniques, or charting new territory with AI, marketers have the opportunity to make changes that will help them do more with their data. Our recent survey dives into the perceptions of both consumers and marketers to uncover what is needed to improve the customer experience with predictive marketing and artificial intelligence: tools available now and within grasp to make a difference in how consumers relate to your brand.

What did our survey unveil? Here are a few key takeaways:

1) Companies are only dipping their toes in digital transformation. Customer experience is quickly becoming the top priority for marketers: though 47 percent of respondents said that price was the most important factor to build brand loyalty, 42 percent said CX mattered most. But only half of respondents strongly agree that they can connect the dots between data across channels, showing limitations in how marketers are bringing CX to life as they update company process and technology.

2) We must change the way marketers think about channels. 75 percent of marketers see a greater lift in cross-channel campaigns than single channel campaigns, but many fall short when it comes to cross-channel automation. Though email marketing and website strategies lead the way for personalization, there is room for improvement to make the journey seamless across the board so that no detail falls through the cracks to serve up the best possible customer experience.

3) Organizations need to operationalize AI. Consumers and marketers still need education on what is AI – and all that is possible with it. Machine learning and predictive intelligence are foundational examples of artificial intelligence that should be woven into how data is gathered across the enterprise. This requires the right talent: And only 28 percent of marketers strongly agree that they have adequate data scientists on staff right now. To scale, companies must outsource and rely on technology providers.

4) Understanding the future of AI. Marketers overwhelmingly think consumers are ready for AI – nearly 80 percent say so – and that they are excited about it, too. But consumers are still on the fence: Nearly 45 percent of consumers polled disagree or strongly disagree that AI will improve their experiences with brands in the future. With chatbots as a visible example of AI for consumers to react to nowadays, it’ll be important to highlight these tactics and ensure they work smarter to improve CX, for customer service channels in particular.

5) Reimagining the role of marketing automation. Marketing automation – and the artificial intelligence that powers it – can bridge the gap between customer and marketer when used properly. Yet despite the fact that 95 percent of marketers surveyed trust marketing automation to do its job, 75 percent also feel that technology is a hassle to process. For marketers to be successful, technology needs to support their goals without being cumbersome, centralized so that insights can be more easily applied across channels.

When it comes to customer experience, more can be done: Marketers and consumers alike will benefit. Download our latest report, “Mapping Out the Customer Journey: Expectations versus Reality for the Modern Marketer,” for more interesting statistics on what marketers and consumers are thinking – and how artificial intelligence and personalization can connect marketers to the needs of today’s consumer.

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