Marketers are acutely aware of the benefits of improving their process management, but most of them are not doing anything about it, according to research from Simple, which also suggests the responsibility for the customer now rests firmly with the marketing department.

The lack of oversight is occurring, the report says, as marketers grapple with increasing brand governance requirements, growing complexity, and an increased focus on data.

Simple, a marketing resource management company, surveyed over 300 marketers on managing the customer experience through better MRM for its research report: MRM in the Age of Intelligence, revealing the majority are “working in the dark” when it comes to marketing process.

More than half of the marketers surveyed (51 per cent) do not track their marketing process at all, although most teams did look to improve their process in some way. To improve process most marketers (59 per cent) use work in progress meetings, email or shared documents (46 per cent), and documented workflows (44 per cent).

The finding that 52 per cent of marketers believe they could improve their efficiency by simply completing work and approvals on time also reveals that missing deadlines is a common bugbear for marketers and potentially some low hanging fruit for those seeking productivity gains.

While there is no shortage of understanding or effort to optimise the process, results are proving more elusive, according to the research.

A good first step, according to the report, would be for marketers to track the very thing they are trying to improve, something made difficult by the ad hoc approach and “static tools” most marketers currently use.

According to the authors, marketers would be better served by a “back to basics” method, where more fluid MRM tools capture the end to end marketing process. Indeed, that requirement is driving a renewed interest in evolving MRM, the report said.

According to the report, a successful MRM system improves marketing efficiency, thereby freeing up resources which could be used on improving the customer experience – something marketers are struggling with despite it now being recognised as their responsibility.

Owning the customer experience

According to the research, in 59 per cent of organisations the CMO or the marketing team is in charge of managing the customer experience. Only 13 per cent of organisations have a designated chief experience officer or chief customer officer. A further 7 per cent of organisations see customer experience being the responsibility of the executive team.

A big part of delivering the customer experience is brand consistency, according to the marketers surveyed – 87 per cent say brand consistency is either extremely important or very important. However, most aren’t able to deliver it at a high level.

Less than half of the marketers surveyed say they are able to deliver messaging, visual appearance and brand personality in an extremely or very consistent way.

The complex nature of modern marketing revealed in the research makes that inability more understandable. Most marketers now operate in more than 10 channels and have more than 10 tech solutions, and more than a quarter have at least five agency partners.

The myriad of technology and stakeholders is further complicated by the way marketers are delivering experiences, many of which are unsuitable for the complex environment, according to the report.

“Most teams enforce a consistent customer experience through the use of static mechanisms or leave it to the in-house creative team,” the authors write.

“This begs the question: if marketers continue to struggle to maintain brand consistency, can they successfully tackle the critical, broader responsibility of managing the customer experience?”

About the Author

Joseph Brookes is a writer for the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit, of which Simple is a corporate member. Our members provide their insights and expertise for the benefit of the Which-50 community. Membership fees apply.

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