Insight: Half of businesses falling behind the wave of digitisation – DMA

43% of businesses have no fixed digitisation plans in place, according to the latest research from the DMA and WLT

Almost half of businesses could be falling behind in an increasingly digital world, according to the ‘Evolving the customer journey’ report from the DMA and Williams Lea Tag (WLT) released today. The survey of over 150 marketers reveals that 43% of businesses currently have no plan or timescale to implement a digitisation strategy. Even among those organisations with a digitisation strategy in place, the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into force in May 2018 has slowed down their firm’s progress according to a third of marketers (36%).

The research highlights how this lack of digitisation and strategy may also be damaging organisation’s ability to develop an effective single customer view (SCV), with 43% of respondents describing the ability within their business as either ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. Half of marketers (47%) also believe the GDPR have made it more difficult to form an SCV, although there are just under a third (31%) that feel the opposite is true.

Rachel Aldighieri, MD at the DMA, said: “In what seems like no time at all, the variety of channels available to consumers and marketers has exploded, offering all sorts of routes to market for brands, and myriad ways for customers to engage, try and buy. 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.”

Despite all these challenges, the vast majority of marketers we polled believe their customer communications have become more digitised in recent years. Some 72% agree these communications had become much or moderately more digital, while just 2% said there had been no advancement.

Jonathan Simpson-Dent, EMEA CEO, Williams Lea Tag, said: “The days of the well-trodden and predicable path to a physical check-out are gone. For most consumers, this simple, well-defined linear journey has been replaced by multiple virtual tributaries and collision points along the path to purchase. Organisations are scrambling to keep their brands afloat in the choppy waters of disruption – digitising customer journeys is imperative for businesses today and organisations that do not embrace digital transformation stand to lose relevance and market share to more adaptable rivals.”

Understanding and actioning performance

In an increasingly connected world, with so many digital channels at their disposal and so much data being produced, marketing departments should still be awash with data – despite GDPR. This customer insight is integral to helping organisations understand the performance and how to optimise campaigns. Most marketers (59%) did agree their business was able to review campaign performance across both physical and digital customer communications channels.

However, that also reveals that one in three businesses (35%) cannot capture and analyse performance data. Furthermore, almost half (49%) of those surveyed claimed they were not able to action any insights gleaned from channel performance analysis. Meaning a significant proportion of organisations are unable to action customer and performance insights, even if they are collecting them in the first place.

To read more about the DMA and WLT’s research, including the full ‘Evolving the customer journey’ report, visit the DMA website.


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