SAN JOSE, CA: Clicks, views, posts, shares and visits have taken a back seat to acquisition, retention and revenue growth as core measures of customer experience and engagement success, a new report from the CMO Council has claimed.

The study – Making Personalization Possible – included input from 179 senior marketers, one third of them from businesses with more than $1bn in revenue and from both B2B and B2B2C businesses.

Some 40% of marketers surveyed believed that the new business measures they were using meant they were evolving their ability to demonstrate the impact of customer experience investments. And one third felt they were already doing this well.

Around half (49%) were optimistic that personalized engagements and campaigns would help create lasting relationships with customers, while more than one in four (26%) were totally confident that personalization is the path to customer gratification and retention.

This trend is no longer the preserve of B2C businesses, as the report noted that personalization has rapidly become a requirement for B2B engagement as well.

"Demonstrating a deep understanding of an individual customer and delivering a digital experience that is highly relevant, timely and tailored for a single user is universally critical," it said.

Achieving that consistently is a different matter, however, as few marketers (14%) were able to personalize across the entire customer journey, while one third (36%) could only do so in certain channels.

But one in five (21%) said they were delivering one-on-one relationships with their customers, personalizing experiences both online and offline.

Liz Miller, SVP/Marketing for the CMO Council, noted that clicks and views still had a role in measuring real-time campaign success, "but to measure customer experience success and the overall impact of marketing on the business, marketers are turning to financial KPIs: revenue, costs, conversions and impact on the bottom line".

For the coming year, marketers indicated they would be looking to bolster analytics and lifecycle management strategies and platforms (65%), along with implementing personalization platforms (65%), engaging in comprehensive journey mapping (56%), and getting smarter about predictive analytics (52%).

Data sourced from CMO Council; additional content by Warc staff