SAN JOSE, CA: Even though consumers are more connected than ever before, just 7% of marketers say they are able to deliver real time, data-driven engagements across both offline and digital touchpoints.

That is according to a new survey from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and RedPoint Global, who polled 263 marketers – of whom half (51%) ranked as CMO or its equivalent.

These marketers also revealed that only 5% are able to see the bottom line impact of engagements in real time, mainly because current processes require manual transport of data and intelligence from disconnected systems.

Furthermore, just 8% reported that they have been able to implement systems in an effort to establish a "best of breed" model of technologies and platforms.

And the problem they face is not because they don't have enough data at their disposal – 43% agreed they do not lack data – but rather they are missing the ability to transform data into real time action.

According to the study, entitled Empowering the Data-Driven Customer Strategy: Addressing Customer Engagement From the Foundation Up, the survey findings underscore the need for a solid data foundation upon which a customer engagement strategy should be built.

"While the customer wants to see real time responses and reactions to their behaviours, what we are finding is that marketers are still dealing with complex processes and offline data, which is delaying their access to the intelligence they need to create the next best action with a customer," said Liz Miller, the CMO Council's SVP of Marketing.

"These delays are further increased due to a lack of clear ownership over the customer experience strategy as a whole, with multiple teams and departments battling for customer attention across a growing, fragmented landscape of data and engagement systems," she added.

Specifically, the survey respondents identified a number of barriers that currently hinder their organisations from delivering a truly data-driven customer strategy.

These included budget limitations (54%), failure to embrace a customer-centric culture (43%), lack of senior level support to spark change and advance customer experience (32%), and lack of a solid data foundation upon which a customer data strategy can be built (31%).

Commenting on the findings, Dale Renner, CEO of RedPoint Global, said: "The capability gap between an organisation's strategy and its ability to execute highlighted by this research has a very direct impact on the ever-growing gap between customer expectations and the experience delivered by brands.

"To consistently meet customer expectations, brands must be relevant; and to sustain profitable revenue growth, they must be more relevant than competitors.

"This can only be achieved by having the deepest understanding of a customer, making decisions at the cadence of each customer, and then intelligently orchestrating engagement across any touchpoint in the enterprise."

Data sourced from CMO Council; additional content by Warc staff