SAN JOSE, CA: The marketing world has no shortage of data but it does lack an ability to utilise this to predict customer behaviour and deliver personalised content, a new study has said.

The study from the CMO Council – Predicting Routes to Revenue – was based on insights from more than 150 senior marketing executives surveyed across North America and Europe during the fourth quarter of 2015.

"The sheer volume of customer data available to marketers today is both a blessing and a curse," said Robert Tas, CMO of Pegasystems, which carried out the research for the study.

"As customer expectations rise when they reveal more about themselves, most organisations aren't equipped to reciprocate by providing a better, more personalised experience."

The study found that only 5% of respondents were confident they could predict the customer journey and what actions would derive maximum value.

Almost one quarter (23%) were able to develop predictive insights into broad customer trends, while another 20% felt they could only predict the next best action and struggled to move beyond that first step.

The CMO Council also noted that delivering on brand promises was another area where marketers were struggling. Two thirds of respondents admitted that success in this area was hit-or-miss, while 14% conceded they were completely missing the mark.

A major reason marketers are failing to make the most of their data, the report suggested, is "a fundamental misalignment of data sources".

Almost half (48%) of respondents indicated that data is collected and analysed but remains separate and is not well aligned.

Only 3% said current data sources – typically including website visits, sales/CRM records and customer satisfaction surveys – were integrated and totally aligned, delivering a comprehensive 360-degree view of the customer.

Liz Miller, SVP/Marketing at the CMO Council said that marketers needed to understand that personalisation is about more than using a customer's name in an email subject line.

"By deploying real-time analytics to turn this data into actionable insights, organisations can predict customer needs and quickly adjust as those needs change to provide superior experiences at every interaction," she stated.

Data sourced from CMO Council; additional content by Warc staff