TheCustomer QT

TheCustomer QT – June 15, 2021

In the latest edition of TheCustomer QT – Marketers’ struggles and our responses, What does ‘trust’ mean to you?, There might be a fox in your henhouse, No wonder AI bias is a thing, and how & why you should be thinking about your customer’s expectations.

Happy skimming.


Research Shows CMOs Increasing Marketing Ops Spend

Quick-Take: Almost all (91%) marketing leaders say they encounter challenges presenting data to their executive team, with nearly two-thirds (65%) of CMOs reporting that they struggle to simplify operational data into meaningful insights. Other data-related challenges cited include:

  • Struggling to aggregate large amounts of data into ROI proof points (47%)
  • Too many data sources to easily make sense of it (41%)
  • Only a few (11%) reports that they don’t trust their data

Editor’s Note:  This research reflects much of the conversation we’ve been having with marketing leaders lately.  TheCustomer is planning a series of events in the next few months to address this and several of the other major themes that have come out of those discussions.  Please stay tuned!



What’s Behind Your Web Traffic?

Quick-Take: As a marketer, how would you react if you learned that the money you’re spending on digital advertising every year isn’t generating any engagement from humans whatsoever, but actually attracting automated bots? And what if you learned that 40.8% of the traffic on your website or campaign landing pages last year didn’t originate from an actual human customer? Unfortunately, for many businesses, this is their unsettling reality. In 2020, human traffic on websites fell by 5.7% while automated “bad bot” traffic grew to record levels.


Digital Trust ‘Signals’

Quick-Take: “The average eCommerce storefront faced 344 fraud attacks per year in 2020, up by 24 percent over 2019, with large retailers experiencing a 37 percent increase in fraud attacks in 2020,” and “for every dollar lost to fraud, an organization’s total financial loss totaled $3.36” due to the merchant costs of cleaning up after a cyberattack.



What Shopper Loyalty to Instacart Could Mean

Quick-Take: Customers’ loyalty has been shifting to Instacart for years. In a survey carried out by Barclays Research and AlixPartners way before the pandemic in 2019, Instacart customers were asked what action they would take if their preferred retailer were no longer available on the Instacart platform. Forty-three percent responded that they would just switch to a different retailer. These results clearly indicate the lack of loyalty to grocers on the Instacart platform.

Editor’s Note: This piece echoes another thread of the conversations we’ve been having with marketers over the past year and we think they’re right to be concerned.  Handing your customer relationships over to an intermediary who has no stake in your brand is a scary proposition.  Beware of letting the fox into the henhouse.


Consumers Pretty Optimistic

Quick-Take: “The report also reveals shifts in brand loyalty, stating that consumers increasingly want to feel a sense of consistency and trust with the brands they buy from. The share of consumers that said they are more likely to purchase from a brand or store they trust has significantly increased from 71% in 2019 to 76% in 2021. Corporate social responsibility efforts and sustainability matter now more than ever as well, with 54% of respondents saying they are more likely to be loyal to a brand that has sustainable and ethical business practices.”



Federal Data Privacy Legislation Could Benefit U.S. Economy

Quick-Take: “The flow of data contributes more to GDP growth than the flow of goods,” she said. “Federal privacy legislation can really grow digital trade … in particular promoting cross-border data flows and compatibility with rules that are in other countries that are both pro-privacy and pro-innovation.”



The Klarna Conundrum

Quick-Take: Whether you use Klarna all the time or have barely heard of it, it’s time to start paying attention: the buy-now-pay-later app has just become the biggest private fintech company in Europe. Klarna has completed a new round of fundraising, valuing it at US$46 billion (£33 billion). That’s four times what it was worth last September.



Focus on Customer Journey Gaining Ground

Quick-Take: “I was most impressed with the swift advances in the healthcare sector to embrace customer journey orchestration and digital channels. It’s clear that patient experience and engagement has become a major priority for the industry during the pandemic, and we’re likely to see continued transformation in the way healthcare payers and providers approach the patient journey.”


Prepping for The Next Normal

Quick-Take: Moving forward, personalized CX will be considered table stakes by the majority of consumers. Brands wanting to differentiate themselves need to provide “anticipatory CX” by learning to recognize and respond to customer needs before they’re expressed—sometimes even before they even realize they have one. Make sure your technology and processes are supporting your ability to proactively identify opportunities to interact with customers, provide additional information about a product or service they might be interested in, and present a personalized offer to help drive customer loyalty.

Editor’s Note:  New nomenclature aside, anticipating customer needs, wants & expectations is critical to meeting them.  For more on this topic, here is a curated list of articles we have published on this theme.


CX Measurements May Be Blinding You

Quick-Take: Good results came from this measurement process when the results helped Grodan’s people “identify themselves and their departments” and how this impacted customers. “People will recognize themselves; they will be triggered to look in the mirror, and this is important in stimulating change,” said Swinkels-Legierse. From this flowed internal organizational change, which was truly customer-centric. In some cases, it could identify where the company was sitting on a “burning platform,” which drove urgency around the change.  To conclude, Swinkels-Legierse used a favorite quote from Walt Disney that she believes is relevant to CX: “You can design and create the most wonderful place in the world, but it takes people to make the dream a reality.”



Why Enterprises Must Tackle Ethical AI

Quick-Take: According to a new report from FICO, a global analytics software firm, 65% of C-level analytics and data executives surveyed said that their company cannot explain how specific AI model decisions or predictions are made, and 73% have struggled to get broader executive support for prioritizing AI ethics and responsible AI practices. Only 20% actively monitor their models in production for fairness and ethics.


How To Make Sure That Diversity In AI Works

Quick-Take: To address the complexities of who is shaping AI today, we need to understand who builds AI systems, and how race, gender and other protected classes are represented within AI products. Studies show that only 12% of machine learning researchers are women, 15% of AI research staff at Facebook are women and just 10% at Google. According to one report (via Fortune), 2.5% of Google’s workforce is Black, whereas it is 4% at Microsoft and Facebook.

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Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash.

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