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Disconnected marketing campaigns are doomed to fail. Here are some ways to identify and address these issues.

“One of the biggest challenges marketers have today is getting people into the hopper, getting them to convert and stick around as lifetime customers,” said Gene De Libero, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Consulting for marketing technology consultancy GeekHive, at our recent MarTech conference.

There are several factors that can affect a brand’s ability to attract, convert and keep customers, but virtually all stem from one issue: disconnection. If marketers can’t connect properly with customers due to technology, data or experiential issues, their return on investment will inevitably decrease.

“There are some disconnects that are preventing us from getting to where we have lots of people converting and sticking around as longtime customers,” De Libero said.

Disconnects in your marketing campaigns should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent more serious issues down the road.

Disconnected customer experiences

Most marketers know customer experience is important, but many fail to understand what their customers want or how to address the issues. De Libero highlighted this disconnect with customers by sharing a Forbes study, which found that there was roughly an 80% revenue increase for businesses focused on improving customer experience.

“There’s a bit of a disconnect because there’s a customer desire that’s not being met,” said De Libero. “When we look at the stats, on average the gap between what the customer expects from the brand and what they get was about 38%. That’s a gaping void.”

He added, “Once these things have happened, it’s already too late. So, why wouldn’t we start with ensuring that the customer experience our customers have is as remarkable as it can be?”

Disconnected customer data and analytics

“While 80% of those marketers are thrilled about collecting first-party data,” De Libero said, “Only a tiny percentage of them are using data to deliver that full cross-channel experience for their customers.”

Addressing disconnected customer experience requires data gathering. While it’s not as easy to gather non-first-party data as it once was due to much-needed privacy legislation, marketers have a variety of tools and tactics at their disposal to help them adapt.

Unfortunately, far too few marketers are using these resources, which seems to originate from quality issues and disconnects in the data collection process itself.

“If you look at the share of projects that are using marketing analytics before they make a decision, you can see that there’s been a decline in utilization of marketing analytics to drive decision-making,” De Libero said. “It’s because there’s poor data quality.”

Disconnected artificial intelligence and machine learning

There’s been an explosion in the marketing space for artificial intelligence and machine learning over the past few years, which is mainly due to marketers’ increasing desire for automation. But far too few brands are using these technologies.

“84% of digital marketing leaders think that artificial intelligence is going to enhance their ability to deliver real-time personalized experiences to their customers,” De Libero said. “But only 17% use artificial intelligence and machine learning across the marketing function.”

These technologies can help your marketing efforts by improving customer segmentation, automating time-consuming tasks, campaign personalization and more. Leaving them out of the process could hamper customer growth, especially for enterprise-level brands.

How to address marketing disconnects

“The only way to drive revenue, acquisition, conversion and retention is through remarkable customer experiences,” said De Libero. “The customer experience is paramount — it’s the most important thing.”

He added, “The voice of the customer is going to help you drive that experience.”

Diagram of a unified marketing strategy. Source: Gene De Libero

However, tackling these disconnects goes beyond customer experience — although that is the top priority. Marketers must also unify each aspect of their campaigns to serve as foundations for those experiences.

“If you can take those strategies — customer experience, content, data and marketing technology — you can unify them and have a solid digital strategy that you can stand on,” De Libero said.

“It’s the basis for digital transformation, the basis for marketing transformation and so much more,” he added.

Corey Patterson is an Editor for MarTech and Search Engine Land. With a background in SEO, content marketing, and journalism, he covers SEO and PPC to help marketers improve their campaigns.