Modern lives are encoded in data.
People spend four hours a day on their smartphone. Two-and-a-half hours on social media . And a lifetime on Zoom calls.
Data footprints are left in search queries, Twitter posts, Uber journeys. Cell towers and satellites track real-world movements.
Customer surveys. Web analytics. NPS feedback. CRM profiles. Social listening. Experience and Research teams have never had so much to work with.
So why aren’t we seeing a better return on all this data?
Three reasons: too much of it is dubious, disconnected and dehumanising.
In advanced economies, people are exposed to over 5,000 ads every day. That’s a ten-fold increase since the 1970s .
Online ads are unsurprisingly the main culprit: web users are trolled by algorithms, pursued mercilessly by retargeting campaigns. In the programmatic swamp, audiences are profiled, packaged, traded and targeted in milliseconds.
It’s a marvel. Especially for the tech platforms, data brokers and trading desks on the supply side of the equation.
Unfortunately for advertisers, up to 90% of online ad clicks are from bots or click farms. Fraud is staggeringly widespread and lucrative: it is forecast to be a $150bn business by 2025 .
For comparison, that’s roughly double Facebook’s 2020 revenue.
Marketers are starting to have doubts: eBay, P&G and JP Morgan Chase have all slashed programmatic budgets and seen no impact on sales.
And dubious data doesn’t just lurk in ads. Experience and Research teams also need to be wary. Up to a quarter of survey responses can be fraudulent ; and behavioural data sources such as geo-location or on-device behaviour are often gathered illicitly or without fully informed consent.
Yes, Experience and Research teams have more data than ever.
But how much of it is readily available – in a usable format – without battling another department for it?
These days it’s less about who owns the customer and more about who owns the customer data.
Technical, organizational and cultural silos all limit the effectiveness of data strategies.
We may design compelling PowerPoint models that take customers on journeys, across channels and through funnels; but the reality is often a mess of disconnected systems, departmental wrangles and delays.
For many organizations, the Single View of the Customer is distant dream. The reality is a kaleidoscope of fragmented, partial views; plenty of frustration; and huge inefficiencies when trying to put the picture back together again.
Fewer tools, fewer silos
Lenovo, a global technology company, recently combined its legacy CX tools into a single platform. By consolidating, Lenovo now has fewer data silos, a more efficient program and a unified view of the entire customer experience.
Read more Forsta case studies here.
In the long run, this may be the most significant of the three issues.
Four out of five brands fail to connect emotionally with their audiences . Trust in brands and institutions is declining . Machine learning algorithms reinforce biases that dehumanise individuals.
In many areas, the explosion of data about people has the unintended consequence of obscuring the human, the individual person we try to create experiences for.
When we lose sight of the human, we see only patterns, data points and dollar signs.
People are labelled solely by the value they represent: they become users, consumers, subscribers, viewers or respondents.
Where did the human go?
Data without depth is not a trivial matter. People are the most valuable asset in any organization. If we don’t understand and connect with them on a human level, we’re following in the footsteps of a thousand failed brands.
Make your data clear, connected and human-centered
Modern research and experience technology can transform how organizations get close to their customers. At Forsta, we call this HX, or Human Experience: the tools and methodologies that replace dubious, disconnected and dehumanized data with clarity, connection and human-centered insight.
Download this white paper to find out how you can take advantage of Human Experience.
1 Time spent on social media: https://www.statista.com/statistics/433871/daily-social-media-usage-worldwide
2 Ad exposure resources: https://ppcprotect.com/blog/strategy/how-many-ads-do-we-see-a-day/
3 Ad fraud: https://www.profgalloway.com/carcinogens/
4 Survey fraud: https://www.ipqualityscore.com/articles/view/67/8-methods-to-prevent-market-research-fraud
5 The cost of failing to connect emotionally: https://www.warc.com/content/feed/lack-of-emotional-connection-costs-brands/en-gb/3738
6 The Edelman Trust Barometer: https://www.edelman.com/trust/2021-trust-barometer
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