New research reveals marketers are prioritising the customer journey


This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: New research reveals marketers are prioritising the customer journey.

Amidst the current economic climate, marketers are most concerned about “understanding the whole customer journey” (42%), rising from 26% in Q4 2022. The findings are part of a new report investigating the role of data collaboration in understanding audiences, by LiveRamp in collaboration with research company, Censuswide.

When asked what marketers consider to be the most important “metrics that matter”, brand awareness came out on top (58%), suggesting a shift in the value of brand marketing even during times of economic turbulence. This was followed by return on ad spend (45%) and category reach (39%) highlighting the importance of providing effectiveness.

When it comes to data maturity, the majority of respondents described their company’s approach to data as “mature” (90%). However, nearly half (49%) of those surveyed said that they could not find audiences to match data-led customer insights “all of the time”, indicating a lack of confidence in turning customer insights into executable campaigns. Unsurprisingly, nearly everyone surveyed (94%) said it would be helpful to collaborate with partners to enhance their first-party data strategies.

Data collaborations bring together data from internal and external sources to unlock valuable customer insights, for example through digital retail media networks which are increasingly necessary in reaching audiences. In the survey, over half (59%) of respondents described retail media as “an important part” of their media plan and a further 34% of respondents described retail media as something that they were “increasingly beginning to adopt.” This is no surprise considering that retail media is forecast to account for 60% of global ad spend by 2027, and is expected to hit 25% growth in the UK this year, according to GroupM.

“The cost of living crisis is forcing consumers to feel the squeeze on their incomes, ultimately changing their buying habits. So while we’re gearing up for a hotly-competitive summer, marketers are prioritising getting to know their customers better and maintaining long-term, mutually-beneficial relationships”, comments Hugh Stevens, UK MD at LiveRamp. “Data collaboration is increasingly being recognised as a crucial element in the matchmaking process between brand and customer. A well-matched data partnership can provide a huge opportunity for greater addressability and measurement. Those that do not already have a mature data strategy will likely be playing catch-up with competitors. Marketers need to act now or risk falling behind.”

The report, Summer of Data Partnerships, explores the role of data collaboration in helping marketers romance their audience and examines priorities for marketers in the current climate. It includes contributions from Ollie Shayer, Omni-Media Director at Boots, Sophie Strong, Managing Partner, Joint Head of Media Experience at PHD UK and more. 

*The research took place during November 2022 and May 2023 and surveyed 250 brand-side marketers in the UK (aged 18+, excl sole traders), consisting of middle/senior managers and business leaders.

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