A new study has found significant gaps in how brands collect and leverage customer behavioral data to enhance engagement and retention strategies. The research from Forrester Consulting, commissioned by marketing cloud provider Acoustic, surveyed over 1,200 marketing decision-makers on their customer data practices.

The study, titled “Strengthen Customer Retention And Engagement With Behavioral Data,” revealed that while 75% of marketers believe collecting real-time customer experience data is critical, less than half (47%) are actually doing so currently. This lack of in-the-moment behavioral insights hampers marketers’ ability to optimize customer journeys and deliver relevant experiences.

Furthermore, only 45% of respondents indicated they use customer behavioral signals for any kind of customer journey orchestration across touchpoints. Most marketers tend to focus just on the early purchase stages, leaving significant gaps in providing data-driven experiences throughout the entire customer lifecycle.

Two of the top challenges highlighted were personalizing customer outreach (67%) and analyzing customer data and signals (66%). Respondents also flagged marketing automation (73%) and audience segmentation (69%) as major hurdles. This suggests marketers lack the proper tools and strategies to turn customer behavior into personalized engagement.

“As the privacy landscape shifts, investing in first-party data strategies for compliant personalization is crucial,” said Mark Cattini, CEO of Acoustic. “However, this study shows marketers still struggle collecting and activating customer behavioral data across journeys.”

Cattini pointed to Acoustic’s new “Connect” platform as a potential solution, enabling marketers to collect real-time first-party behavioral data and optimize engagement from a single solution as third-party tracking methods decline.

The findings indicate that despite personalisation being a top priority, major gaps remain in how customer data is collected, integrated and actioned by marketing teams. As privacy changes increasingly restrict third-party tracking, overcoming these hurdles will be key for marketers to deliver unified, relevant customer experiences.

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