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Most marketers admit their department ‘can be a bottleneck to customer service delivery’

Over two thirds (71%) of marketing decision-makers and 60% of IT decision makers agree that their department can be a bottleneck when it comes to delivering an optimal customer experience.

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The research from Wunderman Thompson Technology and Sitecore reveals the challenges of today’s IT and marketing teams in driving dynamic, personalised and multichannel digital customer experiences. Indeed, less than half (43%) of the decision-makers surveyed strongly agree that they currently have access to the right tools across the content supply chain.

The Building Better Experiences report – which surveyed leaders in IT and marketing across the UK and the DACH region – explores why the need for the right tools, the right strategy and the right process has never been more urgent and exposes the friction between IT and marketing teams as they look to collaborate more closely to speed up content creation and deployment.

Experience pain points

The demand for personalised experiences across multiple channels is driving a proliferation of customer segments and context-based decisions that are becoming increasingly hard to manage. Content and assets need to be readily available to be surfaced dynamically on the right channel, in the right context, at the right time.

Marketing decision-makers, alongside their IT colleagues, face an increasingly intensifying challenge to get content where it needs to be, with 4 out of 10 (41%) reporting that they still lack the data they need to effectively drive personalised content to their customers.

39% of all decision-makers point to the diverse and siloed nature of asset management systems as the top pain point in building customer experiences and 35% are most concerned about having multiple copies of the same content in different locations.

If they do have a personalisation tool, 38% of decision-makers say it doesn’t deliver what they need and 36% don’t have a clear view on what content to personalise. Almost a third (32%) say they don’t have a content strategy that enables personalisation.

Furthermore, 71% of marketing decision-makers and 60% of IT decision makers agree that their department can be a bottleneck when it comes to delivering an optimal customer experience.

Technology to the rescue

While 60% of businesses surveyed say they are already investing in Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions, there are clear discrepancies across industries with some playing catch-up. The report found that retail businesses are at the vanguard of DAM investment (72% are investing in the technology), followed by manufacturing (65%), financial services (61%) and IT (54%).

These DAM solutions have the potential to deliver new capabilities via artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning that help to relieve the pressure of manual tasks and approval processes. In fact, 56% of businesses are currently using AI or machine learning to manage content and assets, with regulatory compliance, content recommendations and asset renditions being the top use cases. However, the research reveals that marketing teams are struggling to make the most of the technology at hand.

The marketing / IT divide

The report reveals a disconnect between IT and marketing decision-makers when it comes to the management of content, with 84% of marketing decision-makers wishing IT understood their needs better and 81% of IT decision-makers feeling the same about their marketing counterparts.

The divide widens on the issue of which department should be responsible for decision-making when it comes to purchasing DAM systems – platforms that allow businesses to review, manage and distribute personalised content from a central hub. The majority (79%) of IT decision-makers say they are responsible but less than half (46%) of marketing decision-makers agree. Similarly, 64% of marketing leaders claim responsibility but only 50% of their counterparts in IT concur.

Leigh Gammons, EMEA CEO, Wunderman Thompson Technology, said: “We live in an experience economy, with digital customer experience continuing to be the number one priority for most businesses. Content and asset management – a staple in delivering these experiences – is big business and decision-makers tell us that they are spending on average £1.7m on this capability each year, with that sum rising to £2.2m for higher revenue companies. 22% are spending between £2-5million and 8% are spending over £5million annually. With companies investing so heavily to optimise their content supply chain, it’s no surprise industry forecasters expect the DAM market to reach $15.4bn by 2027.”

Steve Stathis Tzikaki, CEO, Sitecore, added: “Consumer expectations skyrocketed over the past year, questioning brands’ digital experience capabilities. In response, many are finding that they need to make changes to streamline creativity, content, and collaboration. Strategic investments in agencies and headless technology can help organisations rise to the challenge with content-led personalisation at scale. Brands that get these fundamentals right will be well-positioned in a cookieless, privacy-first future where content takes on increased importance – particularly as fuel for expanding first-party customer data relationships.”


Research was conducted by Wunderman Thompson’s research team, SONARTM, with 580 IT and marketing decision-makers in the UK, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, in companies with a revenue of over £75 million. Research was conducted between the 23rd March 2021 and 11th April 2021.


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