What do marketers need to do in 2019 to deliver a better customer experience? According to a new industry report, it’s all about ensuring the possibility of conversion at any point in the customer journey.

The study from advertising platform provider Criteo, which polled more than 900 direct response marketers, found – to the surprise of not many – a plethora of applications and accounts marketers have to grapple with today. When it comes to budget allocation, the most popular tactics were paid display – accounting for 16% of budget on average – ahead of social (14%). Perhaps surprisingly, the traditional channels of print, direct mail and TV advertising still accounted for 13% of budgets – ahead of email and content marketing (both 10%).

Criteo envelopes the conversation around a need for greater control as the ‘awareness, consideration, conversion’ methodology. Marketers first need to think about how to maximise reach, then focus on traffic and where it is going, before tracking sales across each channel.

When it came to conversion, social – cited by 53% of those polled – was the most popular channel, ahead of paid display advertising (43%), email marketing (41%) and SEO (38%).

Yet more can be done about connecting different sets of data. Two in five (40%) respondents said they struggled to find data which connects online and offline shoppers. Fragmented data ‘makes it difficult for marketers to gain a true understanding of customers and to optimise future campaigns’, the company added.

Part of the problem is that there is no overall metric for measuring conversion. New revenue, cited by 35% of respondents, new customer rate (33%), and cost per action (30%) were the most popular – but this doesn’t take into account total revenue and new visitor rate, not to mention customer lifetime value.

The report noted what can be done to fix the issue of fragmented data. “Conversion campaigns are as much about attribution as they are about sales numbers,” Crito explained. “Without being able to show which channels and tactics really move the needle, marketers won’t be able to secure the budget or stakeholder buy-in that they need.

“When you have the proper tools and partners in place to measure data-driven attribution, then you can rest assured that your marketing dollars are being well spent.”

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