#1 Barrier to Effectively Engaging Customers and How to Overcome It

Demand Generation


We are, without doubt, living and working in an Engagement Economy. And marketers know it: 82% of marketers are prioritizing the consumer experience—both online and offline. We know we need to effectively engage with our consumers to stay afloat and continue to generate revenue.

But it’s not easy. Our world is inundated with insane amounts of content, best practices, and technology—all with the purpose of increasing the level of personalization with our audience.

So what’s the #1 barrier making marketers lives nearly impossible in driving forward and creating innovative campaigns that produce amazing results?

The #1 Barrier To Engaging Customers

The #1 challenge that marketers face when it comes to customer engagement is tools and technologies.

You’re probably wondering—but how can that be? There are so many marketing tools available—just check out Scott Brinker’s list of 7k+ technologies! There are even entire tradeshows dedicated to MarTech stacks.

So what about marketing technologies is getting in the way of the ideal customer experience? It’s not that there are too many (though there really are). Marketers are feeling frustrated by a lack of necessary or effective tools, technologies that are way too complex to be efficient, and tools that can’t be easily managed together (aka—lack of integration).

Specific Challenges

With that in mind, it makes sense that we have conferences and huge tech stacks. We have conferences because it is TOO complicated because all the solutions in those stacks don’t always play well together. In fact, only 8% of marketers feel their tools are integrated across all touchpoints. This is making our jobs even harder – when technology should make our jobs easier.

Here are the top three things you need to build a tech stack that allows you to create an effective customer experience:

  1. Relevancy
  2. Automation
  3. Reporting

1. Relevancy

The primary reason that audiences are not engaging with brands is that they send too much irrelevant content. Ouch. Both B2B and B2C buyers expect that brands have at least email, website, and phone interactions integrated. They expect branded emails to reflect the conversation they had with a sales rep the previous week.

That means that an effective customer engagement platform must integrate interactions to deliver relevant, personalized content to every buyer or customer, every time.

2. Automation

An effective customer engagement platform has to be automated – duh! There is no way to scale when manually delivering relevant, personalized content to every customer. At a minimum, the top three tactics that marketers need automated are email marketing, mobile marketing, and integrated social media.

Automation Impact

Automating each of these efforts means that each user gets tailored content and a unified brand experience across each of the most important channels. The right technology ensures that nothing gets forgotten or overlooked, and marketers can spend their time planning strategies and campaigns rather than checking off routine content or analytics tasks.

3. Reporting

Analytics and reporting are increasingly crucial for modern marketers, especially as they relate to proving ROI. And marketers’ specific challenges with measuring ROI include turning data into action, demonstrating value, and defining which metrics relate to revenue.

Specific ROI challenges

This is where the benefit of a single platform really shines compared to the even the most integrated MarTech stack. Easily pulling the metrics you need to create meaningful, actionable reports require one application that can access, understand, merge, and report on numbers from every campaign. Manually merging metrics from different apps that measure different campaigns is the opposite of simple and efficient.

Marketers are increasingly expected to prove how their efforts are affecting revenue – and your technology should be able to combine all of the metrics into a seamless reporting experience.

Make Sure You Have the Right Tool(s)

Whether you’re just beginning to invest in marketing tech, are considering adding to your stack, or are neck-deep in the frustration of too many ineffective tools – ease (or prevent) the pain by making sure you’re looking for the right tools.

(Because there are some really cool, shiny things out there that are more exciting than they are useful. It’s easy to get drawn in. Guilty.)

A single engagement platform—that can cover your email, social, content, etc.—is the best way to make sure your programs are working together. But it is possible to build a stack of smaller tools that work together.

Just make sure you can automate repetitive tasks, deliver personalized/relevant content to every member of your audience, and request fully integrated analytics reports from your chosen tech stack.