Why Enterprise Marketers Have Trouble Connecting with Customers

Millennials demand a personalized experience with email and messaging

What’s the number one thing your customers want from you?

Well, they want a lot of things. But there’s one overarching quality they desire from enterprise brands.

They want to feel special. They want to know they matter. 

They want to know they matter enough that you’ll protect their personal information while using it to give them relevant recommendations and messaging that speaks to their needs.

MessageGears CEO, Roger Barnette put it this way during his keynote at Accelerate 2022, “Whether they’re on your website, your app, or in person, it’s impossible to do any of that without knowing who your customer is through their customer data. It’s impossible to do true personalization without direct access to your customer data.” 

Consumer Hierarchy of Needs

We commissioned a survey asking American consumers what was most important to them. Simply put, consumers want trust, responsiveness, and relevance from brands. 

Interestingly, customers said the number one thing they want is for brands to keep their data secure.

“The safest place for your customer data is behind your firewall. When you copy and ship data outside of your firewall (like most SaaS products require) you don’t control the security of that data anymore,” explained Barnette. 

Consumers have said they want:

  • their data to be safe 
  • timely customer support 
  • consistent communication across touchpoints 
  • relevant recommendations 
  • personalized messaging 

It’s impossible to do four out of five of these without immediate and instant access to your customer data. Let’s take a look at why having tools that are able to use live customer data is critical to showing your consumers they matter. 

Generic Personalization is the Death of Marketing

Consumers expect brands to “get them”. They expect them to know what they want and when they want it.

In the survey, half of the respondents said they were annoyed when brands sent generic messages. And 75% said if brands do it too much, they’ll likely unsubscribe. Generic messaging causes you to lose potential and loyal customers alike

And it’s no surprise ⅔ of respondents said brands that create personalized customer experiences are more likely to get their business. But 87% of responders felt less than half of the brand marketing messages they received were personalized.

Why is that?

Data Friction Holds Brands Back

To give your customers the personalized messages they want and the relevant products they need, you need to know four things:

1. Who they are. 

Understand their demographics, location, personas, technographic, etc.

2. What they want. 

Understand their buyer behavior, purchase history, activity history, complementary actions, etc.

3. When they want it.

Communicating with the right message at the time when they’re most likely to take action.

4. Where they want it.

Determining the best delivery mechanism for the message (i.e. push, email, web, SMS, etc.). 



When you have the data that allows you to identify those four things, you can create marketing magic. But getting access to the data to let you send timely messages to the right customers with relevant information is very hard – and critically important. Why is it hard? Data friction.

Data friction is the back-and-forth toil between marketers and I.T. teams to get and activate “real-time” data. It increases lag time in marketing campaigns, and is caused by the movement of data back and forth between multiple marketing providers, ESPs, CDPs, systems of record, or internal data stores — typically in large quantities.


This is how it plays out. You want to send a Black Friday email campaign so you work with I.T. to:

Step 1: Take the customer data in your Modern Data Warehouse (MDW).

Step 2: Make a copy of the data to send it to another platform like an ESP, CDP, segmentation platform, etc.

Step 3: Map the data points and sync the data, which can take hours (sometimes days).

Step 4: Once data is ready it sends to the platform (sometimes takes hours).

Step 5: Use that data (likely old data now) to build your campaign. 

Step 6: Measure engagement and package that to be sent back to your MDW. 

This process can take days or weeks depending on how long you get stuck at step three. The sloth-like pace makes it impossible to give your customers what they want, when they want it because, by the time you send, their customer data has changed and you’re recommending a product they’re no longer interested in. Or, your data has changed and you’re recommending a product that’s no long in stock. 

Every time you send your data to an ESP, a CDP, or any other platform, it makes a copy. But your customer data changes so much. So by the time it gets to where you need it to go, the data is old and irrelevant.

Direct Data Access Shows Customers You Care

“Instead of having a tangled web of martech vendors that’s shipping your data everywhere, a SaaS product like MessageGears that sits directly in your data environment allows you to easily access, move, and use your data,” said Barnette. 

Direct data access allows marketers to:

  • Provide the best security for their customer data – behind their firewall
  • Show their customers they care by communicating with them based on the most up-to-date information 
  • Maximize their investment in their MDW by eliminating the need to copy data 
  • Stop getting on I.T.’s nerve by having all their customer data available to them

MessageGears is the only customer engagement platform that allows you to give your customer the five things they most want: secure data, timely customer support, consistent communication across channels, relevant recommendations, and personalized messaging.

Direct access to your data increases Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), revenue, and marketing metrics. It also shows your customers they matter. It shows them you care. It gives them the very thing they want from you – responsiveness, relevance, and data security.