Acquisitions, retention and revenue growth have supplanted clicks, views and shares as measures of customer experience and engagement success says research from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. The study, conducted with Microsoft, found that marketers are turning away from digital campaign metrics to business-focused measurements that more directly tie customer experience to financial performance and business outcomes.

In its strategic brief, “Making Personalization Possible,” the CMO reports that 40 percent of marketers surveyed believe that because of these new business measures, they are able to better prove the impact of customer experience investments. The survey found that 49 percent of marketers are optimistic about creating lasting relationships with customers through personalized engagements and campaigns, and more than one in four are totally confident that personalization is the path to customer gratification and retention.

“Marketers are moving away from defining customer experience success through moments in time like clicks or views,” says Liz Miller, senior vice president of marketing for the CMO Council. “Those have become critical tools for real-time campaign success. But to measure customer experience success and the overall impact of marketing on the business, marketers are turning to financial key performance indicators such as revenue, costs, conversions and impact on the bottom line.”

Executives are actively seeking tools and procedures to make their organizations more receptive to customers’ needs and to turn that data into actionable intelligence. The CMO Council’s research found that marketers’ top strategies for 2016 include bolstering analytics and lifecycle management strategies and platforms (65 percent), implementing personalization platforms (65 percent), engaging in comprehensive journey mapping (56 percent) and getting smarter about predictive analytics (52 percent).

“Marketing leaders are increasingly focused on personalization,” says Gretchen O’Hara, general manager of enterprise marketing at Microsoft. “In today’s data-driven marketplace, personalization is imperative. As innovations like predictive analytics and machine learning technologies become more accessible and easier to manage, they have become an essential part of every marketer’s toolbox, driving an organization’s competitive edge.”

The brief is available for download here.