Study Finds That Marketers View Unstructured Data as the Next Generation of CX

April 27, 2021

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – April 28, 2021 – A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Reputation, the global leader in reputation experience management (RXM), found that the majority of marketing and consumer experience (CX) professionals consider customer feedback and unstructured data key to building impactful brand experiences, but many are focused on collecting large amounts of data versus high quality data. 

Consisting of ad-hoc customer comments such as informal social media posts, unstructured feedback is typically qualitative in nature and provides a valuable source of real-time insight. As more consumers interact with brands across various digital touch points, such as chat and social media, it is gaining in prominence. The study shows that while 84% of decision makers see the value in unstructured data and consumer feedback, only 30% of data collected is unstructured, leaving behind a trove of direct consumer insights that could fuel business growth. 

The study included insights from 152 digital marketing or customer experience decision makers in the U.S. It found that 70% of these decision makers believe unstructured data is important in meeting CX goals, but they are struggling to collect that data. They are collecting customer feedback across an average of six touchpoints and storing across approximately 5.5 tools, but 42% struggle to make sense of customer feedback and data that they collect. Additionally, nearly 40% of decision makers feel that their organizations are too focused on quantitative data, leaving a trove of qualitative data-based insights on the table. 

“We believe that data is only as powerful as the actions you take from it, and this study shows that marketing and CX leaders typical struggle to make sense of the it, especially unstructured data, or data in the wild – the unadulterated reflection of online reputation found in social media comments, reviews or survey responses” says Joe Fuca, Reputation CEO, “This particular type of data is extremely valuable to businesses, as it serves as the key to unlocking richer insights. However, decision makers need to find a way to harness it effectively, to drive business growth and maintain online reputation.”


The study confirmed that unstructured data is power, with nearly two thirds of decision makers seeing it as the key to richer insights. It also found that unstructured data leads to: 

To harness the value of unstructured data, businesses need to aggregate it with technology. However, many marketers lack the tools to do this. Forrester found that only 32% of decision-makers currently use a unified data analytics tool or aggregate these disparate data sources. 

Want to learn more about how unstructured data can unlock richer consumer insights? The Forrester Opportunity Snapshot can be accessed here

This Opportunity Snapshot was commissioned by Reputation. To create this profile, Forrester Consulting supplemented this research with custom survey questions asked of 152 digital marketing or customer experience decision- makers in the US. The custom survey began and was completed in February 2021. 

About Reputation 
Reputation (formerly, creator of the Reputation Experience Management category, is changing the way companies gather and act on customer feedback to drive decision making and enhance Customer Experience (CX) programs. Reputation’s interaction-to-action platform translates vast amounts of solicited and unsolicited feedback data into prescriptive insights that companies use to learn from and grow. Thousands of global organizations rely on the patented algorithms behind Reputation Score X™ to provide a reliable index of brand performance in order to make targeted business improvements. Backed by Bessemer Ventures and Kleiner Perkins, and trusted by over 250 integration partners, including Google, Facebook, Salesforce, J.D. Power, Amazon and, Reputation turns feedback into the fuel to grow businesses around the world. Visit to learn more.

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