Good intentions and good efforts don’t always translate to good results. This unfortunate but common scenario sums up much of the current state of marketing. The strategies marketers use to get closer to customers have backfired and are pushing them away instead: Attempts to better target and personalize messages often feel creepy. Use of personal data often doesn’t correspond with consumers’ comfort levels. Marketing automation combined with precarious profile-building can lead to experiences that are repetitive and awkward, or even painful.

Compounding the problem is the tendency to think in terms of specific campaigns and short-term goals (read: sales), rather than focusing on long-term loyalty and relationship building.

Recent Forrester data reveals the depth of the marketer-customer disconnect. Showcased in the infographic below, the data also sheds light on some of the contributing factors. For instance, investment in marketing automation continues to rise, while at the same time, creative investment and oversight have been deprioritized. These trends have helped to fuel digital sameness and repetitive experiences — and every now and again, significant blunders.

The news isn’t all gloom and doom, though: With some serious introspection and counterintuitive strategies, you can turn your marketing from customer-repelling to customer-obsessed.

It requires taking a step back and questioning assumptions about what it means to be customer-obsessed. It means pivoting from what you think customers want to focusing on what they actually want. The good news is that your toolkit likely already accommodates truly customer-obsessed approaches — no major monetary investments required. Making a mental and planning shift can be the first step in renewing trust, engendering loyalty, and, ultimately, driving growth.

See my full report for more details on what’s fueling the customer-marketer disconnect.