Cross-Channel Marketing – The facts

So what really makes a good design agency? There are 1000’s of us in the UK alone.  Do you appoint an agency on how creative they are, the clients they currently work for, the size of their business, how responsive they are, the personality fit, their costs, and the list goes on. Of course you do…?

Do you ever consider the technology they deploy and the statistics they can provide when delivering a cross–channel marketing campaign so you can see globally if your campaign objectives have been met and what the ROI actually is?

A recent study has proved this:

78% of marketers surveyed believe cross-channel strategy marketing is either “important” or “very important” to their business.

These believers reported that the importance of cross-channel marketing is that it:

Increases efficiency
Improves campaign return on investment and customer relationships.

As for being prepared to take on the task and using a scale of 1 (very prepared) to 5 (extremely unprepared) only 6% said they were “extremely prepared” (5) to manage cross-channel marketing; 33% rated their preparedness as a 4, 36% fell in the middle (3), another 18% (2) and 6% reported being “very unprepared” (1).

Challenges
“The study found that marketers continue to struggle to understand customer interactions across channels and manage execution across multiple technologies. They cited limited staff, budget and inadequate skills as the reasons.

As for staffing, 49% reported not having enough employees, 42% don’t have the in-house technical expertise to execute and measure cross-channel marketing and 37% said their staff is structured into separate groups with no visibility into each other’s programs.

Technology matters most
In a sign that technology plays an important role in managing cross-channel strategies, marketing departments are increasingly owning the budget for technology needed to power these interactive programs; 70% of survey takers fall into this camp. But this budget is still quite small. Half of respondents own less than 10% of their company’s overall technology budget.

Even so, the study found that cross-channel success depends on technology. Advanced marketers have the capabilities to use technology to aid program execution, data collection and process management across channels.

Respondents use a host of technologies to manage their programs because many believe there is no single tool that can do the job. Fifty-one percent said that current marketing technologies fall short in cross-channel analytics, 44% on tracking standard key performance indicators across channels, 42% the capability to provide a unified customer view and house data in a usable, accessible format. Another 38% said the technologies fall short on the ability to easily understand cross-channel performance and manipulate report.

Those responses provide a window into why 76% would like one integrated messaging platform to manage all customer data and execute across all digital direct channels.

Consumers are playing a role, too. They know marketers are trying to reach them across multiple channels and expect consistent experiences at the touch points they prefer.

Follow the leaders
Results of the study suggest that sophisticated marketers provide strong models for lower-level marketers to follow. Four levels of cross-channel marketers were identified with the most advanced segment being the smallest, just 5% of the sample. However, this group demonstrates behaviours significantly different from the study averages. They are tenured interactive marketers already integrating all of the channels they apply. They indicate fewer challenges and the challenges they do face are more advanced than the rest of the survey respondents. For example, the least sophisticated group struggles to execute cross-channel campaigns, while the most advanced segment, which skew toward big companies from the media industry, want to improve their cross-channel customer insight.

Here is one of lessons learned from advanced cross-channel marketers:

Adopt an integrated technology platform. Forty-two percent of respondents and half of the most advanced segment are “very” or “extremely interested” in a single platform to manage cross-channel programs. The report suggests that marketers invest in an online marketing suite in order to sidestep the inevitable long-term impact of siloed approaches on the customer experience and marketing ROI.
Source: chief marketer dec 2012

So the above said, I think the answer to the question ‘Do you ever consider the technology they deploy?’ when deciding on your agency, the answer should be a big ‘yes’. Does the industry need agencies like us to deliver this service? Yes, fact. To find out more contact us.