Effective cross-channel marketing has a major impact on business performance, according to new research conducted by market research companies, Econsultancy and Oracle Marketing Cloud.
Findings of the fourth annual Cross-channel Marketing Report reflected a global survey of more than 400 client-side marketers carried out in July and August 2015.
Almost three quarters of marketers (73 per cent) deemed the impact of cross-channel interactions on conversion as ‘major’, with more than half reporting that integrated engagement across channels has a significant impact on improving retention (58 per cent) and on ensuring advocacy (55 per cent).
The report also found that more than two-thirds of marketers (68 per cent) believe it’s a priority for ‘all marketing to be integrated across channels’.
However, whilst the importance of effective cross-channel engagement is recognised, the research showed that many companies were still not set up for orchestrated multichannel campaigns and were most likely to be hampered by lack of strategy and resources.
More than a third of marketers (35 per cent) said their companies were ‘not really’ setup for effectively orchestrated multichannel campaigns and a further 9 per cent said they are ‘not at all’ set up for this.
Just under half of marketers (49 per cent) said their companies were organised for this ‘to a certain extent’, which was exactly the same percentage as last year. Only 5 per cent said they were ‘very much’ set up for orchestrated cross-channel marketing activities. This result was fewer than last year’s 7 per cent who said this was the case.
A lack of a clearly defined strategy (21 per cent) and lack of resources (20 per cent) were the main reasons cited for the failure to deliver well-orchestrated cross-channel interactions.
Lack of strategy has now overtaken lack of resources as the principal challenge that companies are facing. ‘A clearly defined strategy’ (29 per cent) has emerged prominently this year as the single most important factor for delivering effective orchestration.
Oracle Marketing Cloud vice president of marketing, Andrea Ward, said, “Consumers today are constantly adopting new channels, platforms and devices that they can use to engage with brands leaving marketers behind the curve in mastering how to use these technologies to connect with their audience. The ubiquity of mobile presents one such challenge and findings reveal that brands are struggling to integrate mobile effectively into integrated, engaging campaigns.”
Econsultancy research director, Linus Gregoriadis, said, “Organisations are really getting the message about how cross-channel can improve both customer experience and business performance, but are continuing to wrestle with some of the challenges, particularly strategy and resourcing. This research is a wake-up call to organisations who need to ensure that they are focusing on the data, technology and staff requirements they need to get this right.”
Other findings from the study included:
- Fewer companies than last year said they understood customer journeys and adapt their channel mix accordingly’ (39 per cent this year compared to 43 per cent last year)
- Despite the widely held belief that cross-channel interactions had a major impact on business performance, only 14 per cent measure the financial results of conducting cross-channel marketing, down from 19 per cent last year
- Around a quarter of respondents (26 per cent) said that it is of fundamental importance to provide relevant customer experiences that are responsive to a customer based on ‘real-time, in-the-moment’ behaviour.