CheetahMail Summit: Integrated Marketing Not Understood, Forrester Says

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NEW YORK -- Forrester Research found that only 14 percent of marketers correctly defined the term "integrated marketing" and merely 9 percent are currently using it at the highest level of optimization.

This finding was part of a recent study of 220 marketers done b Forrester on behalf of CheetahMail, a New York e-mail marketing service owned by database giant Experian. Forrester senior analysts Shar VanBoskirk and Sucharita Mulpuru presented "Roadmap to Integration" as part of a CheetahMail client summit in New York June 29.

"Integrated marketing is not an option; it is an imperative," Ms. Mulpuru said.

Forrester's definition of integrated marketing goes beyond marketing coordination across channels and creates an emotional experience and sustained relationship with the customer.

Ms. Mulpuru said that marketers must avoid repetition in message to avoid boring prospective clients. Successful integrated marketing plans combine advertising, CRM and promotions by using data to segment prospects and send the right message through the right channels to create a multi-tiered experience for the consumer.

"Even e-mail as a technology has a saturation level," Ms. Mulpuru said. "It's important to figure out where the other silver bullets are."

The silver bullets, or successful channels and techniques, may include emerging technologies. Forrester, Cambridge, MA, predicts growth in top emerging channels like mobile, video game and DVRs.

Limited Use of Integration

However, Forrester  rated only 72 percent of marketers as having limited use of marketing integration. This group was categorized by segmentation in process and strategy, limited use of customer data and resistance to new technology channels.

Ms. VanBoskirk predicts that the most successful companies to use integrated marketing will be those that implement a companywide strategy.

"How do you set goals that are not just about using data for marketing but for a corporate strategy and for improving your product?" she said. "Every time a customer is engaged it should be a consistent experience that reflects positively on your brand."

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