Marketers Fail to Coordinate Across Channels

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Internal disorganization and decentralized data cause multichannel marketing to run afoul for large and mid-sized companies.

Poor data practices are one of the biggest causes of multichannel failures.
Poor data practices are one of the biggest causes of multichannel failures.

Two thirds of marketing executives at large companies lament that their ability to coordinate campaigns across channels isn't up to par, according to a Yes Lifecycle Marketing-sponsored study.

The numbers are even worse at mid-market companies. According to the study, which surveyed more than 300 marketing executives at large and mid-size companies, only 22% of marketing executives at medium-sized organizations were confident in their efforts to align campaigns channel-wide.

What's more troubling is that the lion's share of enterprise marketing executives said that their departments don't share common goals across channels (57%) or have central ownership of cross-channel programs (68%).

The study, entitled “From Acquisition to Advocacy: Discovering the Value of Lifecycle Marketing,” also discovered that organizational silos prevent brands from implementing effective multichannel strategies.

“Silos and organizational structure continues to be an issue,” says Michael Fisher, president of Yes Lifecycle Marketing. “Cross-channel coordination is still not happening.”

Social coordination, he adds, is on the to-do list, as well; specifically, how can marketers get engagement, sign ups, and transactions via social? Social Attribution Intelligence, he says, is what companies need. In essence, how much money did a brand make because of social marketing and word of mouth?

The study states that poor data practices are one of the biggest causes of multichannel failures. Only 37% of enterprise organizations and 29% of mid-market companies have a central repository for customer data. In addition, less than one third of all marketing execs said that their companies centralize customer data into a single record across channels.

“Just because you know someone bought something doesn't mean you know who they are,” says Fisher. “Listen to customers and win, or ignore them at your peril.”

Other findings include:

  • Email marketing—actively used by 73% of enterprise marketers—continues to be the most widely used channel for marketers.
  • Despite that, 61% of enterprise marketers use only one or two data sources to inform their email campaigns.
  • Those who do segment audiences for email campaigns primarily use demographic data (54%) and geographic data (49%), but still largely ignore customer profitability (35%), transaction history (31%), and email open rates (28%).

“We wanted to learn what's going on in data integration, “Fisher says. “Right now marketers are mostly integrating two sources: email click data and Web analytics.”

What's more, only 40% of respondents list segmentation and targeting as a goal for the coming year, and just one third see a need to centralize data.

“Analytics data and services are critical; marketers are still desperate to learn about customers,” Fisher says.

However, marketers must obtain a 360-degree view of the customer—and quickly—if they hope to retain their business.

“The customer is in the middle and he's never been more powerful than now,” he adds.

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