Most Companies Have No Omnichannel Strategy

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A mere 11% profess to move nimbly across channels, according to a survey of 120 CMOs.

Omnichannel marketing is like kale. You know it's good for you, but that first mouthful goes down hard. Though nimbly traversing across several marketing channels has been widely accepted as crucial for relevant customer engagement, only 11% of companies claim to go down that road. Most (55%) admit that they have yet to begin implementing a cross-channel marketing strategy.

That's the bottom line of a survey of 120 chief marketing officers conducted by The CMO Club in concert with Rakuten Marketing. The three leading barriers to cross-channel competency are lack of resources and investment (named by 64%), inability to make sense of data with existing technology (61%), and difficulty integrating data (52%).

"It appears brands are only beginning to connect the touchpoints that lead to conversion," said Peter Krainik, CEO of The CMO Club. 

Perhaps the biggest stumbling block to integrated marketing is lack of integrated marketing budgets. The most common budget structures reported by survey respondents either kept brand dollars separate from direct marketing dollars or allocated dollars by business unit. One marketer among the elite 11% of omnichannel practitioners noted that a change in budgeting structure fast-tracked her company's efforts.

"This year we shifted our marketing dollars out of channel silos and into a macro budget that supports an omnichannel marketing strategy," said Leah Robert, EVP of Camuto Group, an apparel company whose brands and licensees include Vince Camuto, Jessica Simpson, and Lucky Brand Jeans. "This creates a unified customer experience and gives us one window into performance across channels. We can now use that data, combined with customer feedback at all levels, to address any service issues and reveal what more we can do for shoppers."

Data strategies must also be transformed if the proper mechanics for cross-channel engagement are to be in place. But only one in five companies measures cross-channel attribution holistically across all touchpoints, while a third continue to evaluate each channel individually and optimize based on channel-specific performance.


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