Study says cross-channel and digital are key, but integration and measurement lag behind

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The majority of marketers appreciate cross-channel campaigns, but true integration and measurement still lag behind, particularly in terms of digital, according to a study by independent third party ad server Eyeblaster and  marketing intelligence firm TNS called “The Digital Horizon: A Chasm Between Expectation and Execution.” According to the study, 67% of respondents say they are already running cross-channel campaigns, yet only 12% are actually integrating cross-channel performance data.

“We wanted to look at whether there is still an online and offline chasm or whether we have moved beyond that,” said Dean Donaldson, digital experience strategies at Eyeblaster. “We found that everyone's very positive and sees the industry growing, but when you take off the veneer and look beneath the seams, there is high-level talk but a whole level of frustration beneath the surface.”

That frustration – from clients, advertisers and publishers – comes down to the fact that the technology for integration and measurement is too complicated, without the right metrics and case studies, he explained. 44% of respondents (mostly agencies and some client marketers) blamed the lack of suitable metrics to measure ROI; 37% cited the lack of case studies to prove effectiveness; and 34% cited a lack of technology.

The study also pointed out how marketers are still bogged down in individual channel functions and silos. “People are just so broken down in process because the day-to-day level is such a complicated aspect of the job, even though they have enthusiasm and excitement about what the industry should become,” Donaldson continued.

One surprise in the study, however, was that respondents were found to understand and want to use online media for both branding and response, said Don Ryan, VP of technology and media at TNS. “That kind of strength where display and branding is going across channels was a surprise to us,” he explained. Mobile, particularly, was cited as a top branding channel – by 49% of respondents.

And the future for cross-channel measurement and adoption is bright over the next few years, he added.

“If we did the study again a year from now I think we'd see all this stuff trending higher,” he said. “It wouldn't surprise me that cross-channel goes from a quarter of the market up to 30-40% and I think measurement will also catch up very quickly.”

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