Are Marketers Using Too Many Channels and Vendors?

In a classic case of correlation equaling causation, Yes Lifecycle Marketing found that marketers are wasting excessive time managing too many vendors in an attempt to synchronize their channel communication strategies.

The multichannel marketing solutions provider surveyed more than 250 marketers at the 2014 Direct Marketing Association annual conference, and found that more than half of them (52%) use at least six outbound channels to connect with customers, while 21% use more than 10. This directly correlates to the 28% of marketers who manage seven or more technology vendors and service providers as part of their marketing initiatives. In fact, 21% of marketers spend up to 15 hours each week coordinating their technology and service providers.

Marketers face the challenge of often needing to choose from a vast array of marketing vendors that offer niche solutions, and then integrating those they’ve selected to deliver a cohesive customer experience, says Michael Fisher, president of Yes Lifecycle Marketing. That’s one reason he recommends being highly selective when choosing vendors.

A less-is-more approach seems to be a recurring theme among respondents, as well, with 72% saying they work with six or fewer vendors to support their multiple communication channels and media efforts. However, that’s not always the case during the selection process: A quarter of marketers say they have more than seven internal stakeholders within the organization involved in the selection of technology vendors and services.

Too many vendors, not enough staff and budget

Unified marketing goals, business requirements, relationship-building with customers are all at risk with the use of too many providers, the study suggests. In fact, the top obstacles to accomplishing their marketing goals that respondents cited include their multiple tech vendors and service providers failing to integrate well (13%), the need to consolidate vendors to be able to achieve goals (15%), and too many vendors to coordinate (12%). Other hindrances included lack of adequate staff available (39%), insufficient budget (29%), and absence of appropriate technology (17%).

“With a lack of budget and staff, it’s crucial for marketers to be extensively selective in their technology and services partner,” Fisher said in a statement about the study. “Marketers would best be served by choosing one that can provide them with a full-service integrated offering.”

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