Integrated Marketing Remains the Holy Grail for Marketers and Consumers
I am back with yet another article on the topic of integrated marketing communications, cross-channel marketing, omni-channel marketing, marketing orchestration or any other name you wish to refer to it by.
If you don't know me or of my sheer passion and interest in this particular topic I have scribed more columns than I can count on this topic that is seemingly out of the reach for marketers despite the fact that so many consumers/buyers crave it, desire it, and flat out expect it.
- A little history lesson if I may before I get to my latest rant, if you will on this very topic.
- June 10, 2014: 65% Of Marketers Are Not Giving Consumers What They Want - I shared the findings of surveys conducted by Internet Retailer and MultiChannel Merchant, respectively which revealed:
- "35% of e-commerce executives plan to invest in creating a 'seamless shopping experience' across stores, web and mobile..."
- "Study Shows Consumers Want Seamless Shopping Experience. The study found that 89% of consumers said it was important for retailers to let them shop for products in the way that is convenient for them, no matter which sales channel they choose."
- May 31, 2012: Integrated Marketing Communications - Then And Now - In this article I not only took a look at what was currently going on at that time but also a look back. The latter revealed this very telling quote from the The Journal of Marketing Communications from 1999, yes 1999. "The need to strive for greater integration is considered inevitable by many, although the means by which such integration may be achieved is uncertain."
November 3, 2011: What Schoolhouse Rock And Integration Have In Common- Naturally me being me I had to work in a pop culture reference even going so far as to rewrite some of the lyrics to this classic ditty: "Integration shows you get it, are not clueless, is generally done by very few companies, even though their customers say they want it." (yes those lyrics sucked but you get my point.
Note: The above are merely a random sampling of my writing on the topic of integrated marketing communications. As the opening paragraph to the aforementioned "then and now" piece demonstrates I am quite engrossed with all things integrated: "I'm thinking I may need to see a doctor or someone in the medical profession for it is becoming quite apparent that I am addicted to integrated marketing communications or at the very least I am obsessively compulsive over it."
The Latest Evidence
Last week the Cross-Channel Marketing Report 2014 was released. The report, which was published by Econsultancy and the Oracle Marketing Cloud (the latter being my employer) was based on a survey of nearly 1,000 digital marketers and ecommerce professionals.
As I was reading over the findings one line from the executive summary jumped off the screen: "Integration is a priority for many, but challenges remain."
As I delved deeper into the report, this chart below told me everything I needed to know re: the chasm between what marketers want to do when it comes to integrated marketing and what is being done in reality.
I could write something here which speaks to this chart but the report itself says it perfectly:
"There is a very large gap between the percentage of companies saying they prioritise the cross-channel integration of marketing activities (67%) and those that understand their customers' journeys and adapt the channel mix accordingly (43%). Furthermore, only 30% are facilitating integrated marketing using cross-functional teams, providing further evidence that many companies are not 'walking the walk'."
It appears as if a number of companies/brands need a reality check or they are not being honest with themselves. Saying you want to do something and actually doing it are two different things, naturally. It is astonishing to me that in the year 2014 70% of respondents to this survey essentially indicate they/their company still work in silos.
The Mobile Gap
There is a truly a good news/bad news take away re: the report as it pertains to mobile marketing and integrated marketing.
On the good news side:
- 76% of companies indicated they had a strategy for integrating mobile into their overall strategies
However, on the bad news front, less than 25% of respondents:
- plan their marketing activities around an understanding of how consumers are interacting with you using multiple screens (23%)
- have push notifications integrated with overall marketing activity (16%)
- have integrated mobile messaging (23%)
From the report:
"Having a structured mobile strategy that influences and informs marketing activities is key to staying competitive in this 'age of impatience.'"
The operative word is undoubtedly "impatience" for the mobile/digital world is one where patience is a premium; a lost art. No one, be they from the B2C or B2B side of the aisle wants to wait for anything. They know what they want and they want it now, if not sooner.
Tip of the Iceberg
The report, in addition to bringing to light, yet again, the dichotomy between what marketers want to do when it comes to integrated marketing vs. what they're actually doing - also provides some valuable insights into the minds of marketers and companies alike as each attempts to succeed in the digitally-crazed world we live in.
*The focus of marketers continues to shift from traditional to digital marketing channels, with website (53%), email (46%), SEO (38%) and social media marketing (36%) most likely to be among companies' top-three priorities for the year ahead.
*Television (-5%) and newspapers (-7%) are less of a priority than last year. Counterintuitively, social media marketing (-6%) and online display advertising (-6%) are also less of a focus.
These are just a few examples of the additional findings found in the report, which can be downloaded here.
Follow Steve Olenski on Twitter