I am beginning to wonder if finding the lost City of Atlantis or figuring out how Pauly Shore actually had a career would be easier than getting marketers to grasp fully the importance and benefits of an integrated marketing strategy.
With all due apologies to all you Pauly Shore fans out there – all 8 of you, I was being quite serious in my contention that an integrated marketing strategy – a real integrated marketing strategy is becoming the Bigfoot of marketing – many have claimed to see it but there is no physical proof.
Of course I am being melodramatic but after this past week or so I am giving more and more credence to my Bigfoot theory. Consider, the State of Marketing Report from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, which I wrote about in my Marketers Still Not Integrating Their Marketing Strategy post. In that one I told of how “many retailers and marketers still think being cross-channel (integrated) is as simple as offering in-store pickup for ecommerce sales.” Then came the CMO Survey conducted by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, which I wrote about in this post: CMO’s To Increase Spending On Social Media But Integration Still Lacking. That survey revealed that “…marketers admit they have a ways to go toward integrating social media in their strategy.”
And now comes the “Bringing 20/20 Foresight to Marketing” survey from Forbes and Coremetrics. Like the aforementioned surveys, high level marketing executives and CMOs were queried for their feedback on a wide array of topics and once again integration or lack thereof stood out to me as a major red flag.
Just replace the word “UNIFIED” with “INTEGRATED” and you’ll see what I mean… (from the survey findings)
CREATING A UNIFIED BRAND
Marketing’s biggest challenge appears to be presenting a consistent, unified brand across multiple customer touch- points—on the Web, on social media, via mobile devices, and through traditional brick-and-mortar. This challenge extends to consistent messaging, a consistent customer experience, and a consistent, unified view of the customer.
TOP PERFORMERS HAVE A UNIFIED VIEW
According to the survey data, marketing executives value broad, comprehensive views of their customers. Indeed, many respondents say they’re focused on customer activity across multiple touchpoints.
Yet, many don’t actually have a handle on how their customers are using these different channels. Too many executives are producing data in silos, and then failing to connect that data to related information. This lack of unified view is hindering efforts to deliver brand messaging—and therefore effectively attract, convert, and retain customers.
Now, an optimist would look at the chart above and point to the 65% of respondents who said they segment and target customers based on an integrated view of customer behavior. Well call me a pessimist then because I am more concerned with the 35% who don’t segment and target customers based on an integrated view of customer behavior.
Marketers with a unified view of both online and offline activity find it easier to interpret data from individual channel performance. They’re also more adept at analyzing vendor performance and per-visit/per-session customer behavior. Perhaps most crucially, a unified view makes it easier to interpret longer-term customer behavior—particularly in social media and mobile channels. Marketers with a unified view are more likely to easily interpret multi-visit data. They’re also more able to assess the value of a campaign based on influence and interaction, and nearly twice as likely to find it easy to interpret customer data across multiple touchpoints.
Of the 65% of respondents who do segment and target customers based on an integrated view of customer behavior, this is what they’re integrated view of their customer includes:
Care to guess which two of the above jump off the screen at me as a major cause for concern? That’s right, the last two. Only 34% and 30% have a view of social media and mobile behaviors, respectively? What? Why?
I’m not going to restate and rehash and pull out the most recent social media statistics. Anyone and everyone knows and see the impact it has so I will spare you that information and accompanying charts. But what about mobile? Were these same respondents who place a low value on social media and mobile behavior not aware that revenue from M-Commerce is expected to increase tenfold from 2010 to 2014 in the United States, alone? Or were they not aware of a Forrester report which predicted that Mobile Marketing spending will have the biggest increase over the next five years among all Interactive Marketing platforms?
What am I missing here, folks?
Integration works. Mobile Marketing, Mobile Advertising and Social Media are the future and the future is now.
So what am I missing?
By the way, there are a lot of interesting and intriguing findings in the “Bringing 20/20 Foresight to Marketing” survey and I highly recommend reading it in its entirety and you may come away with a totally different viewpoint or take away, if you will, then I did.
Samira Gutoc is the founder and managing editor of Atlas and Co. She is also a content writer, blogger, poet, photographer and an editorial associate.