Why is cross channel marketing so difficult in most companies? The spirit is willing!

Posted on September 8, 2010

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I found the following information to be spot on. The drive to integrate cross channel marketing in a company strategy is evident in most organizations that I interface with. The biggest reasons that I have seen lack of execution are 1) difficulty in moving across company verticals- organizational challenges; 2) systems and IT friction- specifically legacy, duct taped and inadequate web services; 3) Not having in house expertise and dealing with so many third party ‘industry experts’ that a company doesn’t know how to proceed.

(eMarketer) Brand engagement can happen anywhere—a fact recognized by the US senior-level marketers surveyed by integrated marketing solutions provider Alterian, 60% of whom said most customer engagement happens both online and offline. The rest of the respondents were split evenly between the two. Customers likewise indicate that they expect several touchpoints with a brand. Nearly 80% of web users surveyed in Q2 2009 by ATG said they used at least two channels to conduct product research.

This points to the crucial nature of coordinating marketing campaigns across multiple channels to create engagement wherever possible with an integrated message. Marketers responding to Alterian’s survey recognized the importance of such campaign integration; nearly 90% called it vital or extremely so.

Importance of Cross-Channel Coordination for Marketing Campaigns, Aug 2010 (% of US senior-level marketers)

But achieving marketing integration can be difficult. According to US online marketers surveyed in June by interactive marketing agency Zeta Interactive, their organizational structure was the top problem, suggesting many companies are still keeping marketing activities siloed rather than working to coordinate them. Technology and the problems of working with multiple vendors and agencies were also an issue, along with a simple lack of cross-channel expertise.

Leading Challenges to Marketing Integration According to US Online Marketers, June 2010 (% of respondents)

The goals of cross-channel campaigns are ones shared by virtually all marketers. A June survey of North American retail executives by RISfound the top priorities of their cross-channel marketing efforts were to increase conversion and acquire new customers.

Marketers must overcome their own organizations’ hurdles to cross-channel integration to more effectively achieve such goals, breaking down structural silos and educating themselves about integrated marketing best practices to overcome remaining logistical challenges and achieve coordinated campaigns.

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