In the run up to the JUMP Conference on 13 October, we decided to commission some research to get some insight into how modern marketers are embracing multichannel marketing.

The research reveals that whilst the majority are using at least three marketing channels (98%), many are not maximising the potential value of this multichannel approach with over half still storing the data gathered from each channel separately. 

For the Multichannel Marketing Today research, published on our website, Dynamic Markets surveyed 100 marketing professionals within a cross section of companies employing over 250 people.

The brands questioned do appear to be reaping the rewards of using a number of different routes to market, with 76% reporting improved brand exposure, 68% better customer service through insight and an impressive 62% increased revenue.

51% of respondents said multichannel marketing helps them to reach difficult to access audiences, with the percentage increasing to 62 when just those using social media are considered, compared to just 35% of those who are not using this channel.

But I was amazed to see how little empirical evidence is used by marketers to guide decision making. For example, just over half said they use intelligence from previous campaign performance, and the rest are guided by gut feeling!

And with just 35% saying they collect data from different sources and store it in a single database, it’s not surprising that when asked about the challenges of multichannel marketing, 71% cited maintaining high quality data as a major challenge.

In fact all the marketers surveyed said there are significant challenges with respect to collating, managing and using multichannel marketing data and data is clearly at the heart of both the challenges and opportunities multichannel marketing offers. The quality of the data collected and how it is stored is the key to delivering meaningful insight into customer behaviour and will play a large part in determining the true value of the approach. 

An integrated view of a single customer’s responses across multiple channels reveals how to communicate with them to maximise return. Feeding information gathered from all channels into a single database will allow marketers to move from a ‘gut feel’ approach to informed decision-making based on actual customer behaviour.

As a starting point, marketers must ensure consistency of data collection across channels to smooth the passage of data into a single database. Good practice in this area will not only make data integration easier, it will also make compliance simpler – something nearly half the respondents admitted to finding a challenge.

As the use of multichannel marketing looks set to continue to increase, those businesses which fully embrace the value of this integrated approach will better understand customer behaviour and be better informed on where to direct marketing spend, ultimately reaping its full rewards.