Effective cross-channel marketing has a major impact on business performance, according to new research published today by Econsultancy and Oracle Marketing Cloud.

Almost three quarters of marketers (73%) rate the impact of cross-channel interactions on conversion as ‘major’, with more than half also saying that integrated engagement across channels has a significant impact on improving retention (58%) and on ensuring advocacy (55%).

The fourth annual Cross-Channel Marketing Report also found that more than two-thirds of marketers (68%) say it’s a priority for ‘all marketing to be integrated across channels’.

The research is based on a global survey of more than 400 client-side marketers carried out in July and August 2015.

But while the importance of effective cross-channel engagement is recognised, many companies are still not set up for orchestrated multichannel campaigns and are most likely to be hampered by lack of strategy and resources.

More than a third of marketers (35%) say their companies are ‘not really’ set up for effectively orchestrated multichannel campaigns and a further 9% say they are ‘not at all’ set up for this.

Just under half of marketers (49%) say their companies are organised for this ‘to a certain extent’, exactly the same percentage as last year. Only 5% say they are ‘very much’ set up for orchestrated cross-channel marketing activities, fewer than last year’s 7% who said this was the case.

A lack of a clearly defined strategy (21%) and lack of resources (20%) are the main reasons cited for the failure to deliver well-orchestrated cross-channel interactions.

Lack of strategy has now overtaken lack of resources as the principal challenge that companies are facing. ‘A clearly defined strategy’ (29%) has emerged prominently this year as the single most important factor for delivering effective orchestration.

Andrea Ward, Vice President of Marketing, Oracle Marketing Cloud said: “Consumers today are constantly adopting new channels, platforms and devices that they can use to engage with brands leaving marketers behind the curve in mastering how to use these technologies to connect with their audience. The ubiquity of mobile presents one such challenge and findings reveal that brands are struggling to integrate mobile effectively into integrated, engaging campaigns.

Linus Gregoriadis, Research Director at Econsultancy, added: “Organisations are really getting the message about how cross-channel can improve both customer experience and business performance, but are continuing to wrestle with some of the challenges, particularly strategy and resourcing. This research is a wake-up call to organisations who need to ensure that they are focusing on the data, technology and staff requirements they need to get this right.”

Other key research findings:

• Fewer companies than last year say they ‘understand customer journeys and adapt their channel mix accordingly’ (39% this year compared to 43% last year). This is in spite of the fact that ‘understanding the customer journey’ (21%) is seen as the second most important factor for effective cross-channel orchestration (after a clearly defined strategy).

• Despite the widely held belief that cross-channel interactions have a major impact on business performance, only 14% measure the financial results of conducting cross-channel marketing, down from 19% last year.

• ‘Real-time marketing’ is seen as a key ingredient for success by more than half of responding companies. In total, 73% of marketers believe it is ‘fundamental’ (36%) or ‘important’ (37%) to ‘provide relevant customer experiences that are specific to an individual customer’, while an even greater proportion (76%) say that relevant customer experiences need to ‘optimised to the device’.

• Around a quarter of respondents (26%) say that it is of fundamental importance to provide relevant customer experiences that are responsive to a customer based on ‘real-time, in-the-moment’ behaviour. A further third of marketers (33%) say this is important.

Get this report

The full report is available on the Econsultancy website here:

https://econsultancy.com/reports/cross-channel-marketing-report/

The report is available to Econsultancy subscribers.

For more information about this report, contact:

Linus Gregoriadis, Research Director, Econsultancy

linus AT econsultancy.com

+44 (0) 207 269 1450

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Published on: 10:13AM on 1st October 2015