Marketing channels poorly integrated by brands despite clear ROI

2nd Jul 2012

Businesses executing an overall cross-channel marketing strategy, by integrating display, social and mobile with their email and web programs, are able to provide demonstrable increases in sales conversions, according to a new study.

650 UK digital marketers were surveyed as part of the first Cross-Channel Marketing Report, produced by Econsultancy in association with Responsys Inc.
And the findings validate the ROI of cross-channel marketing – those integrating display advertising with social media (59%) say this has a positive impact on conversions, and 55% say integration with mobile has resulted in a sales uplift.
More than a third (37%) integrate search engine marketing with display advertising and of those, 70% report a rise in conversions. Those integrating on-site content management with display advertising (44%) say it has a positive impact (66%).
However, the survey indicates that most companies still lack the strategy and channel integration to effectively execute cross-channel campaigns.
The study found that less than a third (32%) of UK marketers rate themselves as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ at driving coordinated marketing campaigns across different channels, with a quarter (25%) admitting that the lack of a clearly defined strategy was the biggest barrier.
Perhaps surprisingly, despite being one of the most regularly used channels, email was not integrated with other marketing channels by most businesses. Only a minority integrate email with direct mail (29%), search engine marketing (24%), display advertising (14%) and mobile (14%), and just half (51%) say email and social are integrated.
Less surprisingly, mobile integration is still in its nascent stages. More than half of UK marketers (51%) do not tie their mobile marketing efforts with any other channels, and the rest only undertake basic mobile integration into wider campaigns. Of the 49% that do integrate mobile, over a third (35%) say their integration is very basic.
However, the low levels of integration between marketing channels is hampering marketers in their efforts to engage in digital conversations with customers. And with the majority of companies still in the early stages of developing an integrated approach to marketing, Simon Robinson, senior marketing and alliances director for Responsys EMEA, believes that marketers have a lot of catching up to do.
“This research points to a staggering gap between what digital marketers in the UK know they should be doing, and what is actually happening on the ground,” he said. “The results are clear – companies that integrate channels as part of a coordinated marketing strategy see significant payback, especially in the areas of display, social and mobile, and those that do not, risk losing out to the competition. To get ahead in today’s environment, marketers need to do more than just adding new channels to innovate, they must think strategically about how they work together to be effective.”

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