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ExperianForrester-Digital-Marketers-Channel-Integration-Levels-Oct2014On average, only 45% of digital marketers integrate any two channels, finds a commissioned study [download page] conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Experian Marketing Services. The report, based on surveys with 428 digital marketers across a number of markets, finds that email marketing and search retargeting are the most commonly-integrated channels, but that only 54% are integrating this pair.

Similarly, only half of respondents or fewer are integrating:

  • Search retargeting and online content customization (50%);
  • Search retargeting and targeted display ads (48%);
  • Email marketing and messaging in mobile apps (48%); and
  • Email marketing and Facebook updates (48%).

This limited integration is one factor that is inhibiting marketers’ ability to reach consumers “in context with the best content on the right device at their moment of need.” Another impediment? A lack of sophistication when it comes to the use of data. Indeed, only 24% of respondents are able to merge contextual data with customer data to create a single real-time view of the customer across channels. (These types of difficulties have been well-documented of late.) The data issue rears its head in another way, too: while respondents feel that data quality management is the most important task to execute for cross-channel marketing, only one-third consider themselves experts in this area.

The study recommends using email marketing as a foundation for cross-channel marketing, noting that email marketers are familiar with and skilled at segmentation and optimization of communications. Specifically, marketers should “identify where email is most relevant and influential in the customer’s path to purchase, and then incorporate additional channels along that path that tie all the communications together.”

About the Data: In the study, Forrester conducted an online survey of 428 digital marketers in various industries in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil. Survey participants included decision-makers responsible for search, email, social, website, mobile, and/or display marketing strategy and execution.

Respondents were offered a small incentive, administered by their respective survey panels, as a thank you for time spent on the survey. The study began in June 2014 and was completed in July 2014.

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