Maturity in cross-channel marketing is low and, despite the adoption of multiple channels in marketing programs, integration and coordination do not occur consistently, according to a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Experian Marketing Services.
Email sometimes is derided as “outdate technology,” yet the global research study found that marketers who are seasoned in email are in a position to be the ones to lead the transition to the cross-channel marketing era.
In particular, Forrester Consulting found that marketers around the world struggle to integrate data sources and adopt effective data-management practices. Only 24% of marketers surveyed said they use contextual data and customer data for a real-time view across channels.
Some other results include:
• Sophisticated email marketers demonstrated significantly higher rates of data-usage best practices, which was twice as much as the average respondent.
• Practices among marketers in Asia-Pacific countries demonstrated the highest prevalence of this mature use of customer data at 36%, with China leading the pack at 47%. Asia-Pacific countries also led other regions in overall cross-channel marketing maturity.
• 75% of marketers that Forrester Consulting identified as “sophisticated marketers” use data in real time.
In the study, Forrester Consulting says “An email can provide a consumer with information or incentive to engage with other channels. As one of the most reliable, consistently used channels, email has an opportunity to be more than another transaction-driving medium…With cues from email, marketers can better provide interactions in other channels and touch-points.”
The Forrester Consulting study recommends that marketers identify where email is most relevant and influential in the customer’s path to purchase and then incorporate additional channels along the path that tie all the communications together.
Forrester Consulting surveyed nearly 500 digital-marketing executives in various industries in North America, Europe, Asia and South America, including decision makers responsible for search, email, social, website, mobile and display marketing strategy execution. It also conducted in-depth interviews with senior executives in the United States and Canada.