A snapshot of Digital Marketing 2013

CMOs urged to better integrate marketing teams if they're to truly engage customers cross-channel, new Experian report finds

Multi-channel integration and mobile are top of mind for marketers, but CMOs still need to do a better job of bringing teams together to deal with the modern customer, according to a new report.

The 2013 Digital Marketer Report is the fifth annual report from Experian and was released earlier this month.

From the marketer’s point of view, the report found response attribution as the most challenging multichannel marketing issue for the second year in a row (35 per cent of marketers), followed by campaign coordination (22 per cent).

When asked about the percentage of cross-channel campaigns run with an integrated message, creative and offer, 37 per cent of marketers responded that 40 per cent or fewer of their campaigns were integrated, while 46 per cent said 61-100 per cent of campaigns were integrated.

The report also found 74 per cent of marketers are either now coordinating, or in the process of coordinating, the offline and online channels experience, a must when it comes to meeting the needs of today’s well-connected and discerning customer.

“This year’s most important – and challenging – imperative is for marketers to truly demonstrate their customer obsession by synthesising disparate data trails and orchestrating thoughtful, meaningful and coordinated experiences as their customers move seamlessly in and out of channels,” the report authors stated.

“Being able to respond to these dynamic interactions in real time across all relevant channels is the foundation of cross-channel marketing and is a critical component to building long-term advocacy.”

Yet the report found marketing teams are still often segregated, making the task of true integration and seamless customer experience more difficult. Forty-seven per cent of marketers surveyed claim their teams to be somewhat integrated, against 20 per cent who are broken out by channel. The more siloed the teams, the fewer the integrated campaigns executed, Experian said.

For the CMO, it’s imperative to structure teams to avoid customers receiving a stream of confusing or even competing messages, the authors stated. “CMOs need to be leaders of the transformation from multichannel to cross-channel marketing, breaking down barriers in their organisations, not just for the customer but for their own success and that of their brand.”

The Digital Marketer Report also detailed digital behaviours and trends on the user side of the spectrum and found 20 per cent of young adults visit websites from four different devices each week, along with 25 per cent of adults aged 35-49.

Mobile is proving a significant channel for millennials (18-34 year olds), as these users spend 14 per cent more time engaged with their mobile devices in an average week than their generational peers, according to the report. During a typical month, smartphone owners between 18-24 years of age send and receive nearly 4,000 messages, with the number dropping by 40 per cent through each age bracket. In addition, mobile phones now tie with television in terms of reach across 18-34 year olds (94 per cent).

Arguably less surprising is adults over 50 spend 34 per cent more time reading newspapers than the average newspaper readers. This group also spends more time than average reading magazines, watching television and using ereaders.

Experian’s report also looks into the effectiveness of various channels for marketing, how mobile is influencing email opening rates, and case studies and advice on bettering social media integration.

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