Marketers say they are not achieving what they should in worldwide multichannel, digital marketing campaigns. A new CMO Council report finds that marketers are slow to get their marketing unified around multi-channel engagement, and are therefore challenged at creating a more consistent and compelling content and commerce experience.
The study, “Brand Attraction from Enriched Interaction,” shows that marketers lag in creating multichannel, digital marketing campaigns that reach and resonate with diverse, micro-audiences worldwide. Only 19% of marketers said they are extremely good or very good in this area. In contrast, 45% are not sanguine on their own success in engagement with consumers, partners and employees. Only 21% characterized their marketing in this area as proficient.
The report, sponsored by IBM Digital Experience, was performed in the second quarter with 268 senior marketing executives taking part in an online audit, and deeper interviews on best practices from one-on-one interviews with marketing leaders from several brands, including National Geographic, T-Mobile, and Western Union.
Only 5% of the marketers said they were extremely good at creating compelling digital experiences, and only a third said they were doing a moderately good job at it. Over a quarter of CMO's and marketers characterized their efforts as “slowly evolving.” In terms of having integrated content and commerce, the same percentages hold, with 65% saying they have plans to improve. But a quarter of study respondents said they are doing nothing at this point to connect digital content and commerce.
Liz Miller, SVP of marketing at the CMO Council, tells Marketing Daily that the key issue is a holistic, connected customer experience. “Consumers may love the brand, and love the campaign, but then go to retail and the in-store experience is terrible. Or they go to social media and everything on social is telling them the same thing, where what they want to do is engage," she says. "So we tend to drop the ball on the experience once the campaign deployed; we are not connecting across all customer experience [touchpoints].”
She says marketers now are looking at the totality and see a train where the box cars aren’t connected. “We realize social media isn't a cheap bulletin board; we are good a setting up content; and, separately very good at commerce. But we are not connecting the three buckets.”
When asked about how a cohesive digital communications and commerce program can shape and influence how brands attract, convert, monetize and retain customers, half of the marketers polled said effective digital efforts can create compelling experiences. Forty percent said it heightens credibility and trust, and the same percentage says digital makes it easier to share and consume content. Thirty-eight percent said it brings prospects and opportunities to the company. About 30% said digital experiences allow for an always-on marketing strategy. The same percentage said a strong multi-channel program delivers higher quality more predisposed leads, attracts new types of customers and maintains more robust and intimate relationships.
In terms of top business benefits and advantages from personalized content, 56% said it delivers higher response and engagement; 47% said it offers "timely and relevant interactions"; 44% said micro-targeted content leads to customer affinity and word of mouth; 43% said it brings higher conversion rates; 43% argued that the result of personalization is clearer and more persuasive communications; 40% said higher loyalty and retention; and 39% higher recall and recognition.