Survey: Metrics Biggest Integration Obstacle

HillWhile 59% of client-side marketers are satisfied with their companies' progress toward integrating traditional and digital media, most also agree that inadequate metrics continue to be the biggest impediment to honing the media mix, a new survey of 294 Association of National Advertisers and American Association of Advertising Agencies members has confirmed.

The study, which focused specifically on integration issues, found agencies' biggest frustration to be clients' lack of understanding of how customers use digital media.

Corporate marketers agreed, citing lack of digital media savvy among key executives (including senior management) as one of the biggest internal obstacles. Other internal challenges cited included reluctance to move funds from "tried and true" practices of the past and organizational silos that impede a focused, enterprise-wide approach.



On the agency side, the two top challenges to integrating digital into larger-scale marketing programs are insufficient client awareness of the benefits of an integrated approach and insufficient client cooperation across internal operating/divisional channels.

By and large, agencies do not view their own internal structures or politics as much of an obstacle to integration.

Both groups said that the solutions include becoming better educated about digital media, setting clear goals and understanding business objectives up front, understanding the consumer, being willing to test and learn, and committing to metrics and analytics.

"Agencies and clients alike need to work together to educate internal and external constituents to demonstrate the value of well-thought-out multichannel approaches," summed up 4A's president/CEO Nancy Hill.

The survey was conducted in partnership with Bellwether Leadership Research & Development during this year's first quarter.

3 comments about "Survey: Metrics Biggest Integration Obstacle ".
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  1. David Slatter from Claymore Marketing llc, April 23, 2009 at 3:53 p.m.

    Very insightful- I absolutely agree with you. Having spent many years in big corporate America in various marketing/communications functions I saw that the ‘silo effect’ was still alive and kicking. Each communications disciple defining and monitoring their own metrics with no integration of either their purpose or sharing of their results. Now I struggle with it every day as a marketing consultant, but on occasion I find a CMO that gets it. However it is usually a challenge to bring these folks together to define a set of metrics that can be applied as a complete front to back measure. The solution I have found that work best is to conduct a fully integrated customer research program that spans across all media channels (online, print, PR, promotional and merchandising) and let the customer be the judge of their effectiveness in terms of delivering an integrated total user/brand experience.

    David Slatter

  2. Adam Gelles from The AMM Group, April 24, 2009 at 11:23 a.m.

    Overcoming the "silo effect" is organizational change management. If a marketer creates a holistic marketing performance program by aligning measures, process, and infrastructure throughout a marketing organization, then marketing team will react positively. We have written a white paper and case study of our experiences with a leading national retailer. Available here:

  3. David Ganz from Greater Than One, April 24, 2009 at 12:20 p.m.

    I find it most amusing that "by and large, agencies do not view their own internal structures or politics as much of an obstacle to integration". Internal silos and politics are key reasons for these issues. As long as each agency discipline has their own profit centers, this issue will continue to exists. This applies to not only independent agency entities but holding company agencies as well.
    Why don't agencies acknowledge the problem and fix it.
    One last point. I'd suggest the next survey is focused on integrating all marketing disciplines, not just the "media mix".

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