(Dis)Integrated Marketing Hurdles

The opportunity to understand what marketers are thinking and doing during a period of unprecedented change and increasing expectations makes the Unica Annual Survey of Marketers especially valuable. Last year, the survey revealed that the key concerns among marketers were an overall shift to online marketing, a greater emphasis on website personalization, and a general dissatisfaction with IT support for marketing's technology needs.

This year, the survey found continued interest in many of the same issues, plus a more urgent need to turn data into action, increasing recognition of mobile's marketing power, and a desire for more integrated technology solutions.

When asking marketers about their key issues, this year's survey changed one of the answer options on the questionnaire from "measuring results and increasing effectiveness" to "attributing success to marketing". While a subtle yet distinctive shift in perspective, the option struck a nerve, and attribution took one of the top spots. At the same time, "turning data into action" leapt into the lead, but was clearly a more urgent cause for North American marketers than European. "Determining optimal channel and contact frequency," an issue that ranked fairly low in the previous survey was also in the top. Interestingly, despite the buzz and media hype, social media pulled in dead last with only 19%.

Top 3 Important Issues to Marketers


% of Respondents


Total Respondents

North America


Turning data into action




Attributing success to marketing




Determining optimal channel and contact frequency




Integrating marketing across channels




Influencing buying cycle




Allocating marketing budget




Shifting to social media




Source: Unica, "State of Marketing, 2011," May, 2011

Measurement analysis & learning moved into the lead spot as the biggest bottleneck marketers face within their organizations, holding a solid ten percentage-point advantage over 2010's number one, "IT support of marketing technology needs." Also noteworthy is the sharper distinction of priorities this year, with a range of 57% at the top to 31% (for "channel execution & delivery") at the bottom. Last year, the numbers were more closely clustered together, but clearly in 2011, the demarcations are more pronounced, suggesting that marketers have sharper clarity about their priorities.

Top 3 Bottlenecks in the Marketing Process (% of Respondents)


% of Respondents

Measurement, analysis and learning


Integrated cross channel efforts


IT support of marketing tech needs


Marketing planning and objectives


Source: Unica, "State of Marketing, 2011," May, 2011

The results are based on the response from 300 online and direct marketers with more than $100M in annual revenue, while the largest block (54%) reports $1B or more per annum, and management responsibilities across the complete spectrum of marketing roles with 35% marketing executives.

Over half cited technology as the key to productivity. Without question, marketers see technology as vital to resolving the challenges of meaningful measurement and analysis and choosing the next best course of action, more than the addition of staff or agency support.

There is a concern with integration, with 87% of marketers expressing an interest in a marketing suite that is better integrated.

While responses suggest that interest in achieving truly integrated cross-channel dialogs with customers is high, nearly half of the respondents report that organizational structure and internal processes is the most significant barrier in achieving the goal.

Barriers to Interactive Marketing


% of Respondents

Organizational structure, culture and process


Existing systems and date too disparate


Lack appropriate in-house skills


Lack of budget


Difficulty working with IT


Uncertain ROI


Lack of from upper management


Cost too high


Source: Unica, "State of Marketing, 2011," May, 2011

Email is pervasive, but nearly three-quarters of respondents complain that their email data is either not integrated with other customer data, or that the integration is mostly a manual effort. Only a little more than a quarter report adopting any paid search software to manage keyword bids.

Email Adaption by North American and European Marketers

Use of Email

% of Respondents

Current use


   North America


Next 12 months


After 12 months


No plans


Don't know


Source: Unica, "State of Marketing, 2011," May, 2011

Consumers are rapidly adopting connected mobile devices and smart marketers are aggressively following their audience. 43% of respondents say they currently use the mobile marketing, with another 23% planning to do so within a year. 16% plan to use it in more than 12 months. Yet, as with other tactics, today's efforts are largely not well integrated with other marketing efforts.

Social media remains the reigning champion among emerging marketing channels, leading the way with 53% current usage. But marketers' enthusiasm is less than last year, suggesting that we have passed the peak of inflated expectations and are focused on finding the value that social channels can yield.

For additional information from Unica, and the PDF file of the study, please visit here.

3 comments about "(Dis)Integrated Marketing Hurdles".
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  1. David Schendowich from Schendo361, May 26, 2011 at 8:57 a.m.

    (Dis)integrated Marketing Hurdles is the perfect name for this article. It reinforces the reality of how marketers and marketing services companies have not evolved nor adapted fast enough to the new, new normal of integrated marketing utilizing a mix of mobile, social, interactive and experiential. By the time some of the dinosaurs adapt newspapers and print yellow pages will be popular again.

  2. Blaine Mathieu from Compound Marketing Group, May 26, 2011 at 10:44 a.m.

    It is no surprise to me at all that integrated marketing remains one of the key pain points for marketers. Over the last year the "excitement" around the social media silo has all but drowned out discussion of such a core issue. See my recent blog posting on this topic:

    But marketers always eventually return to the core issues. Hot channels like social and mobile must be part of most marketers' toolboxes, but they need to be considered as part of an integrated approach.

    Blaine Mathieu

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, May 26, 2011 at 1:27 p.m.

    It's complicated. Newspapers and YP are easier. And you may be surprised that even those media have problems being understood.

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