Marketers Struggling To Integrate Media Channels


Integrating media seems too complicated, internal marketing teams are not set up to support multiple channels, and data is not centralized. These are some of the perceived challenges to an integrated digital marketing strategy, according to marketers that participated in a recent survey. About 24% do not have an attribution strategy in place, nor do they measure how one online media influences another, according to an IgnitionOne study.

The ability to accurately measure the impact of marketing activity and how one channel affects another continues to become more difficult during the past year, but brands have not come any closer to perfecting the process. In fact, 49% still have separate channel owners, although the latest Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization (SEMPO) study suggests that more brands have combined duties for SEM with social campaigns.

While many marketing teams share goals, 24% say their companies are not set up to support an integrated digital marketing strategy, according to IgnitionOne's study, "The 2013 Integrated Marketing Survey."

A majority of those surveyed are looking to increase their digital advertising budgets within the next 12 months, and 22% want to increase their company's budget by 20% or more. The biggest growth areas are mobile display and mobile search, followed by social ads.

Some 46% of marketers plan to increase budget allocation between 11% and 20% to digital advertising in the next 12 months, and 36% predict their organization will increase investment in mobile search in the next 12 months. More than 70% of marketers plan to invest in mobile advertising in the next 12 months.

Findings from the survey also explore integrated digital marketing strategies that aim to answer how much progress has been made toward fully integrating digital marketing. It also analyzes the challenges holding back marketing organizations, how marketers leverage cross-channel attribution, where they plan to invest budgets, and how marketing and IT teams are working together.

Despite its widely recognized inefficiencies, the last-click attribution remains popular. Some 58% still use the last-click model, 18% of organizations use a sophisticated cross-channel attribution model, and 24% don't track how one form of paid media affects another. About 38% say the technology to build an integrated digital marketing strategy is too complicated, and 96% are working closer with IT to achieve marketing goals.

Marketers have begun to understand the importance of cross-channel attribution, but there is still work to do. The biggest issue, says IgnitionOne, is the lack of urgency. We are there.

8 comments about "Marketers Struggling To Integrate Media Channels".
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  1. Tom Cunniff from Tom Cunniff, November 12, 2013 at 7:55 a.m.

    Part of the challenge is technical. But we need to also look at how we are organized. Marketing departments grew organically and tended to add specialties as they emerged. Today's accelerating fragmentation of media, devices and platforms stretches this model to the breaking point. I think it may soon require us to return to a more generalist approach: we need a view across the silos rather than reports from deep inside each individual one. There are some very practical reasons why this would not be easy to do today, but improvements in marketing automation may soon put us in the right position to get there.

  2. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, November 12, 2013 at 10:40 a.m.

    This is what happens when we chase our own long tails in ever smaller circles. It just makes us dizzy and we end up going nowhere.

  3. Karen Ticktin from brandthis, November 12, 2013 at 3:12 p.m.

    I think the conversation needs to start and end with the consumer. Technology, organization, automation, etc. will follow accordingly.

  4. Tom Cunniff from Tom Cunniff, November 12, 2013 at 3:50 p.m.

    Karen, of course I agree we need to start with the consumer. Who wouldn't? The point I am making is that while consumer media habits change quickly and organically, the marketing departments that serve them do not. I predict our iterative attempts to adapt will soon fail us, and that we will need to question many of our core assumptions about how we go to market. This sounds easy, but it will be wrenching for many large marketers who have been successful for a very long time with their existing organization.

  5. Ryan Bifulco from Travel Spike, November 12, 2013 at 4:35 p.m.

    Great article and good to see the topic brought up in general. I wrote a complimentary piece for MediaPost here with info about convergence analytics and tracking from a variety of sources:

  6. Jonathan Diven from Atmosferiq, November 13, 2013 at 9:47 a.m.

    And this is just referring to the digital media landscape. Throw in traditional media (TV, Radio, Print, etc) and the struggles are multiplied.
    I'm not making a general solicitation here, but check out and let me know if you feel this is addressing a need area.

  7. Jim Thomas from Frank N. Magid Associates, November 13, 2013 at 4:02 p.m.

    Agree with Karen. You have to know your customer and how he/she is growing and evolving with the new platforms/media options. There are bedrock elements to your marketing and then new tools that respond to users' changing habits. Great piece that stimulates good discussion.

  8. Jeff Zwelling from Convertro, November 18, 2013 at 2:32 p.m.

    It’s great that so many brands are looking to increase their digital advertising budgets, but if those brands are still working with a last-click attribution model then their data is flawed and there is no way to accurately calculate what channels are producing results. Before these companies can jump into a larger marketing budget, they need to be sure they know exactly which channels will be receiving additional marketing spend. Multi-touch attribution needs to be the priority for any business that wants to truly see the greatest results from its campaigns. By implementing an attribution model that looks at the full path of consumer behavior, rather than just the digital home stretch, brands can properly allocate their budget to the channels that will deliver the greatest impact. These channels could be digital, direct mail and catalog, TV commercials, or any combination of various offline and online sources. Once comprehensive attribution is in place, the increased budget can follow.

    Jeff Zwelling
    CEO and co-founder of Convertro

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