Making The Case For Mobile And Email Integration

A majority of brands have yet to fully integrate mobile and email experiences, suggests a study released Tuesday by Sitecore.

Only 47% of marketers polled by the software development company responded that their company had completely integrated mobile and email, while 61% of marketers have begun to combine mobile data with email to some extent.

Sitecore partnered with Vanson Bourne, a technology market research firm, to conduct a global poll among 4,500 consumers and 450 marketing executives.

Forty-one percent of marketers acknowledge that they have no formal mobile strategy or a mobile strategy that has not yet been implemented -- an alarmingly high percentage, considering the pervasiveness of mobile today. Furthermore, only a third of marketers can track email opens on a mobile device in real-time according to the Sitecore study.

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Only 46% of marketers have optimized automated emails to responsively render on any screen, with 40% planning to do so in the near future. Thirty-nine percent of marketers responded that their automated email campaigns incorporate analytics from a customer’s mobile history with the brand, with 44% planning to do so in the near future.

Yet email is the third most used function on a mobile device by consumers, according to the report -- trailing only to text messages and phone calls in terms of usage.

“Our research showed that around half or less of the brands surveyed have real-time visibility into how users are interacting with their brands on mobile devices,” says Charlotte Ziems, VP of content marketing and editor in chief at Sitecore. “If you don’t know what Web page your customer last visited or what product they last bought or whether they’ve installed your mobile app in the last hour, how do you know the email you’re about to send them has any relevance to their situation? Mobile use is far outpacing desktop use, so it’s essential that outbound brand communication with customers take into account the context of their mobile interactions.”

Julie Ginches, chief marketing office at Kahuna, agrees that mobile can help email marketers drive better results. Kahuna is a mobile and marketing automation company, and Ginches discussed the integration of mobile and email in a conversation with Email Marketing Daily.

Ginches says that the challenge of integration is a result of siloed data that can provide greater value if aggregated. Considering a majority of emails are now opened by mobile device, she says that email is now a mobile channel. 

“Mobile is not another channel,” says Ginches.  “The data that marketers can collect on mobile can unlock the mysteries that remain in cross-channel marketing.”

 “What marketers want today is not just a single view of their customer, but also an understanding of which channel to use, with what message, and at whattime,” Ginches continues. “You can’t do that if you have separate strategies and technologies for each channel.  What you need instead is a platform that enables you to do cross-channel communications fueled by a unified view of the customer.”

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