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Marketers Struggle With Multichannel Customer Interactions

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Marketers struggle to manage customer interactions and campaigns across multiple marketing technology platforms—a challenge intensified by new data streams from emerging channels such as mobile and social media, according to a report by Forrester Consulting and ExactTarget.

Asked to identify their greatest internal marketing challenges today, surveyed senior marketers cite the following:

  • Understanding customers' cross-channel interactions: 48%
  • Managing campaigns across multiple technologies: 41%
  • Demonstrating results to higher-ups: 40%
  • Adequate staffing: 40%

Fewer marketers cite maintaining customer data quality across campaigns (29%) and responding to customers in real time (29%) as their top challenges.

Below, additional finding from the report titled "The New Campaign Management Mandate," based on a survey of 158 US-based senior interactive marketing professionals, conducted by Forrester Consulting for ExactTarget.


Senior marketers report varied levels of capabilities in the following key areas:

  • Social conversations: 34% of senior marketers fully agree and 28% somewhat agree their companies have a social presence that allows them to participate in on line conversations about company products and brands.
  • Push messaging: 15% of senior marketers fully agree and 47% somewhat agree their efforts consist of primarily pushing channel specific messages out to customers.
  • Tracking customer interactions: 28% of senior market fully agree and 27% somewhat agree they build and maintain a history of customer interactions with their brand across multiple channels.
  • Recognizing customers across channels: 22% fully agree and 30% somewhat agree they can track and recognize customers across channels.

Looking for great digital marketing data? MarketingProfs reviewed hundreds of research sources to create our most recent Digital Marketing Factbook (May 2010), a 296-page compilation of data and 254 charts, covering email marketing, social media, search engine marketing, e-commerce, and mobile marketing. Also check out The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs.


Most marketers (54%) cite Web analytics technologies as the most important tool in overcoming current marketing challenges; 34% cite customer data hubs, 32% cite social campaign management tools, and 31% cite campaign management technologies as crucial to overcoming current issues.

Budgetary concerns affect the marketing technology adoption decision, according to the report, but the lack of collaboration in testing new channels is also an issue: 34% of marketers say collaborating to test emerging channels is extremely or somewhat difficult.

About the data: For the study Forrester conducted an online survey of 158 mid‐ to senior‐level interactive marketers in the US, from March to May 2011.


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  • by Doug Pruden of Customer Experience Partners Thu Jun 23, 2011 via web

    I think it was Don Peppers who a number of years ago, like us, spoke about the need to turn the corporate organization on its side. That is, instead of a structure built around various channels or products, we needed to structure corporations around segments of customers. -- The premise being that we could better track, better communicate and better serve the customers that keep our businesses healthy if we focused on them rather than our internal silos.

    We aren’t just talking about data management and access here. Such a “turning on its side” requires a major shift in the organizational model, different management talents, an entirely different corporate mindset and much more. Needless to say, very few corporations made the big switch. So here we are in 2011 and 48% of corporate managers are reporting that their greatest marketing priority is in “Understanding customers' cross-channel interactions “. – No real surprise.

  • by Michael Mon Jun 27, 2011 via web

    Doug,

    I think you make an incredible point. Focusing on the audience can help shape what marketing and content strategies work best for your company. Developing internal tools based on the needs of the audience is essential for successful marketing "campaigns". Thanks for adding to the conversation.

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