A recent study from Forrester on cross channel marketing indicated that “76 percent of marketers are interested in an integrated messaging platform to manage all customer data and execute across all digital direct channels.” This is good news for the consumer sick of getting irrelevant, disruptive advertising thrown at them and good news for our industry that companies are waking up to the amazing, mathematically-proven strategy for getting results using optimized omni-channel programs.
Yet, as Rank Reed at Marketing Pilgrim points out, staffing is a key take away – almost half of those surveyed also say staffing is the biggest problem in cross channel communications strategy. It’s true, most companies have a problem communicating across marketing disciplines, partly because many companies have a problem realizing that all channels are marketing channels. Companies are often stuck moving files, adjusting creative, and simply managing the “talk” between these disparate channels through technical skills.
And while we are clearly biased because we offer a true omni-channel solution, effective integration across digital and non-digital channels can be painful to many organizations: some are built on legacy systems, while others have technologists lacking in business savvy blocking the pathway to true integration. And yet, marketers need to step up to a bigger strategy that involves all communications with the customer if they are to seek and gain true engagement.
Take for example a small staff tasked to execute in all seven areas outlined in this hub-and-spoke company model: SEO, SEM, social, mobile, direct mail, email and website. The skill level of the team really doesn’t matter if the staff is spread too thin and the cross channel optimization platforms are unavailable to properly execute in these areas.
That is, what good is a well-planned email strategy if your staff can’t perform the results analysis on the back end? What’s the point of sending direct mail if you’ll email a better offer a few days later? And worse, what if more of these spokes aren’t working together?
The gaps created by staffing shortages negate having these strategies in place. Thus, the need for marketing enablement and integrative technology to manage these spokes efficiently and effectively.