Most marketing execs ‘don’t have an omnichannel strategy’

Oct 30, 2015 | Digital marketing skills, E-commerce and E-retailing, Mobile

Just over half (55%) of respondents have yet to implement omnichannel marketing, while only 11% of CMOs have put integration across online and offline channels in place, according to new research. The CMO Club in partnership with Rakuten Marketing today released survey findings that reveal most companies have yet to begin to implement an omnichannel […]

Just over half (55%) of respondents have yet to implement omnichannel marketing, while only 11% of CMOs have put integration across online and offline channels in place, according to new research.


The CMO Club in partnership with Rakuten Marketing today released survey findings that reveal most companies have yet to begin to implement an omnichannel strategy, noting a lack of resource and investment as the primary reasons for not doing so.
The key findings are:
· 55% of respondents have yet to implement omnichannel marketing; only 11% of CMOs have put integration across online and offline channels in place
· 64% report a lack of resource and investment to succeed in omnichannel
· 65% of marketing executives rely on attribution to show success, but 34% still evaluate each channel individually. 20% already use cross data ad attribution to evaluate all performance
· A silo approach to marketing is echoed in how budgets are allocated across the marketing department as they tend to be divided across channel or performance marketing and brand
The survey of more than 120 Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and global marketing executives reinforces the desire brands have to create a seamless, customer-focused world,
and confirms that while most while most face challenges on the path to execution, those that are applying cross-channel marketing are experiencing notable success.
Complete survey results and advice from industry leading companies having omnichannel success can be found in “The CMO Solution Guide to Demystifying Omnichannel Marketing To Create a Winning Strategy for CMOs.”
Commenting on the findings Gerry O’Brien, eCommerce Director, at experience day brand, Red Letter Days said: “Although many brands still have a long way to go, some marketers in the retail industry are championing the building of omnichannel strategies, and those are the ones that will win. At Red Letter Days we have been able to create a seamless and uniform brand experience online and offline because of in depth data that reveals our customers’ behaviour across the whole path to purchase. Although the increasing number of different devices can make it harder to understand the customer journey, technology is also providing marketers with the tools to understand their customers better than ever before and adapt their strategies based on the insight.”
CMOs Adoption of Omnichannel Lags Behind Consumer Behaviour
The research shows 55 percent of respondents have yet to implement omnichannel marketing. Thirty-four percent of CMOs surveyed were in the early implementation phase—not fully integrated across channels—and just 11 percent noted a sophisticated implementation, with integration across channels and online to offline.
When asked to identify up to three barriers to omnichannel implementation, the most frequently reported were a “lack of resources and investment required to succeed” (64 percent), “lack of analytical and technical resources to make sense of data” (61 percent) and “difficulty integrating data” (52 percent).
Brands that are applying cross-channel marketing are experiencing success and gaining attention from their peers, showcasing the weight of an omnichannel strategy. When asked to name one brand that is doing a great job at omnichannel personalisation globally, the marketing executives surveyed most frequently cited Coach, J.Crew, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Target and Walmart.
Budgeting Woes
The hurdles that omnichannel marketers face appear disparate: a lack of resources, communication, upper level buy-in, difficulty analysing and integrating data, and a disjointed organisation. Upon closer examination, the survey found a relationship between many of these challenges and the siloed structure of marketing budget.
The most common budget structure that CMOs reported keep brand spend separate from direct marketing (30 percent) or allocate budget by business unit (30 percent). Budget distribution by channel came in at 20 percent and 19 percent budget online and offline marketing separately.
Gerry O’Brien, eCommerce Director, Red Letter Days continues: “The shift to a measurement model which gives a complete view across channels means that we have the confidence to invest in a channel even when it is not necessarily apparent that it is driving customer engagement. We now buy media in a way that echoes the way our customers are shopping. We can also use the data to address the customer experience across the whole business and improve areas outside of marketing. Ultimately, now our measurement model and budgeting echoes an omnichannel marketing strategy.”
Connecting the Dots to Conversion
“It appears that brands are only beginning to connect the touch points that lead to conversion,” said Peter Krainik, CEO and Founder of The CMO Club. “Once brands move beyond the early stages of attribution, adopt emerging technology tools and begin to truly understand the performance of their marketing, how they evaluate the success of cross channel marketing efforts may shift.”
Sixty-five percent of marketing executives surveyed rely on some type of attribution to show success. Most (34 percent) evaluate each channel individually and optimise based on channel-specific performance. Some (20 percent) already use cross-channel data and attribution to evaluate all marketing touch points. The remainder (11 percent) employ media-mix modelling across online and offline efforts.
“Implementation and execution of a successful omnichannel strategy does not require marketers to find all the solutions on their own. Advancements in ad technology solve data analysis and integration challenges, streamline communication and provide accurate measurement to prove ROI,” said Jessica Joines, CMO of Rakuten Marketing. “The path to omnichannel is a complicated journey and organisations shouldn’t go at it alone but enlist trusted experts outside their organisation to help them break down the barriers.”
View The CMO Club and Rakuten Marketing guide here.

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