Today’s consumers expect relevancy and timeliness in their interactions with brands. They want a consistent experience as they move between web and mobile channels and between stores and digital devices. Brand and agency marketers have more data, more technology and more sophisticated tools for connecting with customers than ever before, but they have yet to create the kind of one-on-one experience customers expect.
Signal wanted to better understand how to help marketers get more value from their technologies. In September 2014, Signal conducted a global online survey of 281 brand and agency marketers spanning 16 industry verticals to explore the challenges faced by marketers in fully leveraging their technology and tools to deliver a next-generation, cross-channel experience.
Signal’s Cross-Channel Marketing and Technology Survey yielded three key findings:
- Technology fragmentation is a key obstacle for marketers, fully half of whom say the lack of coordination impedes true cross-channel success.
- Marketers overwhelmingly agree that connecting their technologies would improve their capabilities, helping them to harness data, improve customer engagement and loyalty and drive
- However, more than half of marketers have yet to link their technologies beyond the most basic level, and a fully-optimized technology stack remains an elusive goal for a significant majority of marketers.
In light of these findings, marketers who want to launch successful cross-channel initiatives should rank technology integration as a top priority, make their data easily available across their disparate technologies, and work on realigning their organizations to become customer-focused rather than channel-focused.
Marketing technology is evolving at lightning speed – in both breadth and complexity. Today marketers can choose from thousands of software platforms and specialized solutions for email, search, CRM, paid and earned media, mobile, social, content, video, attribution, web analytics, audience verification, and more.
Marketers are investing significantly more time and money in these data-driven tools in search of new and better opportunities for engaging with customers. Growing complexity of customer interactions put marketers under pressure to optimize their tools and prove a return on these investments. This involves the difficult challenge of managing and coordinating the growing set of disparate platforms, solutions, and interfaces in their technology stacks to provide a cohesive and engaging customer experience across multiple channels.
Connecting technologies in their stacks is daunting for several reasons:
- Separate tools have unique technical foundations.
- They are designed for use in distinct channels rather than to work in concert with tools across channels.
- According to Signal’s internal research, the average marketing stack consists of as many as 17 or more tools, requiring dozens of custom integration projects that few marketers have time or budget to support.
Marketers are recognizing they will be at a competitive disadvantage without a clear road map for integrating their technologies to allow for the frictionless flow of data across their stacks. Today’s always-on consumers switch seamlessly among channels and devices so quickly that it’s become incredibly difficult for marketers to engage with them effectively unless they are able to react as quickly as customers move.