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Mind the Marketing Gaps in the Customer Journey

Many marketers believe they fully understand the potency of the customer’s journey—but the findings of the third annual Cross-Channel Marketing Report would suggest otherwise…


There is still a huge knowledge gap when it comes to understanding the customer journey. That’s the finding of Oracle Marketing Cloud’s third annual report into cross-channel marketing. We take a look at some of the critical facts and figures of the report and offer key insights into how to create a joined-up cross-channel marketing strategy. Want to know where the holes in your sales funnel are, how they got there and how to plug them?

THE WORLD IS NOW DIGITAL

How consumers interact with brands has changed forever. Whether accessing your marketing via wearable technology during a commute or in the evening on a tablet, consumers expect to be able to access your content whenever and wherever they are.

But as Oracle Marketing Cloud’s third annual Cross-Channel Marketing Report reveals, many marketers are still struggling to create a seamless and consistent experience for consumers across all their channels. This leaves ROI-threatening gaps in their marketing strategies and failing to break down interdepartmental silos – all while revealing a fundamental misunderstanding of the customer’s journey.

(The survey’s findings are based on feedback from nearly 1,000 digital marketers and e-commerce professionals.)

THE INTEGRATION GAP

67% of responding companies agree their priority is for all key marketing activities to be integrated across channels. But only 43% say they ‘understand customer journeys and adapt the channel mix accordingly’. Most worryingly, only 30% of companies have ‘cross-functional/cross-silo teams to facilitate integrated marketing’, while a mere 19% have ‘measured the financial results of conducting cross-channel or integrated marketing’.

FILL THE GAP BY…

  • Ensuring you have a clearly defined strategy in place.
  • Creating a silo-busting team that promotes and coordinates individualised customer experiences across all channels.
  • Putting processes in place that allow you to measure ROI.

DANGER!

With no ROI measuring facilities in place, marketers run the risk of the C-Suite reducing marketing budgets and crippling cross-channel marketing strategies in the process.

THE CROSS-CHANNEL GAP

It’s more than a gap. Only 7% of client-side respondents say their organizations are ‘very much set up to deliver effectively orchestrated cross-channel marketing activities’, while 49% state they are set up ‘to a certain extent’ and 35% of companies are ‘not really’ set up.

Of real concern is the finding that 62% of organizations believe their messaging, execution and delivery strategies are fragmented across touch points.

FILL THE GAP BY…

  • Placing the focus on testing and optimizing your marketing strategy to ensure cross-channel effectiveness.
  • Not obsessing purely on planning, design and content.
  • Ensuring that time is more evenly spent between different elements of a campaign to achieve maximum impact across all your channels.

TOP 3 ROADBLOCKS TO CROSS-CHANNEL DELIVERY

1. Lack of resources.

2. No clearly defined strategy.

3. Company politics/vested interests.

SEISMIC SHIFT, IGNORED

51% of companies agree that they ‘focus on the customer not the campaign’ VS. 29% who disagree. There are still companies who don’t realize that there’s been a seismic shift in marketing. The customer is now in charge, not the marketer.

THE MOBILE GAP

There is some positive news—the number of companies ‘integrating mobile into broader marketing campaigns’ is growing. In 2013 60% of client-side respondents had a mobile strategy in place. Compared to 2014 when 76% of client-side respondents had a mobile strategy in place.

MISSED OPPORTUNITY?

The focus on mobile—and its integration into marketing strategies—is still small when compared to the opportunities that the channel offers to marketers.

THE ACQUISITION/RETENTION GAP

There’s more positive news when it comes to balancing the acquisition and retention of customers. The proportion of companies who say they are more ‘focused on acquisition’ dropped from 44% in 2013 to 40% in 2014. Compared to the proportion of marketers who agree that it is ‘cheaper to retain than acquire a customer’which rose from 70% in 2013 to 82% in 2014.

FILL THE GAP BY…

Remembering that research has shown: 5% increase in customer retention can increase profitability by 75%. 80% of a company’s future revenue comes from 20% of existing customers. 5x the cost to attract new customers compared to retaining existing customers.

Remember:

  • Ensure you have a clearly defined marketing strategy in place that maps the customer’s journey.
  • Make your brand consistent and accessible to consumers across all your marketing channels.
  • Bust silos to ensure that all departments are working together seamlessly.
  • Ensure your marketing strategy isn’t paying lip service to the huge potential of mobile. Put processes in place that allow you to measure and show ROI – otherwise the C-Suite could make swingeing cuts.

Discover how to make your marketing strategy deliver on every front with our free eGuide: “Modern Marketing Essentials Guide to Cross-Channel Marketing”.
This article first appeared on the Oracle Marketing Cloud blog.