A new report on cross-channel marketing has determined that while this approach is being embraced by marketers, there are still many problems that keep it from being a completely successful venture.

The report, "The Key to Successful Cross-Channel Marketing," was commissioned by Exact Target, an email marketing and cross-channel interactive marketing software-as-a-service solutions company. It was compiled by Forrester Consulting between June and July 2012.

Perception Differs From Reality

Cross-channel marketing, or the coordination of multiple, currently siloed marketing channels, such as email, direct mail and social media channels, has started to grow. In a survey of 211 professionals about their skills and thoughts, the study found that the results were quite varied, even though half of those polled said that cross-channel marketing was important to their business and 75 percent initially thought they were well-prepared. 

According to the report, in cross-channel marketing, there are four skill levels that range from level one to level four. The skill level is based on how knowledgeable and how technically equipped marketers and their teams are.

Level one marketers were “extremely unprepared for cross-channel marketing” and suffered from a lack of supplies that include limited knowledge, technology, data and staff. Those at level four, a small five percent, tend to come from larger companies who are able to properly train and fund the marketing sector. They are “tenured interactive marketers that are already integrating all of the channels that apply,” and the problems they faced tend to be based less on being able to engage with their customers and more on how their marketing campaigns are faring.

Most of those polled for the study were in one of the middle stages (34 percent of those in the study were in level three, while 37 percent were in level 2). Despite most of the 211 participants being either somewhat or adequately prepared, there are still challenges, as not many of them were at a level four skill level.