Although digital marketers generally rank cross-channel integration as critical to the success of various technologies and tactics, a recent survey from integrated digital marketing software provider Lyris indicates this type of integration is often lacking.

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Email Integration Widespread, Effectiveness Varies

As indicated in an infographic produced by Lyris, results of the Lyris Digital Optimizer Survey conducted in summer 2012 indicate that email-based digital marketing efforts have the highest percentage of integration with other channels and technologies, and this integration is producing varying levels of success. Email is most often integrated with list segmentation/marketing (85%) and performance reporting (82%). Success rates of these and other similar technology integration efforts (such as list hygiene, etc.) tend to be high, running more than 60% and up to 80% for list segmentation.

In terms of integration with other consumer touchpoints, email is most often integrated with social media (62%), followed by CRM data (56%) and mobile marketing (37%). Success rates are lower, peaking at 57% for CRM and only 47% for social and 40% for mobile. Lyris advises that tools are needed to more effectively integrate email across different customer touchpoints, although CMSWire believes the particularly low success rate of email-mobile integration is at least partially due to a general lack of maturity in mobile marketing efforts (see below).

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Leading Social Marketing Channels

As expected, survey results reveal that Facebook (88%), Twitter (84%), LinkedIn (84%)  and YouTube (76%), all very popular with consumers, are the most used social marketing channels. Interestingly, corporate blog sites (70%) remain very popular even in the face of increasing consumer usage of third-party social networks. Pinterest (58%) may see increased popularity among marketers in the near future.

Facebook was overwhelmingly rated as producing the best results (69%), and also had by the far the highest percentage of respondents planning to significantly or somewhat increase spending in 2013 (51%).  Looking at success of integrating social media and email marketing efforts, communicating the same message across multiple channels (71%) and including social media-like/follow links in emails (64%) led all other forms of integration in reported success, which Lyris says indicates the importance of consistent customer experience in digital marketing. 

Mobile Least Popular Digital Marketing Channel

Despite the rapid growth of mobile device penetration among consumers, 39% of marketers did not know or did not answer about what mobile marketing tactics their company uses, indicating that mobile is the least popular digital marketing channel. Marketers who do use the mobile channel favor mobile-optimized landing pages (27%) and tracking of what mobile devices promotional emails are opened on (23%). 

Learning Opportunities

Digital Marketers Want Behavioral Data

Digital marketers want to obtain behavioral data from their CRM efforts. The top CRM data needs are all behavioral – email behavior (48%), transactional data (43%) and Web behaviors (39%). Individual campaign performance (73%) is the most important CRM reporting feature. 

AddThis Functionality May Have Broad Appeal

Based on the results of Lyris survey data, the upgraded social sharing tool suite recently released by AddThis may be exactly what digital marketers looking for an integrated customer experience are looking for. AddThis says its upgraded social sharing tool suite offers a streamlined and simplified contact menu. This includes an easier-to-use email form optimized for faster sharing to the most popular services in a user’s region and simplified searching for personal favorites.

The new platform, which AddThis lab testing indicates boosts sharing by 11%, takes advantage of jQuery on pages that use it for transitions. It also uses HTML5 and other modern browser features, but remains IE6-compliant. In addition, the new sharing environment offers inline sharing with the most popular social networks. If visitors link their social accounts with AddThis, they’ll be able to share directly to Facebook or Twitter without leaving the AddThis user’s page or extra page load. AddThis is gradually positioning itself as an all-purpose tool for connecting sites to social media and tracking the success of these efforts. 

Budget Once, Market Twice

An August 2010 article on cross-channel marketing from CRMBuyer contains some advice still highly relevant to today’s digital marketer. Namely, “When effectively synchronized across channels, the same marketing budget can significantly raise brand awareness, boost purchase intent and considerably increase sales. Thus, the success of this kind of cross-channel marketing lies in effectively evaluating the channels and appropriately aggregating and analyzing the data thus generated to maximize the reach of the marketing message across the target audience.”

What marketers don’t want to significantly stretch the reach of the marketing dollars they’re already spending? CRMBuyer further advises digital marketers preparing a cross-channel strategy to look at it as an experience rather than a message. This means marketers should have a storyboard of customer experiences across all possible touchpoints. “Before finalizing the strategy, all options must be considered by re-organizing the frames of the storyboard to ensure that all the interactions present a uniform marketing experience to the customer and drive home a unified message,” concludes the article.