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A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned By ExactTarget


The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing
Sophisticated Cross-Channel Marketers Show Us That Technology Matters Most

October 2012
Forrester Consulting
The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing




Table Of Contents

Executive Summary ................................................................................................................................................................................. 2

The Current State Of Cross-Channel Marketing .............................................................................................................................. 2

Follow The Lead Of Sophisticated Cross-Channel Marketers ...................................................................................................... 11

Determine Your Own Cross-Channel Marketing Sophistication ................................................................................................ 14

Key Recommendations ......................................................................................................................................................................... 16

Appendix A: Methodology................................................................................................................................................................... 17

Appendix B: Endnotes .......................................................................................................................................................................... 17



© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Information is based on best available resources.
Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. Forrester®, Technographics®, Forrester Wave, RoleView, TechRadar, and Total
Economic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. For additional
information, go to www.forrester.com. [1-KIIAC6]




About Forrester Consulting
Forrester Consulting provides independent and objective research-based consulting to help leaders succeed in their organizations. Ranging in
scope from a short strategy session to custom projects, Forrester’s Consulting services connect you directly with research analysts who apply
expert insight to your specific business challenges. For more information, visit www.forrester.com/consulting.




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Forrester Consulting
The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing




Executive Summary
The time for cross-channel marketing is here. And marketers know it. Yet most are still besieged by challenges that
prevent the practical application of cross-channel strategies. Forrester believes that today’s sophisticated cross-channel
marketers can teach others valuable lessons about how to use technology to prepare
for an even more complicated cross-channel future.                                               Sophisticated marketers
                                                                                                 show that technology is
                                                                                                 the key to cross-channel
ExactTarget commissioned Forrester Consulting to study how well marketers were                           success.
prepared for cross-channel marketing. Between June 2012 and July 2012, we used
an online survey to investigate the outlook and application of cross-channel
strategies and technologies of 211 US marketers with annual revenues of $100 million or more.


Key Findings
Forrester’s study yielded four key findings:

    • Marketers believe in cross-channel marketing. Marketers don’t need the case made for “why cross-channel;”
         78% believe cross-channel marketing is important or very important to their business.

    • Challenges still encumber cross-channel execution. Despite their belief in the power of cross-channel
         marketing, respondents struggle to understand customer interactions across channels and manage execution
         across multiple technologies. Additionally, most respondents’ cross-channel efforts are hindered by limited staff,
         budget, and know-how.

    • Sophisticated marketers provide a strong model to follow. Some marketers are more advanced than others
         when it comes to current operations and future outlook. Lower-level marketers can develop themselves by
         following the best practices of more sophisticated firms.

    • Technology is the key to cross-channel success. Perhaps the greatest factor underlying advanced marketers’
         cross-channel prowess is their ability to use technology to aid program execution, data collection, and process
         management across channel managers.




The Current State Of Cross-Channel Marketing
There’s no question about it. End users are interacting with brands across multiple platforms. And they have higher
expectations than ever that marketers will create consistent experiences across their preferred touchpoints.1 Marketers
get this too. They are beginning to transform their approach to messaging and customer relationships in order to
accommodate customer expectations. Jim Roemmer, senior director of the addressable media team at Gap Direct,
explains: “Customers don’t care that a marketer is organized by channels — they want the marketer to stitch the whole
multichannel experience together.”

We surveyed 211 cross-channel marketing professionals to see just how ready they are for this cross-channel marketing
future. We found that they:




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Forrester Consulting
The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing




    • Believe in cross-channel integration. The majority of marketers in our study — 78% — find cross-channel
         marketing important or extremely important to their business, citing most often that it increases efficiency,
         improves campaign return on investment (ROI), and customer relationships (see Figure 1). Furthermore,
         respondents are active in multiple channels today. For example, they practice on-site content optimization,
         mobile messaging, as well as Facebook and Twitter updates, although with less experience than email and display.

    • Practice multichannel narrowly. Many respondents already integrate email and display with at least one other
         channel (74% and 68%, respectively). But many fewer study participants integrate other channels: Half have
         integrated search retargeting, and fewer than a third have integrated mobile text and app messaging.

    • Rely on multiple technologies for cross-channel support. Respondents use a host of tools to manage their
         cross-channel programs (see Figure 2). This is at least partly due to the fact many believe that no single tool
         accommodates all cross-channel needs (see Figure 3). Yet 76% are interested in an integrated messaging platform
         to manage all customer data and execute across all digital direct channels (see Figure 4). Respondents say that
         existing technologies fall short.




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Forrester Consulting
The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing




Figure 1
Respondents See Multiple Benefits Of Cross-Channel Strategies

                        “Which of the following describes the most important benefits of cross-channel marketing?
                                                        (Please select top three.)”



      More efficient marketing operations                      26%                   18%                     27%



      Better ROI on marketing campaigns                  19%                      27%                      18%



          Improved customer relationships                   24%                  15%             15%                              1
                                                                                                                                  2
                                                                                                                                  3
                       Better conversion rates           17%              16%              13%



                                  Cost savings      8%         11%       10%



                 Competitive differentiation       6%      10%        10%




                       Base: 211 cross-channel marketing professionals at companies with $100 million or more in annual revenue

Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ExactTarget, June 2012




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Forrester Consulting
The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing




Figure 2
Marketers Rely On A Mix Of Technologies To Support Cross-Channel Efforts

                       “What technologies do you currently use to manage your cross-channel messaging efforts
                                                   today? (Select all that apply.)”


          Web analytics platforms (e.g., Adobe SiteCatalyst, IBM
                                                                                                                                  60%
                                                   CoreMetrics)

 Email marketing service providers (e.g., ExactTarget, eDialog)                                                           53%
 Social media management tools (e.g., ExactTarget [CoTweet],
                                                                                                              39%
                          HootSuite Buddy Media, Hearsay)
       Campaign management and automation platforms (e.g.,
                                                                                                        32%
                              Aprimo, SAS, Unica, Neolane)

      Social listening tools (e.g., Radian6, Visible Technologies)                                   29%

                                              Ad servers (e.g., DART)                          20%

              Lead management/nurturing (e.g., Eloqua, Marketo)                              18%

                            Display targeting solutions (e.g., Peer 39)                  15%

 Mobile marketing technology (e.g., Percent Mobile, Localytics)                        12%

 Bid management tools (e.g., Marin Software, Efficient Frontier)                  7%



                       Base: 211 cross-channel marketing professionals at companies with $100 million or more in annual revenue

Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ExactTarget, June 2012




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Forrester Consulting
The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing




Figure 3
Current Technologies Don’t Meet Marketers’ Needs

                       “Where do your current marketing technologies fall short? (Select all that apply.)”



 Cross-channel analytics — models based on cross-channel data
                                                                                                                         51%
           to improve program performance or predict outcomes

   Measurement — tracking standard key performance indicators
                                                                                                                   44%
                                             across channels

    Unified customer view — being able to house all data about a
                                                                                                               42%
                   given customer in a usable, accessible format

          Reporting access and flexibility — being able to easily
  understand cross-channel performance and manipulate reports                                                38%
                                                     as needed

           Marketing automation — program management through
                                                                                                         38%
                                                 technology

       Real-time optimization — dynamic improvements based on
                                                                                                      35%
                                               situational data

  Cross-channel integration — deploying coordinated campaigns
                                                                                                29%
                                        across varied channels




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Forrester Consulting
The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing




Figure 4
Marketers Express Interest In An Integrated Messaging Platform

                 “On a scale of 1 (not at all interested) to 5 (extremely interested), how interested would you be
                   in buying an integrated messaging platform — a single technology to manage all of your
                             customer data as well as execution across all digital direct channels?

                                            11%                   8%



                                                                                   16%


                                                                                                                     1 (Not at all interested)
                                                                                                                     2
                                                                                                                     3
                         31%                                                                                         4
                                                                                                                     5 (Extremely interested)




                                                                            34%




                       Base: 211 cross-channel marketing professionals at companies with $100 million or more in annual revenue

Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ExactTarget, June 2012



Marketers Require Budget And Staff To Prepare For Cross-Channel
Seventy-five percent of marketers in this study consider themselves prepared for cross-channel marketing (see Figure
5). Even so, they admit that cross-channel efforts pose significant challenges for them. Most respondents struggle to
understand customers’ cross-channel interactions and to manage execution across multiple technologies (see Figure 6).
This is due in large part because they:

    • Are not organized to support cross-channel programs. Companies in our study represent both centralized and
         channel-specific organization models (see Figure 7). But neither of these models proves more effective than the
         other for cross-channel management. Respondents from both organizational models feel understaffed, siloed, or
         staffed with inadequate skills (see Figure 8).

    • Cannot supply significant technology budget. Marketing is increasingly owning the budget for technology
         needed to power cross-channel interactive programs; 70% of survey takers fall into this camp. But this budget is
         still quite small. Half of respondents own less than 10% of their company’s overall technology budget.




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Forrester Consulting
The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing




Figure 5
Many Think They Are Well Prepared To Manage Cross-Channel Marketing


                “Using a scale of 1 (very unprepared) and 5 (extremely prepared), please indicate how well
                            prepared your company is to manage cross-channel marketing.”

                                                                        36%
                                                                                                   33%




                                             18%




                6%                                                                                                                6%




     1 (Very unprepared)                       2                          3                          4              5 (Extremely prepared)


                       Base: 211 cross-channel marketing professionals at companies with $100 million or more in annual revenue

Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ExactTarget, June 2012




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Forrester Consulting
The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing




Figure 6
Current Cross-Channel Efforts Pose Challenges For Everyone

                       “What are the top three greatest challenges you experience with your current cross-channel
                                                          marketing programs?”


   Understanding customer interactions
                                                         8%                    13%                          12%
                      across channels

  Managing campaign execution across
                                                         8%                   12%                             15%
      multiple marketing technologies

  Controlling marketing project budgets
                                                        7%                 10%                  8%
 that are dependent on IT collaboration
                                                                                                                                  1
     Coordination with internal groups or
                                                      6%              9%                    10%                                   2
                       external agencies
                                                                                                                                  3
     Organizing to allow for cooperation            4%           7%              6%

                                                                                               Greatest challenges:
   Responding to customers in real time            4%            9%              4%
                                                                                             understanding customer
         Automating repetitive marketing                                                     behavior and managing
                                                 2%      5%           7%
                              processes
                                                                                              multichannel execution

                       Base: 211 cross-channel marketing professionals at companies with $100 million or more in annual revenue

Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ExactTarget, June 2012




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Forrester Consulting
The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing




Figure 7
Companies Are Split Between Centralized And Channel-Specific Organizational Models

                            “How is your company organized to manage cross-channel marketing efforts?”

                                             3%

                           14%                                                                 We have a central team that manages
                                                                                               all of our interactive marketing
                                                                                               communications regardless of channel


                                                                                39%            We have individual teams responsible
                                                                                               for individual channels




                                                                                               We rely mostly on external agencies to
                                                                                               manage cross-channel communications




                                                                                               Other
                         44%




                       Base: 211 cross-channel marketing professionals at companies with $100 million or more in annual revenue

Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ExactTarget, June 2012




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Forrester Consulting
The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing




Figure 8
Respondents Don’t Have Enough Of The Right Staff


                       “What are the greatest organizational issues you face when it comes to cross-channel
                                             communications? (Select all that apply.)”


                                    We don’t have enough staff                                                                    49%


We don’t have the technical expertise in-house needed to
                                                                                                                        42%
  execute and measure cross-channel marketing efforts

   Staff is structured into separate groups with no visibility
                                                                                                                  37%
                                 into each other’s programs

               Managers of various marketing programs don’t
                                                                                                  24%
                                            collaborate well


                           Staff has conflicting goals/incentives                                23%


          We can’t effectively manage internal and external
                                                                                              20%
                                        resources together


                  Our staff has the wrong or inadequate skills                             18%




                       Base: 211 cross-channel marketing professionals at companies with $100 million or more in annual revenue

Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ExactTarget, June 2012




Follow The Lead Of Sophisticated Cross-Channel Marketers
So how can marketers overcome the challenges currently preventing them from making good on their cross-channel
aspirations? To answer this question, we sorted marketers according to their sophistication in four areas.

          1.     Measurement. We evaluated how capable marketers are in measuring results across online and offline
                 media for both branding and direct-response goals.

          2.     Organization. Here we gauged if marketers organize staff by customer rather than by channel. And we
                 looked at how well employee goals enable cooperation across internal teams.

          3.     Technology. This criterion looked specifically at how marketers automate marketing processes and use
                 technology to execute campaigns in emerging media.

          4.     Data. Lastly, we studied how dynamic respondents’ data capture practices are and how they use data to
                 customize marketing experiences.




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The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing




Four Levels Of Cross-Channel Marketers Emerged
We segmented respondents into four levels of sophistication based on their answers to our questions about the above
themes. Here is a snapshot of each marketer segment.

    • Level 1. This group accounts for 11% of our sample and is the least sophisticated group in the study. Five times
        more level 1 marketers than the average are extremely unprepared for cross-channel marketing. More firms in
        this group suffer from limited knowledge, budget, data, staff, and technology than the average. Being slightly
        more likely to be high-tech and retail companies than other segments, this group finds that its current marketing
        technologies fall short in every function we asked about (see Figure 9).

    • Level 2. This group has middle-of-the-road multichannel capability and vision. Exactly half of respondents land
        in this segment. So not surprisingly, their characteristics are mostly on par with study averages. Just more than
        one-third — 37% — of level 2’s say that limited technology hinders their multichannel efforts. This is slightly
        more than the average, but 24% fewer than the percentage of level 1’s saying the same. Level 2’s index slightly
        higher than average for financial services and consumer goods firms.

    • Level 3. This segment represents 34% of respondents. Nearly 90% of level 3’s think that they are prepared or well
        prepared for cross-channel marketing. We are not surprised. More in this group than average already integrate
        email, display, Twitter feeds, search ads, and on-site content with other channels. This group includes a mix of
        industries and company sizes.

    • Level 4. Our most advanced segment is also our smallest. But this 5% demonstrates behaviors significantly
        different from study averages. Level 4’s are tenured interactive marketers that are already integrating all of the
        channels they apply. They indicate fewer challenges to enabling cross-channel. And the challenges they face are
        more advanced than other groups’; level 1’s struggle to execute cross-channel campaigns, while level 4’s want to
        improve their cross-channel customer insight. Fewer level 4’s are dissatisfied with their technologies. This is
        perhaps because 60% of them own more than 10% of their company’s technology budget. Level 4’s skew toward
        big companies from the media industry.




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The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing




Figure 9
Fewer Level 4’s Are Dissatisfied With Technology, But Level 1’s Fall Short

                                         “Where do your current marketing technologies fall short?”


          Reporting access and flexibility — being able to easily                                  40%
  understand cross-channel performance and manipulate reports                                                    67%
                                                     as needed                                     38%

Cross-channel analytics — models based on cross-channel data                                 30%
                                                                                                                 67%
          to improve program performance or predict outcomes                                              51%

  Measurement — tracking standard key performance indicators                                 30%
                                                                                                                63%               Level 4
                                            across channels                                          44%

    Unified customer view — being able to house all data about a                       20%                                        Level 1
                                                                                                                  71%
                   given customer in a usable, accessible format                                    42%

          Marketing automation — program management through                      10%                                              All
                                                                                                                63%               respondents
                                                technology                                      38%

      Real-time optimization — dynamic improvements based on                     10%
                                                                                                            58%
                                              situational data                                 35%

  Cross-channel integration — deploying coordinated campaigns                    10%
                                                                                                                63%
                                        across varied channels                               29%



                       Base: 211 cross-channel marketing professionals at companies with $100 million or more in annual revenue

Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ExactTarget,June 2012



Advanced Cross-Channel Marketers Value Technology
No doubt about it, level 4’s are just better prepared than others for cross-channel marketing; 10 times more of them are
extremely prepared to manage cross-channel initiatives than the study average. What can other marketers learn from
these advanced firms that will help their own cross-channel marketing efforts? One theme underlies the responses from
level 4: Embrace technology. Here are the lessons we learned from advanced cross-channel marketers:

    • Adopt an integrated technology platform. Forty-two percent of all study respondents and half of level 4’s are
        very or extremely interested in a single platform to manage cross-channel programs. This marketer appeal is
        consistent with what Forrester finds in our syndicated research. In fact, Forrester believes that marketers should
        invest in an online marketing suite in order to sidestep the inevitable long-term impact of siloed approaches on
        the customer experience and marketing ROI.2

    • Lobby for more technology budget. Nearly 80% of level 1 marketers controlling their companies’ interactive
        technology budgets can access less than 10% of their company’s overall technology spend. This explains why
        unsophisticated cross-channel marketers are disappointed in how well they can execute cross-channel campaigns,
        manage measurement, collect critical data, and customize marketing experiences. They have inadequate
        technologies for doing so. In contrast, level 4’s control more budget, can invest in tools they need, automate more
        cross-channel management tasks, and are subsequently better pleased with their efforts.




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The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing




    • Organize for collaboration. We know. This is easier said than done. Even the level 4’s have this as one of their
        critical challenges. But the level 4’s still teach us something about the right approach here. More of them than
        average have individual teams managing specific channels. And more of them than average use marketing
        automation tools to offload operational tasks. This frees up internal staff to focus on cooperation, creating a
        consistent view of the customer across channels and joint planning of cross-channel campaigns.




Determine Your Own Cross-Channel Marketing Sophistication
We encourage readers to plot their own cross-channel marketing sophistication against the sample in this study. Do
this by taking the following self-test (see Figure 10). Scoring guidance in the figure will inform you about the
sophistication level that matches your current capabilities.




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Forrester Consulting
The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing




Figure 10
Cross-Channel Marketing Sophistication Test




Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ExactTarget, June 2012




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Forrester Consulting
The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing




KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
To implement some of the lessons learned from more sophisticated marketers, we recommend that you:

    •     Apply more interactive tools. Perhaps the simplest lesson learned from our level 4 sophisticated marketer group
          is to apply a mix of interactive marketing tools. Doing so exposes you to your users across a spectrum of
          touchpoints, provides learnings from one medium to apply to the next, and forces you to manage the data and
          technology complexity that comes with using multiple channels. Don’t worry, this does not need to get expensive.
          Small trials are fine. Most enterprise marketers spend around $1 million on social media annually.3

    •     Take a gradual approach. We know that you want to get your organization as quickly as possible from a level 1 to
          a level 4. But doing so may cost more or be more error-prone than taking a gradual approach. That is, you can learn
          how to do more complex integrations from doing lower-cost, lower-profile ones, preventing highly visible gaffes.
          And sometimes the biggest incremental lift in program results comes from the initial shift to automation or
          customization beyond batch and blast. For example, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro generated 50,000 in-restaurant visits
          (40% from brand-new customers) with a simple cross-channel campaign. It used email and its website to drive
          traffic to its Facebook page where users could download a coupon.4

    •     Consider outsourced support. If trying to coordinate your needs with the project schedule of your IT team keeps
          your technology needs from being met, or if you simply don’t have enough headcount to pull off cross-channel
          programs, look outside of your company’s walls. Today, myriad technology providers offer viable options for cross-
          channel program and process support.5




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The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing




Appendix A: Methodology
In this study, Forrester interviewed 211 cross-channel marketing professionals at companies with $100 million or more
in annual revenue. Questions provided to the participants asked how they currently manage cross-channel digital
marketing and asked them to identify challenges in execution. The study began in June 2012 and was completed in July
2012.




Appendix B: Endnotes


1
 Thanks to the mobile devices we carry during our waking hours and the always-on connections of desktops, laptops,
and tablets, users access messages in many ways and expect relevant messages across channels. Source: “The New
Messaging Mandate,” Forrester Research, Inc., August 8, 2012.

2
 Forrester defines the online marketing suite as a comprehensive platform to serve the entire interactive marketing life
cycle spanning data, content, workflow, optimization, measurement, and channel execution. Source: “Revisiting The
Online Marketing Suite,” Forrester Research, Inc., February 7, 2011.

3
 Forrester estimates per-company spend by industry. This number represents primarily spend on integrated social
media campaigns and social media management tools. Source: “US Interactive Marketing Forecast By Industry, 2011
To 2016,” Forrester Research, Inc., November 15, 2011.

4
 Learn more about P.F. Chang’s cross-channel campaign through these articles. Source: “A Facebook Coupon Offer
Drives Foot Traffic Into P.F. Chang’s,” Facebook (http://www.facebook-successstories.com/pf-changs/); “Success Story:
P.F. Chang’s,” ExactTarget (http://www.exacttarget.com/clients/success-stories/p.f.-changs.aspx).

5
 Forrester evaluated 12 products from 11 vendors in its evaluation of campaign management. We found a market
populated by both familiar and new vendors, each racing to adapt campaign management for a future where the
customer dictates the pacing and content of campaigns. Source: “The Forrester Wave™: Cross-Channel Campaign
Management, Q1 2012,” Forrester Research, Inc., January 31, 2012.




Page 17

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The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing

  • 1. A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned By ExactTarget The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing Sophisticated Cross-Channel Marketers Show Us That Technology Matters Most October 2012
  • 2. Forrester Consulting The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing Table Of Contents Executive Summary ................................................................................................................................................................................. 2 The Current State Of Cross-Channel Marketing .............................................................................................................................. 2 Follow The Lead Of Sophisticated Cross-Channel Marketers ...................................................................................................... 11 Determine Your Own Cross-Channel Marketing Sophistication ................................................................................................ 14 Key Recommendations ......................................................................................................................................................................... 16 Appendix A: Methodology................................................................................................................................................................... 17 Appendix B: Endnotes .......................................................................................................................................................................... 17 © 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Information is based on best available resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. Forrester®, Technographics®, Forrester Wave, RoleView, TechRadar, and Total Economic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. For additional information, go to www.forrester.com. [1-KIIAC6] About Forrester Consulting Forrester Consulting provides independent and objective research-based consulting to help leaders succeed in their organizations. Ranging in scope from a short strategy session to custom projects, Forrester’s Consulting services connect you directly with research analysts who apply expert insight to your specific business challenges. For more information, visit www.forrester.com/consulting. Page 1
  • 3. Forrester Consulting The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing Executive Summary The time for cross-channel marketing is here. And marketers know it. Yet most are still besieged by challenges that prevent the practical application of cross-channel strategies. Forrester believes that today’s sophisticated cross-channel marketers can teach others valuable lessons about how to use technology to prepare for an even more complicated cross-channel future. Sophisticated marketers show that technology is the key to cross-channel ExactTarget commissioned Forrester Consulting to study how well marketers were success. prepared for cross-channel marketing. Between June 2012 and July 2012, we used an online survey to investigate the outlook and application of cross-channel strategies and technologies of 211 US marketers with annual revenues of $100 million or more. Key Findings Forrester’s study yielded four key findings: • Marketers believe in cross-channel marketing. Marketers don’t need the case made for “why cross-channel;” 78% believe cross-channel marketing is important or very important to their business. • Challenges still encumber cross-channel execution. Despite their belief in the power of cross-channel marketing, respondents struggle to understand customer interactions across channels and manage execution across multiple technologies. Additionally, most respondents’ cross-channel efforts are hindered by limited staff, budget, and know-how. • Sophisticated marketers provide a strong model to follow. Some marketers are more advanced than others when it comes to current operations and future outlook. Lower-level marketers can develop themselves by following the best practices of more sophisticated firms. • Technology is the key to cross-channel success. Perhaps the greatest factor underlying advanced marketers’ cross-channel prowess is their ability to use technology to aid program execution, data collection, and process management across channel managers. The Current State Of Cross-Channel Marketing There’s no question about it. End users are interacting with brands across multiple platforms. And they have higher expectations than ever that marketers will create consistent experiences across their preferred touchpoints.1 Marketers get this too. They are beginning to transform their approach to messaging and customer relationships in order to accommodate customer expectations. Jim Roemmer, senior director of the addressable media team at Gap Direct, explains: “Customers don’t care that a marketer is organized by channels — they want the marketer to stitch the whole multichannel experience together.” We surveyed 211 cross-channel marketing professionals to see just how ready they are for this cross-channel marketing future. We found that they: Page 2
  • 4. Forrester Consulting The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing • Believe in cross-channel integration. The majority of marketers in our study — 78% — find cross-channel marketing important or extremely important to their business, citing most often that it increases efficiency, improves campaign return on investment (ROI), and customer relationships (see Figure 1). Furthermore, respondents are active in multiple channels today. For example, they practice on-site content optimization, mobile messaging, as well as Facebook and Twitter updates, although with less experience than email and display. • Practice multichannel narrowly. Many respondents already integrate email and display with at least one other channel (74% and 68%, respectively). But many fewer study participants integrate other channels: Half have integrated search retargeting, and fewer than a third have integrated mobile text and app messaging. • Rely on multiple technologies for cross-channel support. Respondents use a host of tools to manage their cross-channel programs (see Figure 2). This is at least partly due to the fact many believe that no single tool accommodates all cross-channel needs (see Figure 3). Yet 76% are interested in an integrated messaging platform to manage all customer data and execute across all digital direct channels (see Figure 4). Respondents say that existing technologies fall short. Page 3
  • 5. Forrester Consulting The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing Figure 1 Respondents See Multiple Benefits Of Cross-Channel Strategies “Which of the following describes the most important benefits of cross-channel marketing? (Please select top three.)” More efficient marketing operations 26% 18% 27% Better ROI on marketing campaigns 19% 27% 18% Improved customer relationships 24% 15% 15% 1 2 3 Better conversion rates 17% 16% 13% Cost savings 8% 11% 10% Competitive differentiation 6% 10% 10% Base: 211 cross-channel marketing professionals at companies with $100 million or more in annual revenue Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ExactTarget, June 2012 Page 4
  • 6. Forrester Consulting The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing Figure 2 Marketers Rely On A Mix Of Technologies To Support Cross-Channel Efforts “What technologies do you currently use to manage your cross-channel messaging efforts today? (Select all that apply.)” Web analytics platforms (e.g., Adobe SiteCatalyst, IBM 60% CoreMetrics) Email marketing service providers (e.g., ExactTarget, eDialog) 53% Social media management tools (e.g., ExactTarget [CoTweet], 39% HootSuite Buddy Media, Hearsay) Campaign management and automation platforms (e.g., 32% Aprimo, SAS, Unica, Neolane) Social listening tools (e.g., Radian6, Visible Technologies) 29% Ad servers (e.g., DART) 20% Lead management/nurturing (e.g., Eloqua, Marketo) 18% Display targeting solutions (e.g., Peer 39) 15% Mobile marketing technology (e.g., Percent Mobile, Localytics) 12% Bid management tools (e.g., Marin Software, Efficient Frontier) 7% Base: 211 cross-channel marketing professionals at companies with $100 million or more in annual revenue Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ExactTarget, June 2012 Page 5
  • 7. Forrester Consulting The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing Figure 3 Current Technologies Don’t Meet Marketers’ Needs “Where do your current marketing technologies fall short? (Select all that apply.)” Cross-channel analytics — models based on cross-channel data 51% to improve program performance or predict outcomes Measurement — tracking standard key performance indicators 44% across channels Unified customer view — being able to house all data about a 42% given customer in a usable, accessible format Reporting access and flexibility — being able to easily understand cross-channel performance and manipulate reports 38% as needed Marketing automation — program management through 38% technology Real-time optimization — dynamic improvements based on 35% situational data Cross-channel integration — deploying coordinated campaigns 29% across varied channels Page 6
  • 8. Forrester Consulting The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing Figure 4 Marketers Express Interest In An Integrated Messaging Platform “On a scale of 1 (not at all interested) to 5 (extremely interested), how interested would you be in buying an integrated messaging platform — a single technology to manage all of your customer data as well as execution across all digital direct channels? 11% 8% 16% 1 (Not at all interested) 2 3 31% 4 5 (Extremely interested) 34% Base: 211 cross-channel marketing professionals at companies with $100 million or more in annual revenue Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ExactTarget, June 2012 Marketers Require Budget And Staff To Prepare For Cross-Channel Seventy-five percent of marketers in this study consider themselves prepared for cross-channel marketing (see Figure 5). Even so, they admit that cross-channel efforts pose significant challenges for them. Most respondents struggle to understand customers’ cross-channel interactions and to manage execution across multiple technologies (see Figure 6). This is due in large part because they: • Are not organized to support cross-channel programs. Companies in our study represent both centralized and channel-specific organization models (see Figure 7). But neither of these models proves more effective than the other for cross-channel management. Respondents from both organizational models feel understaffed, siloed, or staffed with inadequate skills (see Figure 8). • Cannot supply significant technology budget. Marketing is increasingly owning the budget for technology needed to power cross-channel interactive programs; 70% of survey takers fall into this camp. But this budget is still quite small. Half of respondents own less than 10% of their company’s overall technology budget. Page 7
  • 9. Forrester Consulting The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing Figure 5 Many Think They Are Well Prepared To Manage Cross-Channel Marketing “Using a scale of 1 (very unprepared) and 5 (extremely prepared), please indicate how well prepared your company is to manage cross-channel marketing.” 36% 33% 18% 6% 6% 1 (Very unprepared) 2 3 4 5 (Extremely prepared) Base: 211 cross-channel marketing professionals at companies with $100 million or more in annual revenue Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ExactTarget, June 2012 Page 8
  • 10. Forrester Consulting The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing Figure 6 Current Cross-Channel Efforts Pose Challenges For Everyone “What are the top three greatest challenges you experience with your current cross-channel marketing programs?” Understanding customer interactions 8% 13% 12% across channels Managing campaign execution across 8% 12% 15% multiple marketing technologies Controlling marketing project budgets 7% 10% 8% that are dependent on IT collaboration 1 Coordination with internal groups or 6% 9% 10% 2 external agencies 3 Organizing to allow for cooperation 4% 7% 6% Greatest challenges: Responding to customers in real time 4% 9% 4% understanding customer Automating repetitive marketing behavior and managing 2% 5% 7% processes multichannel execution Base: 211 cross-channel marketing professionals at companies with $100 million or more in annual revenue Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ExactTarget, June 2012 Page 9
  • 11. Forrester Consulting The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing Figure 7 Companies Are Split Between Centralized And Channel-Specific Organizational Models “How is your company organized to manage cross-channel marketing efforts?” 3% 14% We have a central team that manages all of our interactive marketing communications regardless of channel 39% We have individual teams responsible for individual channels We rely mostly on external agencies to manage cross-channel communications Other 44% Base: 211 cross-channel marketing professionals at companies with $100 million or more in annual revenue Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ExactTarget, June 2012 Page 10
  • 12. Forrester Consulting The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing Figure 8 Respondents Don’t Have Enough Of The Right Staff “What are the greatest organizational issues you face when it comes to cross-channel communications? (Select all that apply.)” We don’t have enough staff 49% We don’t have the technical expertise in-house needed to 42% execute and measure cross-channel marketing efforts Staff is structured into separate groups with no visibility 37% into each other’s programs Managers of various marketing programs don’t 24% collaborate well Staff has conflicting goals/incentives 23% We can’t effectively manage internal and external 20% resources together Our staff has the wrong or inadequate skills 18% Base: 211 cross-channel marketing professionals at companies with $100 million or more in annual revenue Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ExactTarget, June 2012 Follow The Lead Of Sophisticated Cross-Channel Marketers So how can marketers overcome the challenges currently preventing them from making good on their cross-channel aspirations? To answer this question, we sorted marketers according to their sophistication in four areas. 1. Measurement. We evaluated how capable marketers are in measuring results across online and offline media for both branding and direct-response goals. 2. Organization. Here we gauged if marketers organize staff by customer rather than by channel. And we looked at how well employee goals enable cooperation across internal teams. 3. Technology. This criterion looked specifically at how marketers automate marketing processes and use technology to execute campaigns in emerging media. 4. Data. Lastly, we studied how dynamic respondents’ data capture practices are and how they use data to customize marketing experiences. Page 11
  • 13. Forrester Consulting The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing Four Levels Of Cross-Channel Marketers Emerged We segmented respondents into four levels of sophistication based on their answers to our questions about the above themes. Here is a snapshot of each marketer segment. • Level 1. This group accounts for 11% of our sample and is the least sophisticated group in the study. Five times more level 1 marketers than the average are extremely unprepared for cross-channel marketing. More firms in this group suffer from limited knowledge, budget, data, staff, and technology than the average. Being slightly more likely to be high-tech and retail companies than other segments, this group finds that its current marketing technologies fall short in every function we asked about (see Figure 9). • Level 2. This group has middle-of-the-road multichannel capability and vision. Exactly half of respondents land in this segment. So not surprisingly, their characteristics are mostly on par with study averages. Just more than one-third — 37% — of level 2’s say that limited technology hinders their multichannel efforts. This is slightly more than the average, but 24% fewer than the percentage of level 1’s saying the same. Level 2’s index slightly higher than average for financial services and consumer goods firms. • Level 3. This segment represents 34% of respondents. Nearly 90% of level 3’s think that they are prepared or well prepared for cross-channel marketing. We are not surprised. More in this group than average already integrate email, display, Twitter feeds, search ads, and on-site content with other channels. This group includes a mix of industries and company sizes. • Level 4. Our most advanced segment is also our smallest. But this 5% demonstrates behaviors significantly different from study averages. Level 4’s are tenured interactive marketers that are already integrating all of the channels they apply. They indicate fewer challenges to enabling cross-channel. And the challenges they face are more advanced than other groups’; level 1’s struggle to execute cross-channel campaigns, while level 4’s want to improve their cross-channel customer insight. Fewer level 4’s are dissatisfied with their technologies. This is perhaps because 60% of them own more than 10% of their company’s technology budget. Level 4’s skew toward big companies from the media industry. Page 12
  • 14. Forrester Consulting The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing Figure 9 Fewer Level 4’s Are Dissatisfied With Technology, But Level 1’s Fall Short “Where do your current marketing technologies fall short?” Reporting access and flexibility — being able to easily 40% understand cross-channel performance and manipulate reports 67% as needed 38% Cross-channel analytics — models based on cross-channel data 30% 67% to improve program performance or predict outcomes 51% Measurement — tracking standard key performance indicators 30% 63% Level 4 across channels 44% Unified customer view — being able to house all data about a 20% Level 1 71% given customer in a usable, accessible format 42% Marketing automation — program management through 10% All 63% respondents technology 38% Real-time optimization — dynamic improvements based on 10% 58% situational data 35% Cross-channel integration — deploying coordinated campaigns 10% 63% across varied channels 29% Base: 211 cross-channel marketing professionals at companies with $100 million or more in annual revenue Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ExactTarget,June 2012 Advanced Cross-Channel Marketers Value Technology No doubt about it, level 4’s are just better prepared than others for cross-channel marketing; 10 times more of them are extremely prepared to manage cross-channel initiatives than the study average. What can other marketers learn from these advanced firms that will help their own cross-channel marketing efforts? One theme underlies the responses from level 4: Embrace technology. Here are the lessons we learned from advanced cross-channel marketers: • Adopt an integrated technology platform. Forty-two percent of all study respondents and half of level 4’s are very or extremely interested in a single platform to manage cross-channel programs. This marketer appeal is consistent with what Forrester finds in our syndicated research. In fact, Forrester believes that marketers should invest in an online marketing suite in order to sidestep the inevitable long-term impact of siloed approaches on the customer experience and marketing ROI.2 • Lobby for more technology budget. Nearly 80% of level 1 marketers controlling their companies’ interactive technology budgets can access less than 10% of their company’s overall technology spend. This explains why unsophisticated cross-channel marketers are disappointed in how well they can execute cross-channel campaigns, manage measurement, collect critical data, and customize marketing experiences. They have inadequate technologies for doing so. In contrast, level 4’s control more budget, can invest in tools they need, automate more cross-channel management tasks, and are subsequently better pleased with their efforts. Page 13
  • 15. Forrester Consulting The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing • Organize for collaboration. We know. This is easier said than done. Even the level 4’s have this as one of their critical challenges. But the level 4’s still teach us something about the right approach here. More of them than average have individual teams managing specific channels. And more of them than average use marketing automation tools to offload operational tasks. This frees up internal staff to focus on cooperation, creating a consistent view of the customer across channels and joint planning of cross-channel campaigns. Determine Your Own Cross-Channel Marketing Sophistication We encourage readers to plot their own cross-channel marketing sophistication against the sample in this study. Do this by taking the following self-test (see Figure 10). Scoring guidance in the figure will inform you about the sophistication level that matches your current capabilities. Page 14
  • 16. Forrester Consulting The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing Figure 10 Cross-Channel Marketing Sophistication Test Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ExactTarget, June 2012 Page 15
  • 17. Forrester Consulting The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing KEY RECOMMENDATIONS To implement some of the lessons learned from more sophisticated marketers, we recommend that you: • Apply more interactive tools. Perhaps the simplest lesson learned from our level 4 sophisticated marketer group is to apply a mix of interactive marketing tools. Doing so exposes you to your users across a spectrum of touchpoints, provides learnings from one medium to apply to the next, and forces you to manage the data and technology complexity that comes with using multiple channels. Don’t worry, this does not need to get expensive. Small trials are fine. Most enterprise marketers spend around $1 million on social media annually.3 • Take a gradual approach. We know that you want to get your organization as quickly as possible from a level 1 to a level 4. But doing so may cost more or be more error-prone than taking a gradual approach. That is, you can learn how to do more complex integrations from doing lower-cost, lower-profile ones, preventing highly visible gaffes. And sometimes the biggest incremental lift in program results comes from the initial shift to automation or customization beyond batch and blast. For example, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro generated 50,000 in-restaurant visits (40% from brand-new customers) with a simple cross-channel campaign. It used email and its website to drive traffic to its Facebook page where users could download a coupon.4 • Consider outsourced support. If trying to coordinate your needs with the project schedule of your IT team keeps your technology needs from being met, or if you simply don’t have enough headcount to pull off cross-channel programs, look outside of your company’s walls. Today, myriad technology providers offer viable options for cross- channel program and process support.5 Page 16
  • 18. Forrester Consulting The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing Appendix A: Methodology In this study, Forrester interviewed 211 cross-channel marketing professionals at companies with $100 million or more in annual revenue. Questions provided to the participants asked how they currently manage cross-channel digital marketing and asked them to identify challenges in execution. The study began in June 2012 and was completed in July 2012. Appendix B: Endnotes 1 Thanks to the mobile devices we carry during our waking hours and the always-on connections of desktops, laptops, and tablets, users access messages in many ways and expect relevant messages across channels. Source: “The New Messaging Mandate,” Forrester Research, Inc., August 8, 2012. 2 Forrester defines the online marketing suite as a comprehensive platform to serve the entire interactive marketing life cycle spanning data, content, workflow, optimization, measurement, and channel execution. Source: “Revisiting The Online Marketing Suite,” Forrester Research, Inc., February 7, 2011. 3 Forrester estimates per-company spend by industry. This number represents primarily spend on integrated social media campaigns and social media management tools. Source: “US Interactive Marketing Forecast By Industry, 2011 To 2016,” Forrester Research, Inc., November 15, 2011. 4 Learn more about P.F. Chang’s cross-channel campaign through these articles. Source: “A Facebook Coupon Offer Drives Foot Traffic Into P.F. Chang’s,” Facebook (http://www.facebook-successstories.com/pf-changs/); “Success Story: P.F. Chang’s,” ExactTarget (http://www.exacttarget.com/clients/success-stories/p.f.-changs.aspx). 5 Forrester evaluated 12 products from 11 vendors in its evaluation of campaign management. We found a market populated by both familiar and new vendors, each racing to adapt campaign management for a future where the customer dictates the pacing and content of campaigns. Source: “The Forrester Wave™: Cross-Channel Campaign Management, Q1 2012,” Forrester Research, Inc., January 31, 2012. Page 17