- Marketers this year are shifting from traditional advertising campaigns to more omnichannel strategies, according to a survey of more than 400 executives at major U.S. and U.K. brands by marketing agency Merkle. Results include that 88% of marketers this year plan to implement more omnichannel strategies, while 58% are investing in databases and analytics technology instead of campaign and decision management tools.
- Most (84%) marketers said they can analyze customers in digital channels such as websites and social, while 80% had seen a lift in customer input in product strategy and improvements. More than half of marketers (54%) said they have a clear definition for each key performance indicator (KPI) in their organizations, while 50% said marketing departments should oversee data rather than IT departments. Almost all (94%) of survey respondents said they work either very or somewhat closely with IT departments on new marketing technology solutions.
- About three quarters (74%) of marketers have implemented personalization in six or fewer channels so far, the survey found, with U.S. and U.K. marketers differing slightly. More than half (57%) of marketers in the U.K. are using personalization in five or more channels, while 47% of U.S. respondents have personalized four or fewer channels.
Marketers are growing more dependent on data that is the lifeblood of omnichannel strategies, including personalization, as Merkle's survey indicates. However, only one quarter of respondents have implemented a real-time personalization strategy that's more responsive, with the remainder mostly focused on predefined personalization or a mix of the two.
Collecting first-party data is becoming more imperative for marketers, especially as tech companies like Google and Apple implement technologies to give consumers greater control of their personal privacy. Merkle found that marketers have several methods of capturing more information about customers to help personalize their advertising. Almost three quarters (72%) of marketers offer promotions in exchange for more information, while 69% have a loyalty program, 53% use opt-in methods and 40% rely on logins.
Measuring engagement has grown more important in evaluating the effectiveness of marketing campaigns among 71% of respondents. However, only 40% cited multi-touch attribution as a measurement method. As for other metrics, 59% of marketers use absolute conversion and sales, 55% rely on customer retention rates and 54% track ROI, while 19% have trouble measuring effectiveness with any tools, per Merkle's study.
Personalization has become a hot topic among marketers seeking to improve the efficiency of their digital ad spending, but growing concerns about consumer privacy represent a more significant hurdle. A widening crackdown on online tracking methods has compelled organizations like the IAB to organize a broader effort to find a balance between privacy and personalization.