Direct messaging options have proliferated for marketers, expanding from traditional mail and
telemarketing to now include myriad digital channels like email, social media, SMS, and mobile app
push notifications. But while digital messaging has converged on consumer devices, most interactive
marketers are still stuck in a siloed, channel-based approach to messaging. To meet user expectations
and create business value, shift to customer-focused integrated messaging. This report will help
interactive marketers prepare to message across digital touchpoints as channels overlap and customers
increasingly use multiple platforms
Notes and Resources
Forrester interviewed more than 17 marketers and vendors, including ExactTarget, Gap, Knotice, Merkle, MTv Networks, Neolane, and Oreck.
Related Research Documents
“how To Integrate Email And Mobile Marketing”
November 22, 2011
“Emerging Innovations In Email Marketing”
August 19, 2011
“The Future Of Interactive Marketing”
April 4, 2011
“Evolving your Mobile Marketing Presence”
March 3, 2011
User Already Integrate Digital Messaging
Thanks to the mobile devices we carry during our waking hours and the always-on connections of
desktops, laptops, and tablets, there’s no longer any downtime from messaging. Today we see that:
- Users access messaging in many ways.
- And they expect relevant messages across channels.
But Marketers Don’t Meet Users’expectations
Unfortunately, marketers fail to deliver integrated digital messaging because they can’t:
- Create a unified view of their customers.
- Coordinate messages across organizational silos.
- Master the process of setting up emerging campaigns
- Manage content for different message formats.
Introducing Customer-Focused Integrated Messaging
Today’s siloed approach to digital messaging focuses too much on generating channel-specific
responses and not enough on creating overall customer value.
The need to tear down organizational silos and prioritize customer relationships over channel
performance isn’t new. But today it’s more urgent and attainable than before. Why?
- Marketers who don’t adapt to customer needs will perish.
- Technology can now realistically deliver on the promise of integrated messaging.
Reinvent your current messaging approach.
Building CFIM within your organization means rethinking your digital messaging data, organization, and operation.
Unify Your Customer view
You can’t successfully integrate digital messaging with fragmented customer data and too many vendor partners that require their own unique processes. To create a more streamlined approach:
- Tap your IT team and service providers to build a better database.
- Offer multiple channel options in your preference centers.
- Consolidate messaging platforms.
Organize By Customer Segments, not Channels
To get away from today’s channel-focused approach to messaging, firms must organize to support customer goals. Graduate to this structure by:
- Educating senior executives about the value of integrated messaging.
- Turning channel managers into segment managers
Automate Campaign processes
The increased complexity of managing messaging across channels will demand automation. But automating every part of the process at once isn't realistic.
- Campaign flows based on business rules. It’s impossible to manually manage sequenced, multichannel messages for millions of customers. Instead, implement systems that trigger messages through specific channels when particular conditions are met.
- Cross-channel testing. Testing offers, creative, and contact strategies will only become more important as message types and volume grow. To gain a competitive edge, move beyond manual tests and automate cross-channel testing.
- Message mix optimization. Your future challenge isn’t just how to integrate messages across channels. It is also when to send messages and how much to spend on which type of message to get the most return.
What it Means
Integrated Messaging will boost interactive maturity
Marketers slow to adapt to customer-centric digital messaging will lose share to more nimble competitors. We think the push to outshine competitors coupled with improved access to customer insight — courtesy of less siloed data — will actually make marketers better at all interactive pursuits, not just messaging. For example:
- Midmarket successes will compel enterprise marketers to integrate.
- Marketers will make better, data-informed decision.
- Integrating inbound and outbound marketing will become the norm.