New York—“At the end of the day, very few of us are marketing only through one channel; the question is how to bring all those channels together,” said Larry Kimmel, CEO of the Direct Marketing Association, kicking off the group's All for One conference on marketing integration here today.
Kimmel cited DMA research showing that more than four in five companies are attempting integration in such areas as messaging, timing of marketing deployments and gathering of customer and prospect data, but very few say they're doing it well: Just 27.4% report integration success for messaging; 16.7% are pleased with the integrated timing of deployments; and 14.8% for combining customer and prospect data with other marketing efforts.
Kimmel cited “four A's” that drive marketing integration: allocation (determining the right mix of channels), attribution (determining the drivers of conversion and sales), analytics (data driving business) and authority over the process.
These must be joined by “customer-centricity,” which itself is driven by content that's either intriguing or entertaining, he said.
“The challenge is [that] in many organizations, marketing is dimensioned, with different people owning social, mobile, email, search and the like,” Kimmel said. “Integration often becomes a problem because many marketers are not responsible for marketing; they're responsible for marketing communications.
“Further, what data do you ignore, and what data do you collect, and store and leverage to cost-effectively drive business?” he said. “We're awash with data, but starved for insight.”
While most companies give lip service to customer-centricity, Kimmel said, DMA decided to take it to heart after receiving scant member feedback on changes at the association after he was named DMA's administrative head last July.
“We realized the way we were communicating largely through email and social, and we were far too promotional in our messaging,” he said. “We decided to go old-school and started calling 300 to 400 members each day, saying, "These things are available to you, and they may interest you.'
“Direct marketing is not a channel-centric strategy,” Kimmel said, summing up. “It's channel-agnostic, whatever works best.”
DMA's All for One conference and expo concludes Tuesday.