Don’t Diss Email: It Could Lead the Cross-Channel Marketing Era

Diss email? Think again.

According to a new study conducted by Forrester, maturity in cross-channel marketing is low and, despite the adoption of multiple channels in marketing programs, integration, and coordination do not occur consistently.

The global research study, dubbed “The Road to Cross-Channel Maturity,” also found that marketers seasoned in email, more than any other digital channel, are in a position to be the ones to lead the transition to the cross-channel marketing era.

Specifically, Forrester Consulting discovered that “marketers around the world struggle to integrate data sources and adopt effective data-management practices. Only 24 percent of marketers surveyed said they use contextual data and customer data for a real-time view across channels.”

The results of the study show that savvy email marketers demonstrated significantly higher rates of data-usage best practices, which was twice as much as the average respondent.

“Practices among marketers in Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries demonstrated the highest prevalence of this mature use of customer data at 36 percent, with China leading the pack at 47 percent,” the report summary reads. “APAC also led other regions in overall cross-channel marketing maturity.

Interestingly, 75 percent of the marketers that Forrester identified as “sophisticated marketers” use data in real time.

“An email can provide a consumer with information or incentive to engage with other channels,” the report concluded. “As one of the most reliable, consistently used channels, email has an opportunity to be more than another transaction-driving medium… With cues from email, marketers can better provide interactions in other channels and touch-points.”

The study recommends that marketers identify where email is most relevant and influential in the customer’s path to purchase and then incorporate additional channels along the path that tie all the communications together.


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