Multi-channel approach important to marketers' future success

Richard Stuart-Turner
Wednesday, August 7, 2019

New research from the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) has found that employing a multi-channel approach to marketing is recognised by most marketers as being important to their future business success.

The organisation’s Business Skills Census 2019 asked marketers to identify the skills and challenges that it feels are important to businesses today, as well as those that will be in the future.

From the 33 skills investigated in the study, developed by the DMA’s Institute of Data & Marketing (IDM), three were deemed less important to current success by the majority of marketers: social media (46%), event planning (45%) and direct marketing (40%).

However, when asked what skills will be important to the future success of their business, both direct marketing and social media saw the most significant increases noted in the survey, rising to 86% and 88% respectively, highlighting their importance in the future.

Marketers surveyed also believed that expertise within a number of key marketing channels will become increasingly important in the future, with email marketing up by 17% to 83%, search marketing up by 27% to 89% and mobile marketing by 13% to 74%.

Finally, 95% of respondents selected ‘analysing customer data/insight’ as being important to future business success while 94% selected ‘producing content or creative work’.

DMA head of insight Tim Bond said: “Each customer is unique with their own preferences, so understanding how best to engage with them remains a key goal for all marketers. Our latest research has found that a multi-channel approach, driven by data insights and creative input, will become increasingly important to future business success.

“As will using both direct and digital channels as each marketing channel offers unique characteristics and strengths that others may not. For example, it remains clear from the research that we conduct at the DMA, and also from organisations like JICMail, that print will continue to play a prominent role in the future.

“The tactility and sensory marketing opportunities that print media can offer is simply not possible through digital-first channels and that doesn’t look set to change in the immediate future.”

He added: “More marketers need to understand the opportunities that print offers and how they can integrate it into a multi-channel approach. From our own Customer Engagement research, we see that mail is the second-most popular marketing channel according to consumers, below email.

“Evidently, both digital and direct channels are popular with customers so using both will not only improve engagement by contacting consumers according to their preferences, it will also help to diversify from competitors.

“Therefore, businesses must ensure they have the necessary print-related skills within their marketing teams to ensure they can utilise this powerful medium as part of their marketing mix in the future.”

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