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Brands face omnichannel mismatch

News, 02 November 2016

RALEIGH-DURHAM, NC: Even though some 94% of brand marketers believe an omnichannel strategy is critical to success, just 7% say they are fully aligned with local retailers in delivering a seamless customer experience, a new survey has found.

That is according to a joint report from the CMO Council and Netsertive, a digital marketing intelligence firm, which polled more than 180 senior brand marketers about their omnichannel efforts.

The "Omnichannel's Missing Link" study also revealed that nearly half (48%) feel their alignment with local retailers is "hit or miss" while just 31% say it is mostly aligned or executed well by all involved.

Marketers face several challenges, not least about making the best use of measurement tools, although there also appears to be an issue about confidence in their retail partners to deliver.

According to the findings, 42% of brand marketers still struggle to measure the impact of digital on offline commerce, despite 92% of sales still taking place in-store, while just 22% consider their local retail partners to be critical to achieving business outcomes.

"The emergence of omnichannel marketing has shined a spotlight on the growing gap that exists between brands and their local retail partners," said Brendan Morrissey, CEO and co-founder of Netsertive.

"Not only are brand marketers concerned with retailers' ability to extend their marketing efforts to local customers, many have taken steps to cut retailers out of the equation or have overlooked them entirely in their efforts to control the customer experience.

"Unfortunately, it's the customer who suffers in this scenario, as missed connections lead to missed opportunities to meet their expectations."

The report went on to say that a majority of brand marketers view omnichannel too narrowly, focusing on digital channels such as digital advertising (60%) and corporate websites (56%) rather than in-store engagement and promotions (40%), live events (25%) and partner marketing (22%) to help drive consumers into physical stores.

"This could be because brand marketers lack confidence in local retailers' ability to execute digital strategies across modern channels – only 3% of marketers believe local retailers are prepared to target their mobile customers," the report said.

Data sourced from Netsertive, CMO Council; additional content by Warc staff