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Marketers lag on digital interaction

News, 19 August 2015

SAN JOSE, CA: Most senior global marketers are struggling to make their mobile, social and web channels work together to provide an engaging experience for their customers, according to a new report.

Brand Attraction from Enriched Interaction, a study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, sponsored by IBM Digital Experience, was based on input from 287 marketing leaders across all regions of the world.

This found that they had embraced the importance of digital experiences: nearly half of respondents believed that these could deliver a more compelling customer experience while 40% thought they made it easier for customers to consume and share content and had the ability to heighten credibility, trust and authority.

But only 19% said they were extremely good or very good in this area while 45% gave lacklustre grades on their ability to captivate and engage customers – 27% said they were "slowly evolving" while 18% admitted they weren't doing a good job at all.

Overall, only 5% had highly or tightly integrated content and commerce compared to 64% who reported they had plans or existing programs to improve this.

The experience of the National Geographic Channel was informative. "As a 127-year-old brand, we've suffered from antiquated systems or multiple systems that don't talk to each other," explained Dawn Rodney-Tranchitella, svp/strategic marketing and creative.

"But we engage with more than 650m people around the world every month, and part of that engagement is understanding what their interests are, what their affinities are and how they're interested in participating with us."

As a result, the brand is engaged in a delicate balancing act to set up new platforms and technology to effectively develop its relationships with millions of customers while at the same time maintaining existing internal systems and keeping track of innovations that may have to be adopted in future.

The challenge for digital marketers, said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council, is to "create an end-to-end, multi-channel experience that engages and enlivens customer, partner and employee audiences with more compelling and relevant content-driven commerce and conversation".

Data sourced from CMO Council; additional content by Warc staff