NEW YORK: Technological advances are forcing advertisers and brand owners to adopt omnichannel marketing approaches in order to engage with consumers across multiple screens, a new survey has argued.

Taking Cues From the Customer: 'Omnichannel' and the Drive For Audience Engagement, a white paper from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Winterberry Group based on a survey of more than 120 senior executives from marketers, agencies, publishers, technology developers and solution providers, examined the origins and likely evolution of omnichannel customer engagement strategies.

It found that the great majority (91.7%) of respondents agreed that such strategies held great value, and most (82.4%) intended to invest in them in the near future.

"There is no question that the advertising ecosystem sees omnichannel strategies as being of incredible value in reaching and retaining customers," said Patrick Dolan, Executive Vice President and COO, IAB, as he claimed the report highlighted omnichannel as "the wave of the future".

Respondents thought that the major benefits of an omnichannel approach would be in brand identity and recognition.

But they also expected that their attempts to move in this direction would be hampered by gaps in supporting technologies and internal business processes.

Omnichannel "holds terrific promise," said Jonathan C. Margulies, managing director, Winterberry Group, but he warned that practitioners would need to transform their traditional methods and competencies.

"If the industry can coalesce with an organisation such as the IAB to develop infrastructure priorities and set best practices for working with brands, omnichannel will play a significant – and financially beneficial – role for clients, agencies and publishers alike," he declared.

The report pointed to several areas that marketing and publishing stakeholders should address in order to fully tap into omnichannel's rewards, including the development of a senior role for omnichannel strategists, in order to ensure accountability and coordination of the customer decision making process, product development, pricing and other critical functions.

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff