Research suggests that marketers are beefing up aggregation of data and pursuing deeper integration of marketing technologies as principal solutions to their cross-channel challenges. A study by The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) and strategic consulting firm Winterberry Group found that 72 percent of marketers indicate their organizations are pursuing cross-channel recognition, but only nine percent recognize customers across media channels on a consistent basis.

“Marketers recognize the need to be channel agnostic in today’s segmented media environment, and they also understand the individual roles each channel plays in the marketing mix,” says Neil O’Keefe, DMA’s senior vice president of CRM and member engagement. “In the case of mobile, marketers have been able to recognize its potential, but are not yet placing it as a ‘first choice’ channel for any of the use cases surveyed. As mobile continues its growth in the coming years, it will likely become a priority option for customer service and up-sell functions.”

Jonathan Margulies, managing director, Winterberry Group, adds, “For years, marketers have been wrestling with a daunting challenge: how to build a media mix that puts the customer—rather than the marketing channel—at the center of their efforts. It’s now become clear that that work shouldn’t be grounded in old distinctions about the role of ‘digital’ and ‘traditional’ media. Instead, marketers need to build and leverage their own omnichannel roadmaps—leveraging the broadest number of media channels, consistent data access and an overarching infrastructure aimed at powering real-time engagement”

Nearly half of panelists (49 percent) surveyed for the DMA/Winterberry whitepaper, “From Theory to Practice: A Roadmap to ‘Omnichannel’ Activation,” felt that better integration of their existing marketing technology would most advance their omnichannel marketing efforts; 40 percent selected better recognition capabilities for matching consumers across channels, while 37 percent called out better internal data management processes.

DMA’s omnichannel whitepaper is available for download here. The DMA will host a webinar featuring research sponsors and experts from DMA and Winterberry Group on January 17, 2017.