A generational shift is impacting the way consumers interact with brands, downplaying the role that physical stores play in the traditional retail environment. According to Duncan McCall, CEO of location intelligence firm PlaceIQ, the changes that brands have seen thus far are just the tip of the iceberg.
“There is immense complexity in the consumer journey, as buyers move from the digital to physical world and interact with TV, online, out of home, mobile, and in-store marketing touchpoints,” he says.
With nearly all businesses now engaging in multi-channel marketing to some degree, from tiny coffee shops with Facebook pages and local newspaper ads, to the largest CPG brands with investments in television, mobile, and print, McCall and his team at PlaceIQ conducted an independent study on the state of integrated marketing and location data’s role in these campaigns. The results of that study, conducted by the analyst firm 451 Research and released just this morning, highlighting some of the reasons why integrated marketing programs have become such a necessity for marketers, particularly in light of recent shifts in how consumers interact with brands and the consistent engagement that consumers now expect when they are in the buying process.
“One interesting finding was that the size and complexity of the marketing departments appears to burden brands’ ability to adopt an integrated marketing approach,” McCall says. “The survey shows that brands with smaller advertising budgets are those that likely have to be more strategic and innovative about their integrated marketing approach.”
Surveying 200 senior marketers in retail, auto, CPG, dining, and travel, researchers also found that 47% of marketers list developing a unified cross-channel customer experience as a top three priority this year, and 37% of marketers say the ability to accurately measure cross-channel results is the most pivotal factor for successful integrated marketing.
Although there is a growing perceived value in offline campaigns, with 45% of marketers ranking online customer engagement as a goal for their offline campaigns, location data appears to be where the real story is. Eighty-one percent of marketers in PlaceIQ’s survey ranked location data as the first or second most important element in their quest to create unified cross-channel experiences, and one-third cited location-based audiences as the most compelling new factor in integrated marketing.
“Location data offers a truly omnichannel activation solution, and from an insights perspective inform not only completely new forms of measurement, but also create a powerful new type of analytics that can inform business decisions across an organization,” McCall says.
Another finding, which McCall cites as a positive for those in the hyperlocal space, is the validation of local data as a catalyst for successful integrated marketing.
“We approached 451 Research hopeful that this would be the case and were gratified at the findings,” he says. “Location data is the measurement tech most valued by marketers, in their quest to modernize metrics and create a unified cross-channel experience.”
While media fragmentation has made it so that accurate channel measurement should be a top priority for brands, McCall and his team still see opportunity for companies that integrate marketing metrics to gain an edge over the competition. With the palette of possibilities continuing to evolve, and expand, large brands are finding that location data can drive benefits faster than they initially realized.
“This study gives great third party validation to location data as a great cross-channel connector for measurement,” he says. “Location is acting as the foundation on which marketers are building successful integrated marketing programs and we’ve focused for more than seven` years on helping brands in this way.”
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.