Digital messaging convergence is here – at least for consumers.  Consumers receive messages through multiple channels like email, text messaging, Facebook, Twitter, and mobile app push notifications.  And thanks to the smartphones and tablets they carry during their waking hours, they increasingly access these channels through a single device.  To consumers, the lines between distinct messaging channels are blurring.

Too bad marketers have been so slow to catch up.  Most marketers still manage messaging in channel-specific silos and don’t meet consumers’ expectations for integrated, synchronized messaging.  For example, many email marketing managers blast away at customers’ inboxes in an attempt to goose returns for their own channel instead of collaborating to execute a better mix of multi-channel messaging that will maximize overall customer value.

We just posted new research that explores what’s keeping marketers stuck in the siloed messaging rut and how they can better serve their customers (and themselves) by shifting to a new approach: Customer-Focused Integrated Messaging (CFIM).  Unlike siloed messaging, CFIM organizes data, resources, and processes to revolve around customers instead of channels.  In the report, we discuss why this desired state is more realistic and achievable now than ever before.  We also detail how marketers can make their digital messaging more integrated across channels and responsive to customers’ needs and behaviors.  These recommendations concentrate on changes marketers must make in three areas:

  • Data: work with key internal and external partners to unify customer profiles across email, social, mobile, and other addressable media
  • Organization: re-orient responsibilities to focus on customer segments instead of channels
  • Operations: tackle the complexity of multi-channel messaging by automating processes – but start with incremental, manageable changes

As a marketing exec at a major retailer told us: “Customers don’t care that a marketer is organized by channels – they want the marketer to stitch the multi-channel experience together.”  Now is the time to get out that needle and thread. 

Are you integrating your digital messaging across channels in any way? If not, what’s holding you back?  Post your responses here and let us know.