To celebrate our 10th anniversary, our 10x10 series explores the 10 most important topics in digital media throughout the year. This month's topic: Omnichannel marketing. To see the rest of our 10x10 series, visit Xaxis.com/10x10.

Omnichannel marketing is a moving target

The goal of omnichannel marketing is to connect every consumer touchpoint through one united strategy. In its ideal state, omnichannel marketing would make media more efficient and effective by reducing cross-channel duplication and earning further insights into how people interact with our content. It would require seamless cooperation of all our data streams across all platforms, formats, channels, and devices. 

The truth is, our industry hasn't achieved that ideal state just yet. But pursuing that goal has become a priority for many marketers. Their most significant obstacle right now is understanding the modern consumer journey and how each media channel fits into it.

Below, we're presenting an overview of the major media channels from two perspectives: marketers and consumers. First you'll see a matrix of media investments organized by channel to show how the media mix balances out at a macro level. Then you'll see how consumers feel about each of those channels. 

Every marketer will have unique needs and outcomes in their omnichannel journey. But we hope that this resource of channel-by-channel data will help provide a foundation that helps makes this massive mission a little less intimidating.

“The most exciting applications of new programmatic channels like Audio don’t occur in silos. They happen when a unified view across channels enables us to craft the creative and messaging for each touchpoint as part of a larger narrative, building to more meaningful connections between brands and consumers.”

- Cecile Blanc, Global head of growth, Copilot

The data below covers the United States and has been combined from a variety of sources to create a holistic picture. All sources are listed at the bottom of the page.

Snapshot:

Marketing investments

Hover over the tiles to see what's behind the media.

Snapshot:

Consumer perspectives

Consumer behavior is evolving faster than marketers

Consumer behavior is complex, dynamic, and non-linear. Engagement is splintering across channels at the same time as some of those channels are converging. People may shop on social media, buy online, and pick up at the store. Or they may showroom a product at the store, search for it online, and have it delivered through a last-mile delivery service. As we enter into the reality of a cookieless world, the challenge of defining the consumer journey only gets more difficult. 

Below, we dig into the dominant media channels with a bird's-eye-view of the consumer perspective: How much they engage with each channel, how much media they tend to see there, and how receptive they are to that media. 

Consumers have different habits and expectations in each environment. By being aware of those preferences, marketers can give their content its best chance at reaching an engaged, receptive audience.
Consumers report engaging with these channels and platforms daily or multiples times per day:
Click through the gallery to dive into each channel.
  • Digital

  • Video

  • Social media

  • Audio

  • TV

  • Gaming

  • Print media

  • Out of home

Test and learn to build omnichannel confidence

In response to the accelerating evolutions of consumer behavior, marketers are relying more and more on contextual relevance and dynamic content. By developing media that adapts to each environment based on a variety of data points, they can reach a more receptive audience with a more relevant message. By working with data scientists and artificial intelligence experts, they can combine first- and third-party data in privacy-compliant ways to discover those opportunities.

One day we may be able to unite every single silo of the digital experience into one seamless portal. But until that day, we need to be prepared for omnichannel marketing to be a journey of discovery and experimentation. The only way marketers will build real confidence in their omnichannel efforts is to understand the landscape, study the data, and embrace a test-and-learn philosophy. 

Sources:

"Why Omnichannel is the Future of Retail for Millennials (and Everyone Else, Too),” Ad Age & Neustar, 2018

  • https://adage.com/article/neustar/omnichannel-future-retail-millennials/315054
  • 73% of shoppers are omnichannel, 7% digital

“Closing the Gap: Adopting Omnichannel Strategies for Stronger Brand Consumer Connections,” 2021, original research and report by Catalyst and Xaxis

  • https://www.xaxis.com/closingthegap/
  • Daily engagement across channels; using responses of “Daily” and “Multiple times a day”
  • Marketers planning to increase investment on each channel
  • Receptivity to advertising on each channel, using responses of “Quite receptive” and “very receptive” among US respondents age 18-34
  • Customer shopping before/after the pandemic

GroupM Intelligence, internal data

  • Media investment and projected investment growth data

Out-of-home Advertising Association of America & Nielsen

  • https://oaaa.org/Portals/0/Digital%20Billboards%20Nielsen%20FINAL.pdf
  • DOOH engagement data

eMarketer

  • Media investment and audience size in gaming: https://content-na2.emarketer.com/us-gaming-ecosystem-2021
  • Audio investments by format: https://content-na2.emarketer.com/us-audio-advertising-forecast-2021
  • Digital video ad spending: https://forecasts-na2.emarketer.com/584b26021403070290f93a5a/5851918b0626310a2c186b6b

“The Gaming Playbook,” 2021, GWI

  • https://www.gwi.com/reports/the-gaming-playbook Device usage in gaming

“Kantar Media Reactions 2021,” internal report

  • Media exposure data
  • Using responses of “I see or hear a lot” to the query of “How often do you see or hear each of these formats of advertising?”
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