March 11, 2008

Centralized Marketing Department, Integrated Multichannel Marketing Strategy: Does It Work?

One of the basic tenants of Multichannel Marketing is to avoid silo-based marketing departments, opting instead for a centralized marketing org structure.

The theory is that by integrating marketing across all channels, a centralized team provides customers with a seamless experience, regardless where the customer chooses to shop.

So here's a question for the vendor community that reads this blog. Have you observed a company where, after centralizing the marketing department, the company observed an increase in existing customer retention rates, and/or spend per retained customer, measured on an annual basis?

If the theory of a centralized marketing department and integrated marketing communications is valid, we should see metrics that look something like this:

Customer Performance By Marketing Strategy

HHs Rebuy $/Rebuy Net Sales
This Year: Centralized/Integrated 100,000 55.0% $275.00 $151.25
Last Year: Silo Based Strategy 95,000 50.0% $255.00 $127.50

Vendors --- use the comments section of this post to share examples where there is genuine improvement, as measured by increases in annual repurchase rate, and spend per repurchaser.


  1. Anonymous7:49 PM

    It's never that obvious for 2 reasons (my experience here...):
    - new departements and process just dont appear overnight
    - when going multichannel, the brands I have seen also go through a complete makeover...You just don't select the catalogue/internet experience/communication over the store one: you make a brand new one. It makes it difficult to attribute success to just multichannel. And again, this new communication takes time to be correctly implemented and communicated. Your customer usually 'sees' it a couple of years after you've implemented it.

    But I have seem decent multichannel results in very specific niches of a business like acquisition or retention. And it works. And it's a first step...

    After that it gets blury though...

  2. I agree with your comments about org structure, implementation schedule, and how long it takes before the customer truly sees it.

    Thanks for a balanced and wise answer.

  3. We trust your own remarks regarding org framework, execution routine, as well as just how long it requires prior to the client genuinely views this.

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