Channel Integration

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) released their "Channel Integration and Benchmarks in the Retail Industry" report. I have taken the liberty of turning their findings into a checklist. (Don’t we all just love checklists?).

Score your business on EACH of the ‘strategic implications’ listed in the middle column, by writing YES/ NO - and then read the interpretation below. (There are no ‘maybes’ allowed.) Good luck:


Research Finding

Strategic Implication


The absence of a brick-and-mortar store is becoming prevalent among retailers (41% don’t have a physical store.)


I actively seek to grow my direct (marketing/ e-tailing business) and have several initiatives in the pipeline or being trialled.


The website is the most consistently used direct marketing channel, followed by email and direct mail.

I have a great website that gets traffic equal to 50% of my store traffic.


66% gather customer information from direct mail and 65% gather it from the Internet.

I have a great, accurate database of customers from whom I get at least 10% of my sales.


83% segment their customers based on demographics, 77% base it on purchasing frequency, and 76% on products purchased.

I have a perfectly good handle on the exact numbers and types of customers that I sell to , and I proactively market accordingly.


Only 33% provide cross-channel order fulfilment.

I know what this means and I am ready for it when the market is big enough


Discounts remain the most popular loyalty program, with 80% using them.

My loyalty program is NOT effectively a discount program; so it is DIFFERENT from everybody else’s.



Count the number of YESSES

6 out of 6: Good stuff. You are on top of your game.


3-5 out of 6: Heading in the right direction, but must increase the pace or you will be left behind.


1-2 out of 6: Call someone


0 out of 6: Well, it was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it?