06/18/2014 12:07 pm ET Updated Aug 18, 2014

Nearly Two-Thirds Of Marketers Are Not Giving Consumers What They Want

I do not know the origin of the phrase "give the people what they want." I do not who said it first, who said it loudest, who said it the most and so on. Quite frankly that's not relevant to this particular conversation. The fact is someone said did say it and when it comes to the world of marketing, it should be plastered on every wall in every conference room and cubicle from sea to shining sea.

I happen to be a huge believer in the far-too-common practice that we, as a species, tend to over complicate things. We tend to over analyze, over scrutinize and flat out over think far too many things. And at or near the top of those guilty of the aforementioned offenses are marketers.

I am also a huge believer -- mega believer for those who know me -- in the art of integrated marketing, cross-channel marketing, onni-channel marketing or whatever the flavor of the day happens to be.

Sealed With A K.I.S.S.

Everyone knows of the infamous acronym that is K.I.S.S. -- Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Perhaps there are other variations I am not aware of but the meaning and intent and context remain the same: Don't over complicate things but rather keep it simple.

Remember that while reading the following two excerpts, courtesy of and, respectively:

Thirty-five percent of e-commerce executives plan to invest in creating a "seamless shopping experience" across stores, web and mobile...

Study Shows Consumers Want Seamless Shopping Experience. The study found that 89 percent of consumers said it was important for retailers to let them shop for products in the way that is convenient for them, no matter which sales channel they choose.

Let's start with the first excerpt shall we for this speaks directly to the ominous title of this article. Yes, while some will laud the 35 percent of marketers who are investing in a seamless or integrated shopping experience, I for one would rather focus on the 65 percent who are not and in turn not giving the consumer what they want.

The statistics come courtesy of a survey conducted by The E-tailing Group Inc. Perhaps even more troubling is the fact the 35 percent of the respondents who say they expect to offer a seamless shopping experience plan to do so in 2014 or 2015. Doesn't that in turn mean the 65% who DON'T plan on offering this to consumers will go at least until 2016 before even beginning to plan for it?


Then there is the consumer study, the one which revealed that nearly 90% of consumers want a seamless, integrated shopping experience. Conducted by Exolevel, the study also showed that consumers are expecting their interaction with retailers to be a customized, uncomplicated and an instantaneous experience.

As examples of the type of seamless experience consumers want:

* Seventy-three percent expect a retailer's online pricing to be the same as the in-store pricing

* Sixty-one percent expect a retailer's online promotions to be the same as the in-store promotions

The Obvious Question Is Why?

It would seem fairly obvious that any marketer in any company would want to give their customers and prospective customers what they want, when they want it, right?

Why then does their continue to be this seemingly widening chasm between what consumers want and what marketers are delivering to them? Why does it seem as if so many marketers are over complicating things?

In today's digitally extreme world we live in, surely there are the ways and the means to in fact give the consumer what they want.

One way of course is via the cloud. I say "of course" because the term itself has become quite popular over the past few months, years. There are many companies offering cloud marketing services including the newly launched Oracle Marketing Cloud (full disclosure: my employer) that can provide the integrated marketing approach to deliver the experience the consumer wants on the other end.

Is it simple to deliver such an experience?

Of course not.

The bottom line is there is simply no reason that 65 percent of marketers have no plans to offer a seamless shopping experience in the next year and a half, at the very least.