Quad is leading the conversation about how marketers can achieve growth while grappling with tight budgets amid continuing economic uncertainty.

In a new Forbes BrandVoice piece titled “The Right Way And The Wrong Way To Cut Marketing Spend,” Devon Craig, Quad’s Head of Product Marketing, says that marketers need to start by identifying and rooting out friction.

“The marketing ecosystem can be maddeningly inefficient,” she writes. “The trend of marketers enlisting more external agency partners has only exacerbated those inefficiencies. At Quad, we obsess over what we call the marketing experience (MX) — our term for the integrated flow of every aspect of a marketing plan, from conception to planning to rollout. As CX (customer experience) is to customers, MX is to marketers.”

The key to streamlining MX? Deploying data — lots of it. “To expedite testing roadmaps toward optimization,” Craig writes, “Quad uses learnings from more than one trillion cross-channel impressions (paid/owned/earned), 15 billion direct mail pieces and 10 million tests (of everything from creative execution to channel integration) annually.”

Speaking of direct mail, she singles out the effectiveness of that channel, citing research from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) showing that direct mail’s ROI beats that of email, paid search, social media and digital display. And that intrinsic channel advantage can be improved upon with “a digital-style approach to direct — one that emphasizes personalization, offer management, modeling and testing.” Quad, she adds, has “built proprietary systems to run DM programs with the same sort of planning capabilities and agility as email marketing, but with higher efficacy.”

Craig ultimately recommends “a hybrid approach to channels — one that signal-boosts online campaigns with offline executions.”

In the end, by using data rigorously, marketers can not only increase efficiency across individual channels, but drive higher performance and overall ROI by seamlessly integrating those channels.

Read Craig’s entire column here: “The Right Way And The Wrong Way To Cut Marketing Spend” — and be sure to visit Quad’s Forbes BrandVoice page for more marketing thought leadership.