Destination Abs, the pinnacle of marketing fitness.
Today’s Cross Channel Reality
There isn’t the luxury of time when it comes to marketing a brand and incorporating your efforts into a growing number of channels. Consumer touchpoints are no longer entirely limited or controlled by the brand owner since it’s the consumer who is driving demand for control over content and choice in how they engage with it.
A huge increase in customer controlled devices and access to information channels means new challenges for brands and marketers alike, something that requires a fundamental shift in strategy. Although there’s a change to the frontline landscape, the core objective remains the same, how to divide and conquer the consumer in an understanding and meaningful way.
Customer-corporate relationships are now formed and driven across a whole host of information channels. No sooner have you become aware and responded to the challenges of one marketing channel than two more pop up and it’s back to the drawing board. The consumer is not one bit sympathetic to your plight either. Technological innovation has given rise to a growing customer expectation to receive relevant, rewarding and consistent content at every touchpoint and in real-time, including channels of:
4. Search Engines
5. Direct Mail
6. Social Media
. . . along with Telephone, TV, POS Advertising, PR, Word of Mouth and a bunch of other channels.
It’s important to note that these new channels aren’t being created with the luxury of a controlled and timely integration into your current marketing efforts. Far from it in fact, since it’s the consumer’s requirement for convenience, control, choice and real-time connectivity that is driving channel demand. Remember that famous movie quote from The Matrix, “I’ll show you how deep the rabbit hole goes”, the question today is “what are all the rabbits getting up to inside the hole?” and “which hole?” Clearly, it’s a marketing imperative to have clarity on this activity; how did they get there? as well as what they did and why, and will they be coming back to purchase or how can we make them come back?
Let’s take a moment to consider all those consumer carrots too and what happens when one of them results in a sale or conversion. We need to know which touchpoint was responsible for the conversion, but more importantly, where did the customer’s journey begin and where did it take them. Without this level of insight, then it is impossible to replicate that success.
One thing is certain; irrespective of which touchpoints the customer responded to as part of their journey to purchase, they expect the company behind generating these touchpoints to be aware and ready to greet them when they arrive at the checkout, e.g. an email offer that results in a mobile response and an eventual in-store redemption.
A cross channel approach to marketing requires each organisation to adopt the relevant channels as equally credible pathways to engage with the customer. Taking a considered and careful approach to integrating marketing touchpoints allows you to create a single, comprehensive real-time view of the consumer through data collection, aggregation and analytics. This is called a ‘Single Customer View’. It is this level of insight that allows you to target the customer requirements with pinpoint accuracy in terms of content relevance, availability and the channel via which the content is delivered.
Integrating the channels so that you are able to deliver a consistent customer experience across all touchpoints is key. Buyers are in clear control of their journey and quick to move beyond a brand that is not engaging with them in the most convenient or relevant way.
The challenge is to meet consumer demands for control, choice, convenience and real-time availability head-on, by adopting a marketing strategy that allows your brand to rush out and greet them, and that means having plenty of doors to knock on.
It’s uncanny just how well the subject of marketing lends itself to the analogy, until you remember that successful marketing goes hand in hand with a good understanding of human behaviour. Keeping that in mind, integrating cross channel marketing into your organisation is a journey that has a thoroughly fantastic and rewarding destination. We call this ‘Destination Abs’, it represents the pinnacle of marketing fitness.
Why abs? Abs are the physical embodiment of a well-performing business. We can draw countless comparisons between the personal pursuit of those hard to get abs and the organisational pursuit of an outstanding marketing strategy.
From a human perspective, developing core strength and improving core stability benefits your overall daily performance. With a stable core, the rest of you is likely to be stable too, since other well-performing parts of the body are required to support this development. Core exercises teach your body to react in performance or life situations, quickly and easily. But to effectively strengthen the core you’ll need to start with exercises that cause your body to become unstable or adapt. That’s a valuable part of a fantastic journey to a great destination.
Now apply this same notion to a business or brand. Picture a business with a ‘whole of body’ approach to its marketing strategy, and imagine that at its core are the results of this activity.
Building a cross channel roadmap will help you understand the critical transformation areas for successfully adopting and implementing this level of marketing automation into your organisation. Before you can do this, however, there are five key areas of focus that will need to be addressed first.
Your gym represents the ideal environment to support and adapt your abs objectives; the gym is your business. Have a think about your own expectations when choosing a gym membership. Does it exude the values of ‘health and fitness’, is the equipment fit for purpose, does it employ fitness experts and do they demonstrate these same values? If not, would you accept this as a being a suitable environment to achieve your performance goals?
This is a fundamentally critical question, because integrating a cross channel communications policy into any organisation will have an effect on traditional marketing practices and require business-wide support and adoption of your marketing strategy from the TOP down. This ‘buy-in’ will be essential for agreeing and supporting change in the following areas:
• Traditional Marketing Practices
• Sales Activity
• Customer Services
• Product Development
Establishing fitness goals allows you to set the criteria for measuring and comparing cross channel marketing effectiveness. This process of recording and analysing performance data is essential to developing your marketing strategy and gauging return on investment (ROI).
You will need to establish measurements and criteria for gauging campaign effectiveness across multiple channels and then attribute marketing success to one or a combination of those channels. Basically ‘what do we want our abs to look like?’ and ‘which exercises are producing the best results?’
In most situations, your organisation will need to trust data analytics over instinct because of volume and complexity. However, analytics from marketing data must be meaningful and aligned with your business goals and customer value. The successes of internal staff (e.g. customer service) will need to be measured and factored into channel performance too, including customer value and customer experience.
More marketing channels means more data opportunities, requiring the technology to capture, store and process large amounts of information across multiple touchpoints. Think of this as your fitness record, in the same way, that you would record your performance in the gym and use that information to refine and improve your training. A sophisticated marketing automation platform is required to store vast amounts of data that can then be intelligently organised around the customer for improved decision making. Intelligence gained from this data will be key to:
• Improved Efficiencies
• Increased Conversion
• Channel Optimisation
• Campaign Optimisation
• Response Attribution
• Product & Service Development
• Improved Targeting
• Measuring Campaign Success
• Understanding Behaviour
All that time spent in the gym developing your abs wouldn’t be much use if you never got to see the results. Similarly, access to an advanced analytics platform allows you to view the results from cross channel marketing activity; this is a reflection of marketing gain and helps you align future marketing strategy and planning to the customer for improved results.
As new data emerges from your marketing activity, it is imperative to use customer insight to develop the existing cross channel marketing strategy, planning and performance. By developing multidimensional personas that are actionable in any channel and combining them with a sophisticated touchpoint management software, you can deploy triggered, responsive communications that ensure the customer experience is always relevant and timely. Customer data needs to be captured from all touchpoints so that it can be integrated into a single platform, this includes information from:
• Marketing campaigns
• Customer research
• Web behaviour
• Demographic attributes
• Purchase history
• Product affinities
• Channel use and preference
• Browsing insight (click, open, response)
• Customer Service history
• Loyalty behaviour
• Customer lifecycle
• more . . .
Broad customer data can then be aligned to form an improved strategy, planning and intelligent campaign delivery across marketing channels and touchpoints.
There’s no way to achieve cross channel marketing perfection without having the right equipment.
Rethink’s advanced marketing automation platform is capable of creating, executing, managing and monitoring multi channel initiatives; it’s the backbone of a sustainable cross channel approach to strategic marketing. Costs are cut and performance is improved as we target the right message in the right place to the right customer.
In conclusion, consumers are jumping from one marketing channel to another, often unaware and uninterested in the marketing efforts of the companies trying to engage with them. To effectively meet their needs, brands must create cross channel marketing programs that are able to identify the consumer, gather data on their activity across all channels and then profile this data to more easily target them with the most relevant offers, via the appropriate channels and devices.
The benefits to your organisation will include happy, loyal customers, improved sales and conversion, improved efficiencies and lower costs. “Rethink the journey, achieve your ‘abs’ destination.”
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