It may seem like digital communications are too new to have traditional silos, but there are companies out there that have pigeonholed these direct marketing channels into structured disciplines, legacy-style.
"Break down the data silos in disparate activities to increase measurability, tying your Web analytics to email execution and database efforts," says Rusty Warner, vice president of product marketing for UK-based marketing software company Alterian.
He has three suggestions for marketers planning to create this central control point:
1. Integrate Customer Intelligence
The key to addressing today's interactive marketing requirements is to integrate and orchestrate customer intelligence across all touchpoints through a central location. It is much simpler to manage direct digital execution from one place, because you're able to connect the dots across touchpoints. The first step is for marketers to break down the data silos of particular channels to both measure and present coordinated, consistent, real-time interaction with customers.
Best Western overhauled its loyalty program, which had been built using the industry-standard three-tier approach, with offers largely dependent on the color of the customer's loyalty card. By integrating their data and initiating one-to-one communications with individual cardholders, Best Western achieved a 30 percent return on investment, with a 540 percent increase in loyalty point redemptions and a 40 percent increase in clickthrough rates. Email campaigns themselves have changed dramatically, with multiple campaigns triggered daily by customer behavior and offers going to as few as 20 customers, with content personalized for each individual.
2. Engage Customers Individually
By integrating all marketing systems and databases, marketers are able to bring together all available customer data (from Web, email, social media, offline) to better analyze and engage with customers at an individual level. This consistent (360-degree) record of the customer, from marketing and targeting through sales and customer service, boosts the ROI of your campaign.
Eurostar abandoned "one-size-fits-all" marketing in favor of a centralized marketing database, enabling targeted communications based on traveler behavior and profiles. They consolidated marketing and ticketing data from the UK, France and Belgium, as well as North American data from Expedia, merging this information with data from www.eurostar.com, their frequent traveler program, customer contact centers, and customer feedback such as comments, complaints and surveys. Eurostar now better understands both business and leisure traveler requirements, and have seen 100 percent increases in open rates for email campaigns, 50 percent increases in clickthrough rates and a 400 percent increase in average revenue attributed to marketing efforts.
3. Merge Analytics and Reporting
Another important aspect of managing direct digital execution in one place is merging analytics and reporting with the ability to tailor/adjust campaigns, and then being able to interact with the customer from the same central location.
This solution will ultimately deliver relevant communication, provide a better means for segmentation and facilitate optimal reporting on ROI. Marketers at Cisco pride themselves on marketing to individuals, even though the company sells primarily to businesses, governments and other large organizations. Cisco built a centralized data repository so they could create global marketing strategies to be executed locally, around the globe. Their database consists of 20 million marketing contacts, 18 million customer services contacts and 100 million Dun & Bradstreet company profiles, as well as customer contact data from multiple sources, including more than 25 million survey responses. They now have consolidated data for contact and purchase history, enabling upsell and cross-sell campaigns based on sophisticated modeling for propensity and potential value. Better yet, they are able to report on all of these activities quickly and efficiently from a global perspective.