4 Ways to Embrace Omnichannel Marketing in 2013
Although a team approach enables specific groups to master their respective channels, it also tends to create silos within an organization. Specialist marketing services providers who emerge to sell solutions specific to each silo frequently exacerbate this "silo syndrome." Consider the emergence of social media experts, a new mobile capability or a CRM system linked to email but not on-site activity.
Planning for 2013 will require thinking about your organization in the context of the "omniconsumer." Are the goals of the team and organizational structure consistent with the customer? If not, what steps must be taken to change the organizational structure and team bonus objectives? Who is the owner of the omnichannel customer? If the answer is "everyone," that's a problem. It must be clear which person or team is responsible and accountable for the omniconsumer and, ultimately, the omnichannel champion.
2. Create data personas. Mastering omnichannel begins with a deep understanding of who the customer is and how that customer interacts with your brand. Focus groups or quantitative studies on decision-making can be helpful in determining the number and types of channels your customers typically use when making a purchase decision. This work will give you a road map for how to connect the data that underlies your customers’ experiences with your brand.
3. Perform a data audit. Recognize that consumers aren't tied down to one particular channel or another; they're everywhere. Understand that wherever consumers are, so too should be your brand's data and decisions. In other words, you need to connect the data dots.
A data audit should be performed by the omnichannel owner using knowledge gained from the data persona work. The owner needs to map the consumer touchpoints for the brand and determine where data from the various channels resides today. Identifying where the data doesn't exist is just as important as identifying the silos that are already connected. Finally, look at the speed at which data is available in a channel. Many legacy data sources are "next day" or "next week." Next-day data won't meet the needs of the omnichannel consumer, who is shopping and making purchase decisions in real time, often using multiple devices simultaneously.