4 Ways to Embrace Omnichannel Marketing in 2013
4. Get started. Gluing together the data that underlies the omnichannel consumer is a daunting task. The data needs to connect each channel seamlessly to all the others, and the data must be ready for action in real time, yet stored in such a way that it can be easily accessed and continually updated. For 2013, find partners you can trust and set reasonable goals to collecting and connecting data from multiple channels. To do so, consider the following options:
- Do it yourself. If your brand has the resources of Amazon.com or eBay, this is a solid approach, but lacking such assets, this approach may require your brand to take a leap of faith, throw lots of developers and capital at the problem, and hope for success a year or two from now.
- Find an end-to-end solution provider. Intimated by omnichannel? Turn the keys over to one of several third parties like Adobe, IBM or Google. In return, you'll get their version of a comprehensive "marketing stack." You'll also get very little flexibility and control, and you'll run the risk that your CEO will think you're abdicating your job to a third party. And consider this: Who owns the data on your customers in this scenario?
- Create your own marketing stack. Work with a neutral party to create a customized marketing stack built around your existing assets and needs. This will give you more control than an end-to-end solution and at the same time allow you to have an omnichannel program that you couldn't create on your own. Furthermore, in this scenario you alone own the customer and the data.
Mastering the omnichannel consumer is a marathon, not a sprint. The important thing for CMOs in 2013 is to get started ... your competition is.