Coordinating a Multichannel Targeting Solution
Empowered consumers shop and buy across multiple channels with ease, mandating brands to serve them a consistent, relevant experience. Forrester Research indicates multichannel buyers spend four times to five times more than single-channel buyers, yet fewer than 35 percent of marketers track customer behavior across channels. No wonder that while 80 percent of CEOs believe their brand provides a superior customer experience, just 8 percent of their customers agree.
To delight consumers and serve them relevant, engaging and consistent experiences, brands must align their resources to create a cohesive and comprehensive understanding of them. After sending out campaigns, marketers need to understand everything in order to recalibrate and optimize the next interaction. The better understood the customer, the more coordinated and personalized the experience that marketers can provide.
However, marketers struggle to achieve this level of customer centricity. While many leading brands forge ahead with best-of-breed and customized platform silos, most take incremental steps because the right mix of technology, skills and processes aren't yet available in an integrated, centralized, easy-to-use package.
B-to-C flashback to B-to-B
This strongly resembles the B-to-B, CRM and SFA space 10 years to 15 years ago when businesses needed a centralized view of individual customers but integrating among systems was difficult and expensive. These product categories had different communities of developers, support and platforms, each dealing with various versions of the customer, as did finance, sales and tech support. Customers grew frustrated because each time they spoke with someone they had a different, inconsistent experience.
When the large CRM vendors built integrated ecosystems, different channels fed into a single, centralized place where the business tools consolidated. Thus the B-to-B integration challenge was solved. The B-to-C world is similar, but deals with much bigger problems when it comes to the scale of the prospect, customer base and numerous variations of a consumer profile. To achieve this integrated vision, companies need to ask themselves these questions:
- How do you link the numerous versions of a consumer profile together to create a consolidated view?
- What changes are needed to centralize and coordinate targeting and treatment across channels?
- What post-campaign knowledge should be collected from each channel and what's required to get the maximum lift from the next campaign iteration?
- Should you integrate channels like social media and web browsing to layer intent signals to inform campaigns? If so, how?
Today, no out-of-the-box solution does any of this — although the technologies to start building these capabilities are available. Marketers should think about applying these concepts, starting with two channels or three channels, using a low-tech approach as a way of learning and better understanding the full potential of a coordinated, multichannel consumer targeting solution.