A retail organization might use segmentation to determine what combination of channels — e.g., direct mail, online marketing, mobile, etc. — would be best for reaching customers and prospects on multiple fronts over the course of a product life cycle. Luxury handbag and accessories retailer Coach tied together its web advertising efforts during the launch of its youth-oriented Poppy line by placing dynamic images of bags from the line on hundreds of participating blogs. They also used their Facebook and Twitter marketing campaigns to spread the word and drive consumers to its stores.
Also regularly update customer records with data from all sources. If you track links to various social media platforms via email, follow trends in how customers are interacting with your brand. Analyze customer behavior on an ongoing basis to ensure you're addressing them through the most effective marketing medium.
We expect brand marketers going forward will make greater use of data gathered across multiple channels. While still a young channel, social media is already transitioning away from the mass-data-collection stage — characterized by blasts and untargeted marketing — into a more targeted and relevant marketing vehicle. The most successful marketers will effectively use social media combined with all available channels to create ongoing and meaningful conversations with their customers.
Bob MacInnis is vice president of marketing systems architect for e-Dialog, an email marketing service provider. Reach Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sari Tamilio is vice president of interactive services at MBS, a marketing services and solutions provider. Reach Sari at email@example.com.