Segmentation and Testing are the Keys to Multichannel Marketing
Regardless of whether the type of response being tracked is actual or attributed, it is critical to note the channel used for the promotion and the channel used for response.
For instance, a bank's credit card department notes that a customer prefers to receive phone calls from someone from the local branch. This information is applied across the enterprise and leveraged to improve the effectiveness of its marketing campaigns, ultimately driving new sales. As a result, this channel preference is used in the mortgage lending department's next offer to that same consumer.
The enterprise-wide marketing database serves as the foundation for the segment-based multichannel marketing plan. Knowing how consumers interact across lines of business—the channels through which they have responded, the products and services they use, and the profitability associated with them—allows a company to develop a vision for the ideal portfolio of products or services for each segment, as well as the channels that should be used to reach those segments.
Marketers should begin by segmenting their customer base according to various lifestyle characteristics. Segmentation provides marketers with valuable information about consumers, including measurements of age, income, lifestage and presence of children.
Having developed your segmentation strategy and then aligned it with various tests across multiple channels (i.e., launching campaigns through several different channels within each segment), you should be able to uncover somewhat distinct channel preferences for each segment. You may find that older customers prefer a phone call, but younger ones prefer e-mail. Or, you may find that the established affluent segment prefers online conveniences, whereas the emerging affluent segment prefers face-to-face communication.
Of course, preferences and customer expectation must be managed vis-a-vis profitability. Using expensive channels to service unprofitable customers—particularly those for whom there is little likelihood of future profitability—simply doesn't make good business sense.