It’s Time to Tune Up Your Cross-Channel Marketing Strategy

by Stephanie Maziol

posted on 07-19-2016

Lots of companies are realizing that today’s digitally sophisticated consumer is expecting — even demanding — highly personalized digital experiences that require a level of coordination that has never before been seen.

Many organizations have embarked on programs to understand customer journeys, realizing that every touchpoint with their brands is an opportunity to make a great impression — or a lasting negative one.

In fact, 87 percent of companies are personalizing through email, 62 percent are personalizing via social channels, and 51 percent are personalizing on mobile devices — so the message is clearly getting through. Unfortunately, only a disappointing 38 percent of companies are actually optimized to deliver real-time offers and campaigns across all touchpoints.

The Way Organizations Are Designed Is a Major Obstacle.
A major obstacle for companies trying to create personalized experiences is that the very design of most organizations is counter to the idea of creating the excellent customer-centered experiences that today’s consumers demand. For example, a production department may be prioritizing orders in a way that improves department efficiency, even though it creates a negative customer experience by increasing the time to make a custom order. All the goodwill created from the great customer experience orchestrated by the sales department now evaporates into a cloud of negative reviews, as the customer waits beyond a promised deadline.

Companies often lack a centralized place to create, manage, and orchestrate experiences, which means data from critical channels — like display and web — can’t be integrated with other valuable data sources like customer-relationship management (CRM) systems, call-center logs, or product-return records. Because of this, the picture of the customer often remains woefully incomplete, making it difficult to target the right customer with the right message.

Also, less than half of companies use real-time customer-interaction data, which makes it nearly impossible to deliver contextual omnichannel experiences that anticipate what customers want, when they want it, wherever they are.

Become A Cross-Channel Personalization Maestro!
Consistent cross-channel personalization can foster deeper experience loyalty that can last for years. “Younger generations are no longer ‘brand loyal’,” explains Andy Jacobs, managing director at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). “Instead, they’re experience loyal. They’re going to choose the experiences that are consistently personalized to their needs and desires, and that make them feel valued and important.”

So, how can you bring it all together? You need to become a cross-channel personalization maestro! Here’s how to get started:

Consider How Different Customers Experience Your Brand.
Think deeper about how different customers experience your brand — instead of how your organization sets itself up to market to them — and reconsider your strategic-planning practices. While most organizations’ budgets, resources, and campaigns are set up chronologically based on events or products they want to promote, they should really be designed the other way around — based on their customers’ unique needs and interests.

Create a Single Customer View.
You have lots of data about your customers, but it is probably scattered among many different systems and formats. To have a single, integrated view of your customers, try your best to put all your data in one place. This includes bringing together every bit of data — online sources like web, mobile, and social as well as offline sources like in-store, event, or call-center data — that customers leave behind as they interact with your brand.

Make Your Cross-Channel Masterpiece.
You’ll need to do some homework first such as understanding how your customers use your content, how you can create valuable storytelling opportunities, and how you can generate a process that keeps content fresh and regularly flowing. While developing content for all the paths that your customers may take can feel like a daunting task, having one environment in which you can create, store, manage, and measure all your brand’s content makes the process more manageable.

Strengthen the Brand-to-Consumer Relationship.
Help your customers understand how to extend the value of their relationships with your brand. Whether it be recipes or how-to guides, keep stories flowing that show a positive impression of your brand.

Listen to Your Audience.
Pay attention to your customer interactions across all channels and devices and see how your efforts have stimulated offline conversations and sharing. Many analytic elements exist to help you, but start by looking at obvious performance metrics such as response rates, campaign lift, or return on marketing investment. Then, take a closer look at engagement metrics such as how long customers spend viewing content and how often they return to it.

Constantly Test Different Strategies.
The brands that win in this new world order will go even further, continually raising the bar on personalization and delivering magical experiences that anticipate audience desires and deepen customer loyalties.

To learn more about how to orchestrate your personalization transformation, visit our new whitepaper, Conducting the Cross-Channel Symphony.

Topics: Campaign Management