- Category: February 2013 - Multichannel-Marketing
Buyer behavior has irrevocably changed. Marketers must evolve to meet the expectations and demands of the multichannel customer. If you have not already transformed your customer engagement processes into integrated, customer-centric processes, you are behind the vanguard.
As you strategize and plan to advance on the multichannel maturity curve, you must:
- Create a culture that worships customer knowledge: The full promise of multichannel marketing is realized only when all customer interactions are calibrated around the customer’s current context and historical interaction with your company. Tackling different types of data and aggregating it for collective insight is an essential characteristic of any multichannel marketing system.
- Stop thinking about campaigns and start thinking engagement: Marketers who continue to build campaigns, and make offers, around products and product features will be perceived as “tone deaf” to the multichannel customer. Customers will engage with marketers who meet their needs — their changing needs — for different information and options during the buying journey. Marketers who continue to “go to customer” with product-centric campaigns and offers risk becoming irrelevant.
- Transform your website into a pervasive customer engagement hub: Too many marketers have grown accustomed to thinking of their websites as a collection of pages. That thinking is obsolete when virtually all multichannel touches aim to drive customers to your website. Leverage highly dynamic websites to drive unique experiences for customers. Dynamically deliver content, messages, experiences, products, and offers from pools of content assets based upon knowledge of the customer’s profile, behavior, and engagement history.
- Build the technical infrastructure to support dynamic, cross-channel conversations with customers: It’s simply not possible to manage the delivery of dynamic, targeted, consistent content, offers, products, across digitally enabled customer touchpoints when marketing tasks are semi-automated with a series of unintegrated software tools.
- Find a “trusted” IT advisor: Marketing is — and should be — inexorably bound up in technology, as the majority of customer touchpoints are digitally enabled and the digital landscape of customer experiences is evolving at a breakneck pace. Marketing execs need a trusted IT advisor. Many CMOs will rethink the relationship with IT; some will turn to an external service provider; others will create a shadow IT organization in marketing operations. Whatever the source, find your IT champion.
- Don’t overlook change management: Multichannel marketing is not about giving an existing team some new tools to go about the business of marketing. It’s a strategic initiative that will disrupt, and then transform, your current marketing processes. Your marketing team will be challenged to define new processes, learn new technology, and rethink their role in the company. Keep a constant program of communication and engagement to facilitate the change.
- Choose technology partners: Partners can help you rack up short-term gains on the path to the full vision. The secret to selecting technology solutions for multichannel marketing is to partner with a vendor that can immediately help improve your current operations, and also has the strategy and road map to help you realize your long-term vision. Select on vision, but roll out on tactics. The selection of the right vendor will enable a short-term ROMI as well as the surest path to the grand strategy.