The marketing industry needs to serve more than ads. But what does real, effective omnichannel marketing look like, and how can we use this to provide meaningful service for customers, whilst adding tangible business value?
How can we truly deliver consistent messaging, which makes sense to a single person, across a multitude of digital and offline platforms?
Here, I explain how omnichannel can be orchestrated excellently by brands, using smart data management.
Misdiagnosing the problem
Whilst spend across display channels increases, so does the use of Adblockers: this was one of the perpetual news items of 2016 – and probably 2017 too. Why are resources wasted, as marketing effectiveness wanes? Rather than pointing the finger at the martech landscape and proclaiming the inherent creepiness that these tools enable, we need to remember that in terms of industry maturity, omnichannel marketing is still in its infancy.
And we haven’t grasped how to walk yet.
Marketer, know thyself
What we need to succeed is,
- Make marketing human-to-human, not B2C: practice creating logical pathways for people – focusing on optimising by journey rather than optimising by channel – through cross-team collaboration.
Gone are the days of audiences; now, marketers can target individuals with what makes sense for them, wherever they are.
- Choose technology which can respond to our fickle dispositions: we’re a changeable bunch, us humans.
Using martech, which can activate data and orchestrate messages across constantly shifting customer channels, is key. But data management still needs to honour existing business infrastructure, giving brands the space to learn how to navigate this landscape properly and get started quickly.
Mapping out a customer journey: who makes omnichannel?
What happens when advertisers stop amassing groups of specific channel specialists operating from their respective silos, and start cross-pollinating specialists across teams?
Omnichannel might mean a CRM specialist working alongside Search and Social marketers – with a creative to add that crucial storytelling sixth sense to a world of marketing now driven by Mathletics. This group might make up the re-targeting or the acquisition team.
With shared KPIs across teams, brands can converse with their customers across contexts – creating something greater than the sum of their parts.
Omnichannel in context: what do customer journeys look like?
Let’s zoom in on a retail bank. Ms Cash compares credit cards and travel insurance on a popular price comparison website.
She selects two core criteria: cashback on purchases, and low balance transfer fees. She browses several options.
The retail bank recognises her as a current account-holder using a Data Management Platform (DMP) to unify and activate all their customer channels. She is automatically added to a loyalty credit card upsell campaign segment within the DMP.
When Ms Cash next browses her favourite website, she sees a display ad for a credit card designed just for her. ‘No balance transfer fee, 5% cash back first three months.’ She clicks, and bookmarks the page. She’s converted so the bank automatically removes her from display targeting to avoid annoyance, and wasted media spend.
With all CRM and loyalty program data aggregated within the DMP, and matched to Ms Cash’s online profile, the bank’s call centre is automatically prompted three days later to contact her.
The representative sees a detailed overview of her customer profile, including her search history for travel insurance. He skips straight to the relevant questions. Ms Cash leaves the call with a credit card which ticks all the boxes and, a bonus, no fees for foreign spend. Just in time for her upcoming holiday.
Making omnichannel happen: which technology?
And it doesn’t stop there; using a DMP, the bank could trigger a push message to Ms Cash’s banking app, containing a list of pinned ATM map locations based on a search query or offer tailored financial advice based on website interactions. This isn’t just omnichannel, this is nudge marketing at its finest; gentle reminders rather than irrelevant yelling.
Smart use of marketing data means a value exchange between brand and customer, with the customer receiving the exact offer she was searching for, in the right context.
But it requires the right mindset, with the right data management orchestration to make it work, regardless of the channels customers choose or the tools marketers use – so brands can get started today, and stick around to tell the tale tomorrow.
Simon Bloom, Director, Commercial Operations, Relay42.
Tel: 020 369 505 83