Moving from Multichannel to Cross Channel Marketing
The challenge with adopting anything new is that old habits die hard. Cross channel marketing, whereby marketers target customers based on channel preference and permission, is emerging as the most effective way of competing for mindshare at a time when 3,000 marketing messages bombard consumers every day (according to researcher SymphonyIRI).
Yet cross channel marketing simply isn’t that simple to implement. Just as many companies adopted email marketing as a distinct competency years ago, the same has more recently happened with mobile and social media. Moving quickly to utilize innovative ways of reaching customers leaves little time to consider how digital channels overlap or work better when stitched together. Marketing within channels, or multichannel marketing, is the result.
This would not be an issue, were it for the fact that customers who browse and buy via multiple channels are among the most coveted. RSR research shows this to be the case for retailers, but when you think about it, no matter your industry, anyone who visits your website, opts into your email program, provides permission to be communicated with via SMS text messaging and follows your brand on Twitter and Facebook, is someone you should know. You could infer that anyone who meets these criteria defines your highest value customer segment.
Getting Past the Marketing Silos
So what’s a digital marketer to do? Whether you’re a “one person show” with purview over anything digital, or oversee distinct teams aligned to email, mobile and social media, the challenge is the same: you probably have separate databases of customers for email and mobile channels. Many companies possess internal email lists but their agencies often have mobile phone numbers obtained from one-off campaigns without any identifying data. With social media, playing by the rules in that space makes it difficult to connect with customers on a one-to-one basis.
The solution is a new category of software that ties these channels together, unifying the customer record, and providing the tools and workflows to enable digital marketers to target their cross channel customer segment with engaging marketing campaigns. The software itself doesn’t require businesses to completely re-think their marketing efforts or organizational structure; rather it complements marketing in each channel, helping create a “whole” more valuable than the “sum of its parts.”
And, it’s delivered as a service, as in Software-as-a-Service, a business model that ensures innovation is rolled out to all customers rapidly, and not isolated to one-off, custom implementations. Technically, it’s called multi-tenancy. At a time when social media innovation is outpacing all other categories, the value of a cross channel marketing application delivered as a service cannot be underestimated. Just check out this August 20 eMarketer.com article, titled “Are Marketers Struggling to Keep Up with Social Trends?“Continued on the next page