Industry Trends 2013 – A smooth channel crossing

Automatically engage with customers through the channels they appreciate

The nomenclature of modern marketing can be as fast changing as marketing itself. Just as we get to grips with multi-channel marketing, why is everyone now talking about cross-channel?

Taking it back to basics, we’re all trying to do the same thing (no matter what we choose to call it). We want to: know more about our customers; use this information to speak to ‘individuals’, not generic market sectors; engage these individuals with the products and services they really want; and gain happy, loyal and long-term customers. It’s something that at Experian we abbreviate to: Know-Get-Keep.

It’s a complex process, but modern data technologies and expertise can automate-out some of the pain and make it simpler for marketers than ever before. I say ‘some’ because there has been a cloud on the horizon.

Automation can do the hard work in generating better customer understanding and creating highly relevant and targeted content — but to date, finding the best channels through which to engage them has stubbornly refused to be automated. Channel selection has been a time-consuming and manual labour of trial and error. Until now.

Our aim is to listen to, understand and act on what customers tell us through multiple channels. And what we’ve learned is that they don’t really care where they consume their marketing messages as long as it suits them. So rather than stumbling over channels as if they were barriers, we want to move across them, smoothly and seamlessly.

What we really need is a platform that allows us to load targeted content, messages and creative AND rules based on our understanding of how customers like to consume messaging. And In the immortal words of Blue Peter, here’s one we made earlier — it’s called the Experian Cross-Channel Marketing Platform.

If a customer is known to engage across all channels, then the platform takes this approach. If a customer only likes to be engaged once they’ve shown an interest — a web search or click on a banner ad for example — then the platform responds accordingly. It also reacts to changing preferences, learning from and constantly refining channel engagement.

If a customer abandons their online shopping cart, we can now engage with an email or SMS, based on the rules we’ve loaded into the platform. It means we don’t bombard, and potentially irritate, our customers, but engage on their terms.

So whilst we have many, separate methods of engagement, we can move between them with ease — for a smoother channel crossing and better customer experience.

Don’t miss my final Industry Trends 2013 post: Social Club vs Scary Movie – integrating social media into the marketing mix.

If you missed my first three post in this series you can find them here:


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