Dec
30
2013

Effective marketing — a feast of intelligent interactions

In my previous blogs we looked at data quality and customer insight and targeting. Whilst each is critical, they are the ingredients and the recipe. Getting them both right should lead to a feast of intelligent interactions — with marketing moving seamlessly across channels.

Marketers are obsessed about channels, when the reality is that we’re the only ones who care. Think about it; do you really have a favourite channel? Customers are channel agnostic — they just want to know about the things they want, when and where they want to know about them.

Many businesses have data quality, deep insight, effective targeting and multiple channel strategies — but very few have the ability to link them so they deliver consistent, integrated and intelligent interactions across channels.  To see the difference this makes, we’ll re-visit Lucy:

A multiple channel strategy sees her approached via standalone channels that aren’t integrated. So Lucy gets emails about shirts, a social ad about accessories, banner advertising about skirts and newsfeed posts about shoes. The one thing Lucy takes away from these engagements is frustration at being bombarded by one brand for things she doesn’t need.

Cross-channel marketing integrates understanding of Lucy. Knowing that she’s searched online for a business suit, and her behaviours, Lucy gets: a relevant email at 8am to read on the bus; a Facebook ad at 11 over morning coffee; a discount voucher for her local store via SMS as she goes for lunch. Now Lucy takes many things away from these engagements, including two hot business suits and a very positive perception of the brand.

So how can you make the leap from multiple to cross-channel marketing?

Step 1: once again, you have to know where you’re starting from before you can get to where you want to be. Is your data fit for purpose? Do you have the insight to target communications? If you can answer ‘yes’ to these question, you’re still not cross-channel marketing — but you are at least ready to begin.

Step 2: the rewards of cross-channel marketing might tempt you to rush, but there are no short cuts. Take it slowly and ensure that each of your individual channels is optimised before you try to integrate them.

Step 3: cross-channel marketing isn’t a destination; it’s a state of being that demands constant adjustment. To keep up with your customers, you need measurement, analysis and the agility to act fast.

Step 4: cross-channel outputs are simplicity, efficiency and effectiveness. Cross-channel inputs, however, can be complex and labour intensive — unless you have highly specialised support. Investment in data and marketing expertise is likely to deliver a healthy return.

You now have the chance to engage with intelligent interactions — bringing your marketing previously undreamed of precision, and your customers previously undreamed of control of their own marketing consumption. It’s a mouth-watering prospect.

If you missed my other post in this series, you  can find them here:
1 – Effective marketing – high quality  data ingredients
2 – Effective marketing – the perfect recipe

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