As I’ve been discussing in the post series, “Multi-channel Marketing Integration is a Vital Start But How Do You Actually Get There? Part 1″, knowing what to do is a start but if you are a small to medium business, or a small department in a large company, with limited staff or technology, how do you implement what could be a complex eco-system?
Again, Here’s the pitch:
“From search to social, customers are interacting with your brand across a variety of channels, most likely created by many different people, in many different departments. However, chances are your customer thinks of your brand as just one entity, purchasing across channels, oblivious to your internal structure and processes. Providing a consistent message and customer experience is critical, so savvy marketers are optimizing campaigns through automated marketing programs and integrated data strategies.”
Let’s finish up by briefly discussing marketing automation and data strategies:
Savvy marketers are optimizing campaigns through automated marketing programs and integrated data strategies… Sounds good, but what the heck does automated marketing mean? And how do I get me some of that! Same question for integrated data strategies.
Here are the steps:
First, you’ve got to get all of your customer data in a unified place – the database. Don’t be fooled into thinking that your list management system, i.e., email platform, or your data warehouse, i.e., transactional and/or financial system, are your customer database. You need a highly focused repository for all relevant data about your customers. You want all their demographics, behaviors, transactions, social and web behaviors, lifestyle codes and so on in one place because more than anything, multichannel marketing only works if it reflects on the wants and needs of the customer.
Second, automated (tactical) marketing can be accomplished by any number of software tools from Constant Contact to Mail Chimp or Listrack, Silverpop to Unica to Marketo and Salesforce.com to name a few. Most of these software tools will, as expected, automate the communications – from 1 to multiple – per your programming. Some tools can be set to react when the customer takes an action without your intervention (but that’s another post.) The point is the software is a critical automation tool but it’s up to you to create the cadence or process for which communications are sent and to whom with what offer.
Third, data-backed campaign strategies are essential to a great multichannel marketing approach. Integrated data strategies, i.e., combining data from all channels such as direct, POS, eCommerce and social channels enable a 360 degree look at the customer and how s/he interacts with your brand. By looking for patterns you will learn which channels and messages resonate and create action. By sharing this data multi-departmentally, sound communication and offer strategies can occur – all with the customer experience in mind.
Let me know what you think!
Ann McCartan, DBMCatalyst