Your omnichannel customers have more options & higher expectations. One-to-one engagement, based on each customer’s real-time needs can lift total sales by up to 20% while lowering acquisition costs .
WHY SYNCHRONIZED, CROSS-CHANNEL, DATA ACTIVATION?
If you are not engaging customers on a synchronized, cross-channel basis then you are not serving them as well as you could AND you are missing important insights that will drive your business ahead. Why does this approach work? Because your customers want personalization. Not the creepy kind. The kind that that serves them relevant content based on their needs.
74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized. And you only have about 15 seconds to capture your audience’s attention. If you don’t engage them in a compelling way, you will lose them.
‘Consumers welcome personalization when it’s done deftly and in ways that are meaningful…and they seek brands that are authentic and act on their promises. Consumers expect genuine value and transparent, helpful communications.’ – Adobe Customer Survey
So aim for one-to-one engagement. Engage your audience based on who they are and what they need. Optimal one-to-one engagement includes a combination of activities that includes customer segmentation, omnichannel targeting, picking up signals, sharing signals across platforms and personalization.
How do you do it?
Over time it has been proven that you will have greater success by starting with a single customer view and then developing the right, holistic automation strategy.
START WITH A SINGLE CUSTOMER VIEW
There are many reasons why organizations struggle with omnichannel marketing and engagement. One problem is that many companies operate strictly by functions. Media does there thing, Social does there thing, etc. They are all plan on engaging the same customer but they do it within operational silo’s using different data sources.
A second problem has to do with lacking a complete view of your customer. Data comes from different sources in different formats and is often not integrated in a manner that helps you understand your audience in a holistic manner. You may be doing cross-device matching. That’s a good start. But there are more sources to integrate. A key to omnichannel marketing success is developing a plan to integrate data in a way that give you a single customer view that is actionable. A single customer view is a holistic understanding of each customer based on aggregate data.
The benefits of single customer view include the ability to generate better 360° insights (including cross-channel attribution) and it enables one-to-one engagement. Now with a single view of your customer in place up front, each of your functions are able to work on engaging each customer in a consistent manner. Because they are sharing data each group will have greater success.
DEVELOPING THE RIGHT AUTOMATION STRATEGY
When your customers are engaging in a digital activity at a key moment, you have to pick up the signal, interpret it, decide on the next best action to take and then activate in real-time across all platforms. This cannot be executed without automation. Additionally developing the right activation plan for every customer isn’t a tactic. It requires a higher level strategy.
Automation can be executed via ‘marketing technology’ or ‘advertising technology’ and for most firms the optimal customer engagement strategy will be a combination of both. There are terrific systems that are available today – but don’t start with the tool. Develop a strategy, based on both your desired outcomes and based on your customer’s needs. This will inform technology decisions. Of course, it’s o.k. to start with developing the right plan based on the tools that you have today. But evolving to a customer-first, synchronized approach will drive better results.
A winning automation strategy will also likely leverage AI and Machine Learning in a way that assists you in understanding your customer’s needs and prescribing the best combination of activation strategies.
LEADERS USE OMNICHANNEL PERSONALIZATION FOR PERSISTENT CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT
As investors know, FANG stands for Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google. These are mega-cap companies that have emerged as leaders in the Internet Age. Each has established loyal users and have produced outsized returns. In September, 2017 Barron’s published a story ‘What’s Really Fueling the FANG Stocks?’ The story reviewed their business models and came to the conclusion that ‘personalization’ is the primary thing that they have in common. These companies don’t view personalization isn’t simply as a tactic such as an email, or targeted campaign. They view it as a strategy where they analyze user behavior and customize engagement in real-time, based on who each customer is and their history with them. As a result these companies establish persistent relationships with users.
An important takeaway. Omnichannel personalization is as much about listening – picking up cues and sharing across platforms, as it is about simply serving a relevant message.
HOW CROSS-CHANNEL ENGAGEMENT INCREASES SALES
There are two primary ways that Data Activation & Personalization increases sales.
(1) Winning New Customers: Start by using data to target your best prospects. Then deploy a strategy for reaching out to them and engaging based on who they are and what they want.
(2) Up-selling and Cross-selling Existing Customers: Your customers’ behavior sends out signals that highlight their interests and needs. The right data activation strategy will pick up these signals and automatically engage in appropriate manner.
HOW THIS APPROACH LOWERS COST
There are two primary ways that this approach lowers your cost.
(1) Automation: There are many marketing and customer service activities that are currently being performed manually by your team that can be automated. The most successful automation strategies use data and personalization to engage more efficiently.
(2) Eliminate Waste: Focusing sales and marketing resources on your best opportunities is significantly more efficient than ‘spray and pray’ approaches. Additionally, buying highly targeted media impressions can delivers significant savings versus mass media strategies.
HOW OPTIMAL CROSS-CHANNEL ENGAGEMENT IMPROVES LOYALTY
There are two primary ways that omni-channel personalization improves loyalty:
(1) Picking Up Signals and Acting On Them: When your data is siloed you are missing valuable insights and signals from your existing customers. You want to ensure that you are picking up cues to deal with issues and capitalize on opportunities to wow your customers.
(2) Improved Experience: Automated customer service continues to increase. Companies that make it easy for customers to get what they want, when they want and how they want will receive higher net promoter scores and be rewarded with stronger loyalty.