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Cross-channel marketing: it's all about connecting the dots of data

Obstacles such as fragmented data, a lack of behavioral insights and disconnected systems prevent most marketers from creating a consistent customer experience across channels. While a digital marketer needs the ability to capture, curate and effectively leverage data to influence that customer brand experience.

Connect the dots

By using the appropriate technologies and tools marketers can listen and detect customer's digital behavior. It helps us connect the different separate data systems and create a 360° customer view. Eventually this will result in a more consistent experience across channels.

An example? By connecting the in-store sales system with the central marketing database, an offline purchase can trigger an email message. That's a great way to thank the customer and offer an incentive if he/she writes a review online. The combination of these 3 channels (in-store, email, website) incites a personal brand experience that drives loyalty and engagement.

Create a single identity

But how exactly do you provide a consistent customer experience? A good starting point is to create a data environment that allows customers and prospects to move seamlessly from one channel to another. Marketing-wise however, it's wise to make sure the viewers conceive those different channels as originating from one and the same brand at all times.

Especially in an environment of considered purchases — where online research reigns — it's important to keep track of all channels you're using along the customer journey. These insights and data can be used to bring the right message during a personalized cross-channel conversation.

Stated preferences and behavior

Using data from multiple sources and combining those data to create a single identity for your customers will help you build meaningful experiences. Moving towards a more connected digital data strategy will gain you a better understanding of your customers' implicit preferences. And that's an important benefit you shouldn't neglect.

Traditional stated preference data have helped digital marketers to segment and drive increased relevance in their messaging. But these preferences tend to be static, with few digital consumers returning to them unless they're coming back to opt out of your program. And people's lifestyles, profiles and needs naturally change over time. So in order to provide relevant content in the long run and increase customer lifetime value, it's important to capture behavioral data across channels (website, in-store, mobile, email,..).

By doing so, you'll provide highly-relevant email messages based on implicit preferences instead of just using static, stated preferences. But evidently, offering your readers better content implies that their expectations will become higher...

Customer expectations are here to stay

Customer expectations are set by a few large companies who are constantly raising the digital experience bar. The good news for digital marketers is that you no longer need large budgets and unlimited development resources to deliver this type of experience to your customer base.

We at RAAK offer advice and services to help you reach this level of sophistication. Through a step-by-step approach we can give you access to profitable relational marketing that has historically been available only to large companies with deep pockets.

Conclusion

Successful cross-channel marketing is all about interconnecting all the channels you are using to communicate with your target group. Using data from different sources and combining them into a single identity will help you build meaningful experiences for your customers.

Posted on
Apr 17, 2014