There’s an ever increasing range of media and channels with which to engage customers. And although companies know an integrated multichannel engagement strategy is a must, most still struggle with how to do this well - and how to integrate the data into a singular customer centric vision and process.
For starters, marketers need to understand that the world is shifting from forcing customers to sort through piles of spray and pray stuff to find useful communications, to a world where personalized, relevant multichannel communications find consumers based on their opt-in preferences.
The average U.S. consumer spends 60 hours a week consuming content across devices. Many channels are also delivered via multiple devices, making marketing and data collection increasingly more complex. With customers coming into companies from multiple directions, the challenge is to generate seamless, consistently high value, integrated customer experiences—no matter which medium a customer selects.
Multichannel strategies have to begin with an understanding of the requirements customers use to define “Engaging Customer Experiences”. Following are the 6 requirements that have emerged from over 10,000 hours of Voice of Customer research conducted by our firm, ERDM for clients such as MassMutual, IBM and QVC:
1. Improve the customer experience across every point of contact with your organization.
2. This applies to all elements of the media mix and all departments of your organization.
3. High quality experiences must be maintained throughout the relationship, not just when you are “selling.”
4. Customer experiences must be driven by the customer’s individual preferences regarding message, timing, frequency and media mix.
5. Preferences must drive high quality personalization of communications and experiences.
6. Absolute commitment to safeguarding privacy of preference information is essential.
A company that has used its multichannel insights to develop new marketing initiatives is Beyond the Rack, which uses customer data based on media usage to shape its future engagement strategies.
The company’s sales for mobile users skyrocketed from 10% of total revenue in mid-2012 to nearly one-third by 2014. Most recently, Beyond the Rack has revealed that their new focus centers around taking their mobile insights to set the standards for all interactions with customers.
Three Key Takeaways for you based on Beyond the Rack’s strategies:
1. Using its data to understand that 40-50% of their 12 million daily e-mails are opened on mobile devices, the company maximizes the impact of their mobile emails to make them more appealing on mobile devices. All marketers should identify and optimize the most active media channels to make them more engaging for customers.
2. Beyond the Rack continually engages with customers via contests such as its web-based model search. This gives customers an active opportunity to become a part of the brand through multiple media channels and not be just an impersonal buyer.
3. Yona Shtern, CEO of Beyond the Rack, stated that “Consumers have very different expectations of what they want you to be …. [at Beyond The Rack] we spent a lot of time figuring out who we needed to be.” Marketers need to build their media and marketing strategies around what customers want and where they spend their time.