Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Customer Experience #2 - Cross Channel Marketing


In the previous article I uncovered some high-level facts about marketing, but in this article I would like to focus on Cross/Omni/Multi Channel Marketing. I will explain the key features and thought processes digital marketers are innovating in this new digital age to create a seamless customer experience. Before I get into the vast amount of information explaining the importance of Cross Channel Marketing I want to share with you some statistics:

  • 86% of consumers will pay for a better Customer Experience.
  • 1% feel their expectations are actually being met.
  • 89% of consumers switched to a competitor after a poor experience.

When I first saw these stats I was shocked since there are thousands of applications all aimed at improving Customer Experience. So what is happening here? I believe that even though there are numerous amounts of solutions out there, not all of them work together properly and don't provide consistent messaging across all channels.

"78% of customers don't receive consistent experience across channels" - Accenture

The rift between digital and offline interactions

Since the birth of the internet, users who entered websites were only seen as an IP address and nothing more. The real interaction with the customer would have only been via direct marketing, road shows, in store etc. Thus the only information or view of the customer would have been from offline/physical interactions. Now, we are able to combine mobile devices, websites, desktops, events and brick and mortar into one seamless experience. A once fragmented customer view or IP address can now be combined to create a proper customer profile.

I will now run through a quick customer journey which can be accomplished through marketing:

  1. Jane, 28 years old, single, lives in the Eastern Suburbs of NSW, Australia - went on Google and clicked on a website, Peaches (fake company) for a new dress.
  2. The Peaches website shows her all the lovely types of clothes she can purchase, so she creates a cart and fills it with her chosen dresses.
  3. 3. After making her account she decides to actually abandon the cart and go in store to check the clothes to make sure it suits her.
  4. Jane then downloads the Peaches app and links it to her account to keep track of the dresses she liked online.
  5. When Jane reaches the store a sales assistant is prompted about Jane's recent activity online and immediately introduces themselves to Jane, leads her to the dresses she was looking for and voila, a seamless customer experience!

Seems easy enough, right? The process may look easy but in most cases they don't work like the example above. There are many reasons why this doesn't actually work and they could possibly be:

  • Bad use of data
  • Applications are not integrated, or no applications at all
  • Marketing messages are disjointed and offer different view points
  • Customer is not involved and not given freedom to have the same experience on any device
  • Disparity between offline and online channels

For all this to work seamlessly there needs to be a lot of work in the back end to ensure that customer experience is executed properly. The company must now be able to build a customer experience which is easy, simple and gets the job done no matter what channel/device is being used. However, above all, the experience will also need to be personable and tailored to each specific customer segment/profile. All of this does point to one important feature of marketing, cross-channel marketing, but what lies behind that is actually data. Data is a whole entire topic which will be covered in my next article. However, it's important to note that only 11% of marketers have high confidence in the audience they're targeting according to Nielsen reports.

How can companies attract and develop new business through CX?

I believe there are 6 steps to success in building a great B2B/B2C Customer Experience and they are:

  1. Use your intellectual property to build engagement & generate demand.
  2. Start tracking at an individual level what your visitors/prospects/clients are interested in.
  3. Build simple lead nurture journeys to keep your brand top of mind.
  4. Score & prioritise who of your marketing database show intent to purchase.
  5. Automate & manage your offline activities as much as possible.
  6. Measure the success (or failure) of your activities & look to improve.

By achieving one, a few or even all of these will result in better efficiency by automating tasks that would have taken days and weeks into just hours and even minutes.

Marketers, Professionals and Sales Teams can utilise their time more efficiently therefore spending time on understanding ROI from a single source of truth.

Marketers are then able to move from a cost centre, to a revenue generating business function which is easily recognised and quantifiable by:

  • Increasing the amount of leads sent to sales teams
  • Reducing lead conversion times
  • Increase in revenue attributed to marketing
  • Quantify and deduce the actual contribution of marketing to business revenue
  • Improving time efficiency of executing and analysis of marketing initiatives

By addressing marketing's KPI's and innovating a new path of recognisable revenue for a company, the marketer now has more responsibility but has become an essential and important business function with a proven track record. By being able to accomplish these key aspects, the company can keep their brand top of mind with their customers. Not every prospect is ready to buy now, but it's important to keep on top of where the buyer is in their buying stage. Thus, capturing this data is extremely important because every buyer/customer profile will react to certain campaigns differently and expect it to be personally tailored. Data is a whole topic in itself so I will be releasing #3 in my series next week to go through the importance of Data Management.

Let me know what you think about Cross-Channel marketing and how it has effected your role/company.

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