Multichannel marketing means different things in different contexts but underpinning it are two key issues: integration and attribution. For some brands, consumers may already be ahead of you, engaging via different devices and platforms and waiting for you (or one of your competitors) to catch up with them. We were joined at the Figaro Digital Multichannel Marketing Seminar by experts from a range of digital agencies who explained how to keep communication clear, constant and consistent across all channels
Jamie Brighton, Strategic Marketing EMEA at Adobe Marketing Cloud: Reinventing Cross-channel Marketing with Adobe Campaign and Accor Hotels
The proliferation of devices and channels is making it harder to achieve a single view of the customer, says Jamie Brighton at Adobe. Companies with broad customer bases need contextually relevant strategies to reach those people.
For Jamie, multichannel means being able to communicate via all the available in and outbound routes so you can reach customers wherever they are. What multichannel doesn’t always entail – but should – is the ability to create a seamless conversation with consumers, whether they’re engaging with you online or on the phone to a call centre.
For Adobe’s client Accor hotels, achieving that single customer view has involved understanding how, where and when consumers use different devices and channels. Consistency and continuity of experience are the goals, says Jamie, and there are a number of elements that need to be in place. Deploy targeted segmentation. Visualise campaign orchestration. Undertake cross-channel execution. Introduce real-time interaction. And then make use of operational reporting. As with so much in the digital realm, notes Jamie, don’t expect there to be a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead concentrate on breaking down the silos.
Phil Worms, Group Marketing Director at iomart: How ‘Multi’ is Multichannel?
Data, as the saying goes, is the new oil, and Phil Worms at iomart presented some dizzying stats demonstrating just how big ‘big data’ really is.
In 2014, he says, the digital universe will equal 1.7 megabytes a minute for every person on Earth. To put that another way, if you were to take all the data created in 2013 and then save it onto a stack of tablets (individual capacity: 32 gigabytes; width: 0.29 inches) those laptops would reach halfway to the moon. By 2020, they’ll extend to the moon and back six times.
But crude numbers have no value until they’re refined into something marketers can use. About 22 per cent of all data generated is currently worthy of analysis, says Phil. We actually analyse about five per cent.
The ‘internet of things’ is only going to add weight to this data tsunami. “If you think you’ve got enough on your plate with Twitter, Facebook, managing email campaigns etc., imagine what’s it going to be like when we’re wearing shirts which measure your heart rate,” says Phil. (This, incidentally, is exactly how the NFL drafted its players this year.) “Or what it’ll be like when your fridge can provide information on how often you drink milk or buy cheese. Embedded devices like this are the future.”
Part of iomart’s job is operating data centres housing some of the enormous amount of information we use and generate every day. Phil’s advice on making sense of all that information is to make sure your data strategy is manageable.
This, he says means connecting the data you already manage; you don’t necessarily have to start afresh. Don’t dive into a campaign just because the format looks cool. Put the customer at the heart of what you do; over-communication can be as counterproductive as under-communication – or irrelevancy. And, notes Phil, when it comes to data, trust is key. New data protection laws are likely to be in place by October this year, but four of the top 10 data breaches of all time occurred in 2013. “The more we see large organisations being hacked,” he says, “the harder it’ll be for marketers to reach their customer base.”
Neil Kettleborough, CCO at Chalk Social: Attribution Modelling Without a Black Box
Attribution sits at the heart of multichannel marketing and Neil at Chalk Social presented a guide to the models and approaches available. Plenty of brands still stick with the last click model but there are other significant contributing factors that need to be taken into account. Problems in this field include multiple partners taking credit for a single conversion, programmatic ads not being seen and the advent of ‘last second’ ads. The solution? “Command, control, capture and clean”. That means tagging ads, landing pages, conversion pages and ‘thank you’ emails. Then apply conversion controls. That could mean skipping those ‘last second’ and unseen ads, and also navigational search when it’s the last action.
Alex Lockett, Director at Stream:20: Data-Driven Media in a Multichannel World
Alex at Stream:20 presented his thoughts on the specific role of data in a multichannel environment. He identifies programmatic media and big data as two of the most significant factors right now. The challenge is to prevent data from languishing in silos and instead using it to power cross-channel activity.
The aim of data, of course, is to help target individuals by anticipating their activity, given the behavioural information available. Alex’s key steps to achieving that objective begin with defining basic segments – those people who are relevant for a particular product or service. Start buying media within different channels. Then tailor your messaging: how do you communicate with consumers at different stages in the purchase funnel? Expand all your channels and then map them together using a data management platform.
“Fully automated, data-led multi-channel marketing with creative and media control isn’t quite there yet,” he says. “But in five years’ time every successful digital business will be marketing like this. It’s already usable and it’s becoming increasingly important.”