The Future is Poised to Bring More Cross Channel Marketing Campaigns

opinionThe following is a guest contributed post from Kym Reynolds, senior marketing advisor for SmartFocus. 

Your customers are engaging with your business across an increasing number of touchpoints – websites, social media, in-store, mobile and tablets. But regardless of how they engage, they expect a customised, personalized, and consistent experience.

The modern marketer must be able to drive contextually relevant customer experiences to understand a customer’s behavior across channels and action these immediately. It’s no longer good enough to simply send a one-off message or deliver inconsistent content: today’s campaigns must spark continuous cycles of interactions that build a foundation for long-term loyalty and engagement.

Cross-Channel Campaign Management (CCCM) describes a lifecycle of personalized content and interactions across any digital channel, fuelled by a 360-degree view of customer behavior and delivered in real-time. The CCCM market is evolving as more B2C marketing professionals build on their cross-channel capabilities to be able to deliver contextually relevant customer interactions. Vital capabilities to achieve CCCM include advanced analytics, real-time interaction management (RTIM), and digital channel delivery versus traditional marketing automation tools.

A good CCCM platform coordinates contextual customer experiences from one asset canvas delivered in real-time to any channel a customer is interacting in, or in their preferred channel at the right time, whether it be email, in-store, ecommerce, retargeting display, social or mobile.

The lines between CCCM and RTIM are blurring as marketers transition from executing scheduled campaigns to orchestrating contextually relevant interactions with individual customers.

The days are long gone when companies didn’t need to personalize and they could still be successful. Personalization in 2016 needs to go one step further. All marketing needs to be connected and feel the same across every channel and every message. Connected personalization enables a company to personalize every marketing message for a particular customer. So the email they receive or the website products they get recommended or the in-app message that pings on their phones should all be tailored to them and their preferences.

With customers now expecting this sort of joined up thinking, we are going to see it growing, as more companies find ways to make all their marketing messages highly personalized and homogenised.

One way to do this is by having an interconnected system powering all these marketing messages running in the background. This will lead to a single marketing view with every touch point a customer has with a company’s messages being highly personalized and targeted.

The next step is using the massive amounts of data that is collected by enabling next level proximity marketing, highly targeted in-store beacon messages and connecting all marketing channels together. This data can be used to leverage previous interactions, purchase history and current interactions to deliver real-time personalized one to one communication that will actually lead to an increase in sales. Segments of groups will now become singular segments and marketing will be targeted to the individual instead of to customers with similar profiles. The ability to gather large amounts of data will increase the level of communication that customers have with companies.

All of this will eventually lead to the connected consumer; the consumer that is so integrated into a business, who receives such highly targeted offers and messages, they will not shop anywhere else. These connected consumers will interact with businesses more and more through their phones, tablets and wearables.

It is going to be very important for companies to get all their marketing channels integrated and offer content to customers through the device and in the manner that they prefer instead of the other way around. The more integrated and connected a consumer is with a business, the more they will use their services and shop for their products and ultimately drive revenue. Nowadays if a customer doesn’t find a business or a retailer on their chosen device or if content is not offered in the manner they want, they will run to the open arms of the competition.

This year will be the year when companies use all their different avenues of marketing in the most targeted way to communicate the most relevant and powerful messages to their customers. This will include contextual emails, responsive websites, mobile marketing, social media, ambient proximity and big data to create the truly connected customer. By having a two-way conversation, companies will find they have engaged customers that are so integrated with a company’s products and services, they will be loyal brand ambassadors, being less likely to shop elsewhere and ultimately helping to increase sales and revenue.

In their new report The Forrester Wave: Cross-Channel Campaign Management, Q2 2016, The Message Cloud by SmartFocus has been named as a Strong Performer.  Download the report here.