Cross-Channel Marketing Best Practices

Campaign Marketing

What oth­er indus­tries can learn from the retail mar­ket
The retail sec­tor has been sub­ject to a huge change in recent years. It has long been insuf­fi­cient to only address cus­tomers online or in retail stores. Con­sumers today are out and about on many chan­nels and the cus­tomer jour­ney is no longer lin­ear or pre­dictable by brands. In addi­tion, they have almost unlim­it­ed access to prod­ucts, prod­uct infor­ma­tion, and reviews. Cus­tomers must there­fore be addressed on the right chan­nel, at the right time, with the right mes­sage or the right offer. Mobile chan­nels such as smart­phones, are of vital impor­tance nowa­days.

A study by Ipsos Medi­aCT and Ster­ling Brands has also shown that dig­i­tal cam­paigns have var­i­ous impacts. The do not only gen­er­ate direct rev­enue in e‑commerce, but also dri­ve foot traf­fic. In addi­tion, the impact of a cam­paign does not end at the front door of the busi­ness. 71 per­cent of the cus­tomers who use smart­phones to research in the shops believe that the smart­phone has become an impor­tant part of their expe­ri­ence, the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. Mobile devices are there­fore increas­ing­ly per­son­al shop­ping com­pan­ions. The retail mar­ket is rapid­ly adjust­ing to this devel­op­ment and the dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is already well advanced in this sec­tor.

It has been found that cross-chan­nel mar­ket­ing in the retail busi­ness is a strate­gic com­pet­i­tive advan­tage nowa­days. A study by Inter­na­tion­al Data Cor­po­ra­tion (IDC) brought to light, that cus­tomers who shop in stores as well as online are espe­cial­ly valu­able for a com­pa­ny. They stay loy­al to a brand 30 per­cent longer than the cus­tomers who exclu­sive­ly shop on one chan­nel.

Dig­i­tal Trans­for­ma­tion — Retail first, who’s next?

The Dig­i­tal Trans­for­ma­tion has fun­da­men­tal­ly changed the retail sec­tor through­out the last cou­ple of years. New busi­ness mod­els, pay­ment meth­ods as well as new ways to inter­act and stay in touch with cus­tomers, whether on- or offline, have occurred. What does this mean for oth­er indus­tries? In the recent study “Sur­vival through Dig­i­tal Lead­er­ship” Deloitte Dig­i­tal and Heads! assume that with­in the next three years the major­i­ty of ver­ti­cals will be cap­tured by the dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion. From con­sumer ori­ent­ed sec­tors like media, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and finance to ver­ti­cals such as man­u­fac­tur­ing, health­care and logis­tics. And the trans­for­ma­tion is not a cake­walk. It requires sub­stan­tial invest­ment, skilled staff and espe­cial­ly time. Between two and five years are esti­mat­ed for a dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion process.

Retail Best Prac­tice — Suc­cess fac­tors for Cross-Chan­nel Mar­ket­ing

So what can oth­er indus­tries learn from the dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion in retail busi­ness? First of all it is impor­tant to take the chang­ing con­sumer behav­ior into account. Com­pa­nies must rein­vent them­selves and devel­op mar­ket­ing strate­gies to bet­ter engage their cus­tomers in mean­ing­ful con­ver­sa­tions on any device, touch­point or chan­nel. Focus­ing on the cus­tomer life­cy­cle and main­tain­ing con­sis­ten­cy will result in bet­ter expe­ri­ences through­out the whole cus­tomer jour­ney. Sec­ond­ly to be able to deliv­er on these new strate­gies, Mar­keters require a full 360-degree view of the cus­tomer. For­rester believes that, these days, only 12 per­cent of busi­ness data is used for analy­sis. Cus­tomers want per­son­alised mes­sages and offers, they root for com­pa­nies to use data in a more inno­v­a­tive and per­son­al way. Lead­ing retail brand Sepho­ra for exam­ple is con­sol­i­dat­ing data from all touch points and assess­es the results in real-time. There­fore the brand is able to drill down into its mar­ket­ing data mart to com­pile sophis­ti­cat­ed seg­men­ta­tions using each customer’s unique trans­ac­tion­al his­to­ry gath­ered from var­i­ous inter­ac­tion points. And last but not least, to deliv­er mean­ing­ful and con­tex­tu­al expe­ri­ences, brands need to ensure that ini­tial­ly the right con­tent is cre­at­ed and that it is exe­cut­ed at the right time, on the right chan­nel. An inter­est­ing and inspir­ing con­tent as well as the opti­mi­sa­tion of each mes­sage for each device are essen­tial ingre­di­ents for a mean­ing­ful “cus­tomer expe­ri­ence”. Let’s take a look at a real-life exam­ple.

Exam­ple L’Occitane — The dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion has already paid off.

A brand that has set up ear­ly in cross-chan­nel mar­ket­ing is the cos­met­ics pro­duc­er L’Occitane. The com­pa­ny iden­ti­fied cus­tomer data as a main field for mar­ket­ing devel­op­ment. With Adobe Cam­paign the brand cre­at­ed a 360-degree view of its cus­tomers. This puts the com­pa­ny in the posi­tion to bet­ter coor­di­nate its online and offline mar­ket­ing and cre­ate more effec­tive and per­son­alised cam­paigns. Result is a one-to-one rela­tion­ship with each cus­tomer, opti­mis­ing every buy­ing expe­ri­ence and max­imis­ing life­time pur­chas­es.

L’Occitane case study

This com­pre­hen­sive view of each cus­tomer also includes cor­rect address­es, birth­days, pre­ferred com­mu­ni­ca­tion meth­ods, and much more. L’Occitane is now able to deliv­er best-in class cross-chan­nel mes­sag­ing, that coor­di­nates email, SMS, point of sale and direct mail with­in a sin­gle solu­tion. The com­pa­ny also relies on the solu­tion to man­age trans­ac­tion­al mes­sages, such as deliv­er­ing order con­fir­ma­tions after cus­tomers pur­chase prod­ucts. Across every touch­point of the cus­tomer life­cy­cle, L’Occitane cre­ates val­ue and inti­ma­cy. Every mes­sage, offer and inter­ac­tion occurs in the right con­text and through the ide­al chan­nel. If cus­tomers pre­fer the direct mail chan­nel for exam­ple, the brand would use this method of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. If not, Adobe Cam­paign would auto­mat­i­cal­ly send out an email.

So what are the ben­e­fits for L’Occitane in cross-chan­nel Mar­ket­ing? Enabling the brand to orches­trate cam­paigns on all rel­e­vant chan­nels and to make offers to cus­tomers on a local or region­al basis, result­ed in pos­i­tive returns. In Ger­many for exam­ple, mul­ti-buy­er pur­chase fre­quen­cy has increased by 18.5%. On a glob­al basis rev­enues from email cam­paigns increased by 40% in some coun­tries, while returns on direct-mail cam­paigns grow by as much as 4%. In gen­er­al, email out­reach is pay­ing off bet­ter than ever, with a dou­ble-dig­it increase in e‑commerce rev­enues through email per­son­al­i­sa­tion. So for L’Occitane, the dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion has already paid off.

Con­nect­ed Expe­ri­ences — Where the jour­ney is head­ing

In todays world, cus­tomers are always “on” and have high­er expec­ta­tions on per­son­alised, one-to-one dia­logues with brands than ever before. Mar­keters need to ensure rel­e­vant, con­sis­tent and effec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tions. In a con­nect­ed world this leads to the need to cre­ate con­nect­ed expe­ri­ences — con­tex­tu­al, high­ly rel­e­vant and in real-time.

A recent exam­ple of con­nect­ed expe­ri­ences is the Ama­zon “Dash” but­ton, which is ini­tial­ly avail­able for pre­mi­um cus­tomers in the US. The device will be attached to a house­hold device, like a wash­ing machine and is con­nect­ed to the Wi-Fi net­work and Ama­zon App. If an Ama­zon cus­tomer would run out of deter­gent for exam­ple, he or she would just push the dash but­ton to order. This real­ly leads to smart replen­ish­ment – when you need it, just push the but­ton.

In near future cus­tomers also expect entire­ly new shop­ping expe­ri­ences. With aug­ment­ed or vir­tu­al real­i­ty, there are many oppor­tu­ni­ties for retail­ers. Through cloud appli­ca­tions, in-store dis­plays or data glass­es, the cus­tomer will instan­ta­neous­ly be brought into the uni­verse of a brand: one might access a wider range of offer­ings or devel­op their own design, tai­lored to their needs.

As high­light­ed before the world of retail and e‑commerce has been rev­o­lu­tionised. And dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is chang­ing the game for many oth­er ver­ti­cals right now. With cross-chan­nel mar­ket­ing brands have the right approach to orches­trate bidi­rec­tion­al com­mu­ni­ca­tions through each avail­able chan­nel – whether this is email, web­site, SMS, direct mail, social media, mobile app, point of sale, call cen­ter, or emerg­ing chan­nels out of the Inter­net of Things. Mar­keters need to cre­ate expe­ri­ences through­out the whole cus­tomer life­cy­cle and each mes­sage and offer needs to be rel­e­vant, con­tex­tu­al and often in real-time. This ensures con­sis­ten­cy and engage­ment in a con­nect­ed world. Are you pre­pared for the dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion? And how does your cam­paign man­age­ment stack up?


Campaign Marketing
Timo Kohlberg

Posted on 08-15-2016

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