Multichannel marketing in practice is hard and will become even more challenging to create delightful customer experiences across channels with a single brand identity without the right strategy and tools. While customers usually accept different levels of interaction across a growing number of channels and devices, they expect the overall experience to be one and the same. In a recent article, Deloitte pointed out that “Multi-channel customers are increasingly the most sophisticated, demanding and time-starved customers; they’re also among the most valuable… who often spend three-to-four times more on retail purchases than their single-channel counterparts.” So it is clear the hard work to attract and engage multichannel customers is well worth it, when done right.
The Keys to Effective Multichannel Marketing
One of marketing’s main missions is to attract and grow a vital customer base. With the growth of social media and proactive customers, brand perceptions are frequently influenced by customer interactions and the experiences they have with companies. Even well-crafted marketing campaigns can be undermined by too many poor customer experiences.
Multichannel marketers can greatly improve outcomes in 2012 by incorporating three insights into how they craft their strategies to achieve a single overall and high-quality experience for customers across all channels:
- Consistent, high-quality customer and brand experiences across all channels serve to achieve competitive differentiation.
- Superior customer experiences lead to revenue growth by increasing brand loyalty and the likelihood for repeat purchases and recommendations.
- Integrated marketing management platforms are essential for meeting the challenges of multichannel marketing and to derive a single view of the customer to craft consistent customer experiences.
1. Quality Customer Experiences Across All Channels
An integrated and consistent multichannel customer experience can provide competitive market differentiation for many companies. “One customer experience” is a top goal for many companies, but very few are currently able to deliver it:
When asked about their ability to deliver a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels, only 10% of the respondents in the e-tailing group’s 2011 Merchant Survey were confident that they could do so for their customers. Meanwhile, 46% of retailers are planning to implement programs that promote a seamless cross-channel experience by the end of 2012."
Marketers will have to take a broader view of the customer experience to orchestrate offers and interactions that will appeal to customers and that are appropriate for particular channels. Through analytics and marketing innovation, detailed and integrated customer experience strategies are designed to correspond to customer needs and market opportunities. These strategies are accompanied by integrated marketing programs and campaigns.
Multichannel marketers achieve goals by delivering customer experiences that create unforgettable moments for the brand. Strategies for customer experience excellence focus on the customer needs and wants while strengthening brand identity. Some of the best experiences of brands online have moved from selling products to selling experiences by enabling customers to “create” their own brand stories. Brand usage of social media provides a vibrant venue for customer experience story-telling, such as the Coach Mother’s Day invitation to customers to share “favorite memories of you, your Mom and Coach.” Coach enriched the overall experience by specifically inviting several fashion influencers to contribute their memories.
Source: Fashionably Marketing.Me
2. Top-Notch Experiences to Spur Year-Round Revenue Growth
A great deal of marketing focus falls on singular retail events like Cyber Monday: ComScore research shows that Cyber Monday 2011 reached $1.25 billion in online sales, an increase of 22% over 2010. It was also the highest online spending day in history. Obviously the main impetus for Cyber Monday is Holiday shopping. But it is equally obvious that marketers who focused on providing superior online customer and brand experiences likely drove a good deal of that Cyber Monday revenue. The flip side of the Cyber Monday success is the many horror stories all over the internet of customers who abandoned shopping carts and moved on to other vendors because an eTailer experience did not meet expectations or needs. The added risk for that eTailer is that the customer will not return.