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Professionals new to marketing usually associate single channel marketing with traditional offline marketing and multi-channel marketing with social media. However, not only is this association incorrect but there’s much more to it. You may be wondering, what does it mean to have a multi-channel approach? How can you optimize your multi-channel strategy and multi-channel marketing campaigns?
Multi-channel marketing platforms are a technology aimed at enterprises that enable analytics, smooth data management, segmentation, and workflow tools to design, execute, and measure digital and offline marketing campaigns. This is the definition given by Forrester Consulting, a world leader in unbiased research and consulting, which refers to multichannel marketing as “cross-channel marketing” or “cross-channel campaign management (CCCM).”
According to Forrester, customer obsession in multichannel marketing is vital to give a superior customer experience (CX) and increase market share in the digital age.
What is the biggest “must-have” to achieve customer obsession? Each message must be hyper-personalized across every channel – and insight is the key to unlocking this untapped potential.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Mapp was nominated a Strong Performer in The Forrester Wave™: Cross-Channel Campaign Management (Independent Platforms), Q3 2021, scoring 5 out of 5 stars in 13 categories. In Forrester’s words, our top scores mean we provide superior capabilities compared to all other vendors.
In this blog post, we would like to guide you through cross-channel campaign management.
Facilitate customer understanding
Unify cross-channel orchestration
Innovate to produce moments-based customer experiences
Are you wondering what the Forrester Wave™ is?
The Forrester Wave™ is a buyers’ guide, helping to compare purchasing options in a technology marketplace. As an independent researcher, Forrester follows a publicly available methodology to offer an equitable process, which they apply consistently across all participating vendors. The thorough process includes:
RFP style questionnaire with over 200 questions
2-hour demo given to a senior analyst
Multichannel (or omnichannel) is the new standard, but is it enough to improve your brand and marketing?
No. Accurate, relevant first-party data must be collected and activated to then target consumers with campaigns on multiple channels. If first-party data is not used correctly, your customers would not be engaged with relevant, contextual touchpoints by your brand. This can be done with insight-led customer engagement.
Cross-channel campaign management enables you to improve the customer journey across every touchpoint and channel. It is adopted by savvy B2C marketing professionals to effectively put to work consumer and customer data bundled from diversified sources to deliver hyper-personalized and rich customer experiences. What is the benefit? Discovering and utilizing the most attractive channels for each user at the right time ensures they enter the sales funnel on the right track – the path to conversion.
Since Forrester recognizes Mapp as THE #1 INSIGHT-LED CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE PLATFORM, we would like to share some information on what insight-led customer experiences are.
When thinking about CCCM and multi-channel marketing, the best way to ensure hyper-personalized CX across every channel is to deliver insight-led customer experiences across different touchpoints. Mapp is the number one expert in doing so.
Mapp has continuously driven innovation, especially compared to other market solutions that enjoyed short-lived innovative flagship products, and accordingly, Forrester assigned 5/5 stars in Product Vision to Mapp.
When thinking about multi-channel marketing strategy and execution, insight-led customer experiences reverse the traditional marketing process of “data >> execution >> analytics” by putting insights into the center of attention: “data >> insights >> engagement.” This innovative process enables future-oriented marketers to go beyond traditional multi-channel marketing, which usually relies on analyzing data at the end. Using data-driven insights as the core is guaranteed to create a hyper-personalized CX across every marketing channel.
Hyper-personalization doesn’t stop in the digital marketing ecosystem. It also involves offline experiences and brand awareness optimization, even if you were to use just a single channel such as direct mail.
Therefore, always put insights at the center of attention when analyzing your target audience. An insight-driven approach applies to creating buyer personas, content marketing, designing your multichannel marketing strategy, and every other marketing function.
Insight-led customer experiences are fundamental now more than ever. Customer acquisition is getting more resource-intensive every day, and organizations are pressing for optimization. Moreover, as Gartner points out, marketing budgets in 2021, as a percentage of revenue, have reached the lowest level in recent history, falling from 11% to only 6.4%. Therefore, your marketing campaigns must be as efficient as possible, and your messaging needs to be precise across every channel.
Another point in favor of insight-led customer experiences was discovered by the study Mapp commissioned with Forrester earlier in 2021. After a rigorous series of interviews and surveys, the research found that 57% of CMOs consider the lack of skilled talent and know-how as their primary challenge. However, talent improvements provided the least success and enhanced customer insights the most. When thinking of multi-channel marketing, you should hence emphasize choosing the right customer data platform.
The Entertainer, UK’s largest independent high street toy retailer, with more than 170 stores worldwide, implemented the Mapp Cloud platform. Thanks to establishing insight-led customer experiences and with the help of our customer success team, they benefitted from a 100% YoY increase in revenue, improved customer identification by 1200%, and reached the ROI estimated for 24 months in just six months. Moreover, thanks to Mapp Cloud’s AI, The Entertainer accurately predicted which 10% of their customer base will shop during Black Friday.
Which investments paid off most when improving marketing campaigns?
Customer data management
Marketing performance measurement
Having said that, how is it possible to generate insight-led customer experiences?
To generate optimal insight-led customer experiences and to make sure that your brand and messaging reach your customers with the right message at the right time, you must consider the following points:
When investing in your Martech stack, make sure your cross-channel marketing platform has a transparent vision. Imagine committing to a contract for multiple years, teaching your whole marketing team how to use a platform for multi-channel marketing campaigns, and creating a marketing strategy based on the platforms’ capabilities. The more time invested in one platform, the higher the cost of switching platforms. Therefore, we recommend you commit to a multi-channel solution that continues to innovate and improve. In this way, you know that your vendor will always support your multi-channel marketing plan.
Another point to consider is that omnichannel marketing goes far beyond social media. Instead of maximizing the number of marketing channels, it should focus on the quality of the first-party data and foster an insight-driven approach.
It is essential to have supporting professional services, such as customer support and consulting, to harness a cross-channel campaign management platform’s full potential and develop a top marketing strategy across every channel. Those who help must be platform experts, so pay attention that your vendor offers enough support to you and your marketing team. Even more: consider the knowledge shared by the vendor to your team as a real asset for your company!
Artificial intelligence and machine learning go beyond marketing automation, especially in cross-channel marketing. Data can be overwhelming and difficult to act upon, especially when your marketing is executed across different channels. Indeed, one of the marketers’ most significant challenges when targeting their customers across multiple channels is that data is too complex or simply too much. Thus creating a detailed strategy for every scenario would be extremely time-intensive. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning allow you to receive insight on how to act precisely when needed, which customer segments you should target, and which channels are optimal. But above all, AI can predict your customers’ behavior and act upon these predictions in real-time.
You can, for example, set smart alerts to take automation to the next level. Your multi-channel platform will notify you when a significant change in the data occurs, so you don’t have to waste time in the tedious scanning and monitoring. Put that time into good use to identify why the changes occurred and improve your cross-channel marketing strategy and multi-channel campaigns.
The collection of customer data doesn’t stop after creating a single customer view. Correct strategic gathering, methodology, and modeling in collecting and interpreting data is essential to having an insight-driven approach, especially when omnichannel and multi-channel are involved.
“Businesses relying on data to make decisions are 58% more likely to beat their revenue goals compared to non-data driven companies.” Furthermore, “Data savvy businesses are 162% more likely to have significantly surpassed their revenue goals when compared to their “laggard” counterparts,” says CIODIVE, referring to a study run by Forrester, also stating that “Insight led businesses will grow 7-10x faster than the global economy.”
Pro tip: Cookies are crucial to gather precious first-party data from your prospects and customers, but what is the optimal way to use them while respecting the privacy of your website visitors and GDPR? Click this link to find out.
How are consumers behaving across different channels? When analyzing descriptive analytics, you want to have a straightforward yet easy way to act upon historical data for all the other channels involved in your marketing campaigns. It allows you to adjust and refine your strategy. We recommend working with intuitive dashboards that are easy to use by marketers themselves.
According to Gartner, data in the future will be handled not by just a few chosen people inside the company, but everyone, thus moving to a decentralized structure. We already see this data-driven approach spread across businesses. To enable every member of an organization to understand, interpret, and act upon insights, data must be displayed in a straightforward, simple, and actionable matter in user-friendly dashboards, especially when more than a channel is involved.
How is your marketing performing across each channel? What role do the different channels play in your marketing mix? Are you optimizing your blog posts, inbound marketing, landing pages, retargeting campaigns, and email marketing performance? Every marketer has to answer these questions when thinking about campaign management, and only insights can provide the answers. Adapting the right message to the right channel and optimizing your media spend is the key to increasing your reach.
If you integrate the power of data into your multichannel plan, you will undoubtedly have a competitive edge.
Are you losing margin due to coupons? Are you customers buying only with promos and discounts, or are they loyal “full price” VIP customers? What about your customer retention strategy? Nowadays, it is possible to provide the right offer to the right people to maximize customer loyalty or retarget potential customers, such as using smart coupons or saving budget by predicting which customers will buy without voucher or discount. Of course, it depends on your goals, but even special offers should be optimized, especially when your budget is limited.
Another great way of using automation in optimizing offers and promotions in your cross-channel campaigns is by sending web push notifications to customers close to one of your brick-and-mortar shops with the help of geo-targeting and geofencing. This strategy will optimize your marketing effort and multi-channel campaigns by combining online and offline in-store experiences. If this is not enough to convince you, web push notifications go beyond in-app communication since the customer doesn’t even have to download any app to receive them. Great customer-centric approach and customer service, right?
When assessing your multichannel approach, testing is crucial. Where did your money go? How is your marketing doing across each channel? What is the bottleneck of the customer journey? Use first-party data to analyze and optimize your marketing and email marketing campaigns. We are humans and fail, but first-party data and insights can prevent mistakes and avoid losing opportunities.
When selecting a vendor to support your cross-channel marketing, ensure it has a robust partner ecosystem. Agencies, resellers, strategic service providers, and technology partners will add value to your marketing initiatives. If you want to discover how an extensive partner network can help you reach your goals, check out the consulting partners associated with Mapp Cloud.
Businesses heavily rely on third-party integrations, especially when dealing with e-commerce and multiple channels for delivering their campaigns. Even if connectors are often a short-term fix, they do not offer a personalized solution. Usually, they require the business to adapt its omnichannel strategy to the standards of connectors. Savvy marketers know that this is not a practical solution and develop integrations instead. For this reason, your Martech stack must be connected through real-time APIs that allow the right level of flexibility and speed. Mapp integrates smoothly with other marketing technology, such as your CRM, DSP, eCommerce tools, loyalty programs, and so much more. You can discover our technology partners and integration capabilities here.
Email marketing is a crucial channel within your cross-channel marketing flows, with an estimated average ROI of 400%. You certainly want to do everything possible to optimize your email campaigns and click-throughs, especially in B2C and D2C, where segmentation can go much deeper than B2B. To be proficient, you deserve the best deliverability services to ensure your emails go in your customer’s inbox. Sender domains, IPs, engaged users, relevant content is only some aspects to consider while improving your deliverability. Moreover, a hyper-personalized experience will significantly increase the opt-in rate, so always consider an excellent customer data intelligence provider when upgrading your Martech stack.
When planning a cross-channel marketing campaign, you need precise and insightful first-party data for every channel you consider activating in your multi-channel marketing game to adopt the proper segmentation and maximize brand loyalty. Get started by letting real-time events be your triggers when creating a multichannel marketing campaign – one of the easiest tasks for Mapp’s whiteboard automation. As part of your marketing strategy, you can also design hyper-personalized and gamified brand loyalty programs. In addition to content, it is also helpful to count on Machine Learning tools to provide the best channel and timing for each customer to enhance overall performance.
Forrester gave 5/5 stars for superior performance to Mapp for each of these 13 categories. Now it may feel like we are bragging – but feel free to read the blog. See for yourself what multichannel platform will provide your audience with superior insight-led customer experiences by activating them with the right message at the right time.
Accordingly, Forrester stated:
“Mapp Cloud supplies marketers with insights to drive business outcomes. It differentiates with marketer-friendly analytics, AI-driven planning and orchestration, and comprehensive measurement and optimization capabilities aligned with business key performance indicators (KPIs). Mapp Cloud is a solid Cross-Channel Campaign Management platform for marketers that want to raise their game with customer insights. We spoke to references (all retailers) using its solution for an average of six channels, with plans to get to 10 each in the next two years.”
If you want to delight your customers through hyper-personalized customer experiences by using the full potential of every communication channel, insights are what you need.