The Five Keys to Successful Integrated Marketing If you take a deeper look at “multichannel marketing,” you’ll quickly find that most companies are really acting as “multiple channel” merchants, says Casey K. Carey, director of data solutions marketing for New York-based data and technology solutions provider DoubleClick. That is, most have added an additional channel, primarily a Website, that is organized and operated in an independent manner. True integrated multichannel marketing is quite different from this multiple-channel approach. To achieve successful multichannel marketing integration, Carey says, you need to home in on five key areas:
1) Strategic focus. Successful multichannel marketing requires a significant shift in strategic focus. “Marketers must build upon the traditional approaches of campaign success and profitability within a channel to a broader, more customer-centric strategy,” Carey says. This customer-centric strategy is based on growth of customer share of wallet within the category, as well as overall customer profitability. Customer metrics such as cost of acquisition by channel, retention rates, and total lifetime value become the key measures of strategic success.
2) Data infrastructure. The cornerstone of a data infrastructure that supports effective multichannel marketing, according to Carey, are data privacy and usage policies: “Marketers should view data capture and usage as a strategic enabler rather than a costly compliance issue.” To that end, you should design and publish consistent policies across all points of interaction to encourage successful capture of data across channels.
3) Customer segmentation. “Leveraging your enriched data infrastructure and a total view of your customer’s activities,” says Carey, “RFM [recency/frequency/monetary value] and affinity remain the most important customer segment attributes.” But nowadays they’re not enough for effective multichannel marketing. Tracking the source and associated cost of each new customer, for instance, is critical. “The channel in which a customer is acquired can ultimately impact their affinity to other marketing offers, additional purchase propensity, and overall loyalty,” Carey says. In addition, marketers should enhance customer segmentation strategies to include promotion and response history data indicating in which channel each customer segment is most responsive, as well as each segment’s preferred channel. And marketers will need to develop an understanding of the total lifetime value of customers across all channels.
4) Contact strategies. Successful multichannel marketers focus on testing and developing integrated customer contact strategies appropriate for the various segments of their customer base. They are answering questions such as: * How do you treat heavy catalog and direct mail responders differently than Website-only buyers? * When integrating e-mail and direct mail, does the incremental response offset the additional expense? * What is the best contact strategy for multichannel multibuyers? * Will other formats such as postcards and solos work for some segments or in tandem with e-mail or outbound telemarketing?
5) Testing and measurement. The traditional “siloed” analysis is no longer a viable option, Carey says: “Dramatically different results can be realized across prospect sources and segments when all responses across channels are factored into the campaign performance – as much as 200% in extreme cases. Effective measurement hinges on the marketer’s ability to capture transactions and appropriately allocate them to the efforts that drove the response using a combination of methods.”