5 Tips for Omnichannel Success

Feb 23, 2014 4:27 PM  By

A recent study conducted by the CMO Club and Visual IQ highlighted the challenges CMO’s are facing as they try to embrace omni-channel analysis of their marketing and branding initiatives.

The results were not surprising. Some 85% of CMOs say their efforts at implementing an omni-channel marketing strategy has been impeded due to the complexity of integrating the right tools, talent and data. It’s complex, perhaps even overwhelming for organizations to develop an analytical roadmap that will produce actionable insights.

[WHITE PAPER: Leveraging Data-Driven Consumer Insights to Optimize Omnichannel Engagement]

Drawing upon personal experience, as well as the study, I thought I would provide five tips to help you cut through the obstacles you are likely facing extracting actionable insights from you data.

Integrate CRM Data with Web Data
Sure, you can segment and drill down into web analytics data (search, social, email) but it is impossible to turn the findings from that exercise into actions that will have a great impact on your organization unless you can connect the web data back to individual customers. You’ll most likely have to conduct the data mash up of the web and CRM data in Excel or SQL. The effort, in terms of investing in BI tools and analytical and IT resources, will be well worth it though.

Apply a Robust Attribution Methodology
Let’s face it, First and Last-Click attribution just do not cut it anymore. A more sophisticated rules-based model is required for accurate attribution that accounts for the multiple customer touch points across all of channels and devices that it took to convert.
Each attribution model has its purpose and the key is to align the model with your business goals. For instance, first-click is not really a valid approach for attributing sales since you do not know what other channels may have attributed to the conversion. However, it does provide insight in to what channel drove brand awareness.

A good starting point for building an attribution model helping you understand how each channel is assisting the other in generating a conversion is to conduct a multi-channel funnel analysis.

Standardize KPIs across Marketing Channels
In order to accurately compare effectiveness of one marketing channel over another use the same measuring stick for all channels.

Consider your traffic metric as an example. Using different metrics to define traffic, such as Clicks for paid media and Page Views for earned media, will have you comparing oranges with apples.

Calculate an ROI for every conversion event
Once again, it requires effort up front, but consider the huge strategic value of having a ROI calculation associated with every one of your micro and macro marketing “conversions” which you can then use as a guide for where to apply your limited resources.

I am using the term “conversion” in a much broader context than what you may typically think of as a “conversion” event. Every visit to a product page, every video download, lead-gen form submission and act of adding a product to a shopping cart – as well as other events, are all “conversions”. And, I recommend that each of these events have a dollar value associated with it in order for you to get a clear picture of their impact on your bottom line. That value or proxy value
There is also a great deal of value in calculating the total cost associated with each conversion, including agency fees, media costs, creative costs and internal resources.

Focus on strategies and tactics that will impact bottom line
It’s unlikely that you can, or even want to, develop a strategy and implement tactics to support every insight uncovered in your data. Sifting through the all noise to find the nuggets becomes easier once you have an accurate view of attribution and ROI (Tip #2 and Tip #4) allowing you to focus on those actions which will have the greatest impact on your bottom line.

 

[TIP SHEET: How Nicole Miller Built its Omnichannel Strategy]

Some insights will lead to strategies and tactics that have the potential for making a huge scalable impact – such as making a change to the checkout process based on an analysis of your conversion funnel fallout. That systematic type of change effects all website traffic, regardless of the source and can really move the needle and the fix has the potential to reap real benefits.

Other insights may lead to a targeted strategy and tactics specific to a high margin, such as refining an email target. The point is that an accurate attribution and ROI information will allow you to get the biggest bang for your buck.

Effectively growing your brand, leads and sales requires having deep understanding of the customer journey, your ROI at the most granular level and your ability to be nimble enough to pull the levers that have the ability to move your organization forward.

Janice Smithers is a digital marketing analytic consultant/researcher.