How to Reach the Cross-channel Consumer This Holiday

Retailers have witnessed tremendous progress when it comes to mobile marketing and adoption, there are still two main challenges to overcome: Keeping pace with the growth of channels and devices, and breaking their mobile campaigns out of silos.

So how can marketers create a more favorable shopping experience for consumers this holiday season? Here are a few key tips marketers should keep in mind when it comes to creating a united cross-channel strategy for holiday retail success:

Examine your CMO/CIO relationship
According to the IBM State of Marketing Survey, 51% of respondents who identified their companies as high-performing indicated they have good relationships between marketing and IT. Technology is at the core of any successfully integrated marketing campaign and by working with the CIO’s team, marketers can ensure they’re selecting the right technologies and implementing them in the right way.

Additionally, the CIO can help manage third party vendors. Think fewer systems, less investment, quicker time to market. The CIO can help manage those third party vendors, ensuring all channels integrate seamlessly.

Keep mobile customers in-store
Mobile customers are just that, mobile. Consumers don’t just make purchases in the comfort of their own homes, they also bring their devices in store to price compare and learn more about their purchases. So make it easy for your customer to accomplish those things by giving them a mobile friendly website or letting them scan a QR code from your in-store display.

Let consumers get more information on the products they are browsing, which includes: more details, comparisons, reviews, instant purchase, or price comparison. Don’t limit what customers are able to do on your site, simply because they’re in your store – find a ways to connect digital with the in-store experience.

Be ready to deliver
To be fully integrated, you can’t forget your supply chain – it affects your ability to cater to your customers.

CMOs and supply chain executives need to partner on smarter commerce initiatives to ensure their companies can deliver on their brand promise and the brand experience customers are expecting.

Today’s connected customer is looking for the ability to buy online and pickup in-store, and, more recently, to buy online and have the product shipped to their home the same day. To meet these new demands, retailers need global inventory visibility to know what’s available where and strong inventory management capabilities that work across multiple locations to ensure the product can be shipped quickly and for the lowest cost possible. This will also ensure that one specific location isn’t overwhelmed with orders.

As a result marketing and the supply chain must be inextricably intertwined.

Jay Henderson is global strategy program director of IBM’s Enterprise Marketing Management Group.

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