Building a cross-channel roadmap – Part 2: The how

If you read Part 1: The why, published by Nancy Shaver last month, it should by now be clear that success in a multichannel world requires organizations to treat every customer touchpoint with the same respect and, further, to integrate those channels so that they can deliver a consistent customer experience across the organization. Anything less, and you risk alienating an increasingly fickle public that is in clear control of the buyer’s journey.

For organizations prepared to create a cross-channel roadmap, there are five distinct areas of focus that must be addressed:

1.    Big picture commitment

Cross-channel marketing is, in the words of Booz & Company, “fast becoming a strategic necessity.”  Strategic, of course, translates into a need for executive stewardship – i.e. the C-suite needs to be behind it.

Why? Because integrating multiple consumer touchpoints – as seamless and commonsensical as it sounds – requires foundation-rattling change across the entire organization. Meaning C-suite commitment is key to enterprise-wide adoption and success.

2.    Processes and success measures

The next phase of the process is to put in place the structures, practices, policies and tactics necessary to create and sustain a cross-channel program, and that means creating and embracing new data-driven metrics including:

  • Campaign measurement criteria for gauging effectiveness across multiple channels
  • Measures of success for internal staff to allocate credit to the right employees while still creating a superior customer experience
  • Meaningful data and analytics that are aligned with both business goals and customer value, and an important a part of the creative process

3.     Real-time customer insight

In a cross-channel world, there is a necessity to use actionable customer insight from any data source for strategy, planning and program performance. Cross-channel customer data requires harnessing information from all sources into a manageable framework, such as; customer demographics, attitudes, product affinities, web behavior, channel engagement and preference, loyalty behavior and more.

4.    Flexible technology

A single platform capable of capturing data from multiple touchpoints and using it to create, execute, manage and monitor multichannel marketing initiatives is the backbone to any cross-channel initiative. Over time this platform also enables its host to cut costs and improve performance by targeting the right message to the highest value targets along their desired channels. Real-time execution and response: Today’s ‘always-on’ consumer expects immediate, actionable engagement opportunities.

5.    Harnessing data and analytics

In an era characterized by ‘Big Data,’ the ability to intelligently capture, store, process and access accurate consumer data from multiple touchpoints will be increasingly important to all organizations. Sophisticated linkage technologies are the key to harnessing the tsunami of data, allowing it to be organized around the customer (and making it manageable for marketing decision making).

Rationalizing the flood of customer data allows intelligent allocation of marketing dollars and efforts for optimal business results. Cross-channel measures of effectiveness using advanced mathematics ensure that marketing budgets are aimed at not only the customer, but the customer most likely to engage and spend. Again, data and analytics move forward as trusted guides to the marketer.

For more detailed information on how you can start building your own cross-channel roadmap, download the full “Building a strategic cross-channel roadmap” white paper.