Shoppers’ habits are changing, as modern technology has given them more ways than ever to purchase goods. While marketers are able to interact with consumers in new and interesting ways, the diversification of channels has made the job exponentially more difficult.
Marketers are asking themselves: What’s the best way to target potential customers? What channel should I communicate through? Is the goal to bring consumers into the physical store, or is it best to draw them to other ways of shopping — using their computers, tablets or mobile phones?
Increasingly, marketers are forced to listen more and better understand the consumer to gain those preferences. A one-size-fits-all policy for marketing communications no longer applies. Marketers must find out which channels the consumer prefers for receiving messages, which channels they prefer for shopping and which messages they prefer to receive.
Manu De Ros, a marketing expert at Selligent, believes that technological innovation has forced this new challenge for marketers into the spotlight.
“Consumers increasingly embrace digital technologies and devices in all stages of their buying journey. Digital is integrated with offline shopping behavior, and retailers are being advised they should look at omni-channel retailing,” De Ros explained. “While omni-channel retailing is still relatively new for most retailers, it gets more attention as consumer behavior keeps changing and retailers gain a single-customer view, integrating customer and shopping data with behavioral profiling, preferences, etc.”
This new concept of cohesive, interactive channels is moving to the forefront. Although it has been around for only a few years, the majority of marketers say they engage in some form of cross-channel marketing. However, to make the most of cross-channel marketing efforts, companies need to adopt a few innovative strategies that will help them better meet consumer needs.
First, companies must look to personalize their marketing strategies. Marketers need to better utilize the data contained within their system and what they get from third parties to model information and figure out what a consumer prefers and their buying habits. That intelligence leads to a better customer experience and differentiates the business from the competition.
Another tactic is to integrate customer reviews. People are always posting comments, positive and negative alike, about their shopping experiences. Companies can mine this information and incorporate it into their future plans, using it to better target their marketing practice next time.
Finally, marketers can narrow down the information they use. Having as much data as possible no longer makes sense; marketers need to find data elements that can drive meaningful insight, rather than just gathering as much detail as possible.
Better leveraging data is the foundation of any cross-channel marketing strategy. Without accurate and well-coordinated insight, marketers are left unable to drive the intelligence needed for targeted messaging, cross-channel collaboration and channel preferences.
To learn more about better driving insight from data, listen to the Experian Data Quality webinar “Creating actionable insights through data”.