With media channels constantly expanding and Americans more connected than ever, consumers can interact with brands whenever, wherever and however they want. For marketers, this can present a significant hurdle to telling a targeted brand story throughout the customer journey, but it’s a challenge that must be overcome. That’s because a strong, consistent and personalized story is the thread that holds any successful cross-channel strategy together.
The first step: Know your audience
While marketers already know a lot about their customers from their in-house data, they need third party insights to tell them how their customers think, what motivates them and what they do beyond the physical and virtual walls of their business. By integrating first and third party data from a trusted source, marketers can develop highly customized customer segmentations and gain vivid insights into key audiences through high-definition profiles. These audience profiles are a powerful and necessary resource for developing personalized messaging, contact and offer strategies—key components to any brand story.
Then, link that knowledge back to your customer data
In order to successfully leverage these insights to tell a seamless story across channels, marketers need to socialize them across the organization. That includes embedding the segments into other data that drives customer interaction. By modeling the segments back to a company’s customer records or a file of prospects, marketers can target a segment of consumers and engage them with a consistent message or story across relevant touch points, such as email, direct mail, customer service and more.
“By modeling segments back to a company’s customer records or a file of prospects, marketers can target a segment of consumers and engage them with a consistent message or story across relevant touchpoints, such as email, direct mail, customer service and more.”
Marketers can now also deliver a targeted story through channels outside of the traditional direct marketing ecosystem. For instance, there are growing inventories and partner choices for precise 1:1 targeting via digital ads, mobile and even addressable television. This means that marketers can communicate a personalized brand story in surround sound at all stages of the customer journey while also knowing, for certain, that their message is reaching the intended recipient. All the more reason to rally around a coordinated and targeted approach.
Of course, even if the data, processes and technology exist to get us closer to a sort of cross-channel marketing nirvana, there is still a lot of work for the marketer—work that includes developing relevant and meaningful content for each audience segment and, in many cases, working across teams that typically don’t work in concert. Despite the challenges, marketers need to embrace a personalized audience-centric approach that will empower them to tell a consistent brand story that is engaging and memorable across all relevant channels. As a reward, those who master the art of personalized storytelling can write their own (happy) ending.
For more on how Experian Marketing Services has worked with clients to develop and activate segments for cross-channel communications, our recent report, The greatest stories ever told: Superior storytelling through high-definition consumer profiles, dives deeper into the imperative for cohesive storytelling and how segment-driven, high-definition customer profiles help companies get personal.