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Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The omnichannel imperative to win today’s consumer

By Zachary King, Vice President, Commercial (Asia), MediaMath

Marketing has long shifted from siloes defined by media channels to an approach that puts the consumer first. It is a long-term investment that requires time and resources to better understand consumer behaviour and needs. If done well, the returns are happy and loyal customers with vastly more efficient media spends. The right message, to the right customer, at the right time has long been the holy grail of consumer-first marketing.

It is no secret that customer-centric marketing is the key to unlocking, enhancing, and retaining a relationship with customers. A recent Walker study found that customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020. Customer retention, especially, is crucial as 80% of a company’s profits will come from 20% of one’s existing clientele.

However, in a dynamic marketplace where customer tastes and preferences are constantly evolving, what is the best approach to omnichannel execution? In this article, Zachary King, Vice President, Commercial (Asia), MediaMath, discusses why businesses must develop an omnichannel approach using a unified and integrated solution that will better align on customer needs and experiences.



Data talks

Delivering a tailored experience first requires marketers to have a holistic understanding of the habits of their consumers, across all channels. To gain insights into customer behaviour, preferences, and decision-making patterns, marketers can look towards the massive potential of data, including proprietary data and predictive analytics. Insights garnered from the data can then be segmented, analysed, and stored in an ecosystem (preferably on a single platform) that allows marketers to send relevant ads in real-time, across all relevant channels.

Zachary King, Vice President, Commercial (Asia), MediaMath

Consumer-centric marketing is made possible as this data provides a comprehensive 360-degree outlook on the consumers, giving marketers the ability to convey messages that are truly relevant. Integrating this data into an omnichannel demand-side platform (DSP) will enable businesses to leverage these insights to deliver more effective and efficient media campaigns.

An omnichannel approach pushes marketers toward the ultimate goal of enabling personalised relationships and making every marketing interaction relevant for their current customers and prospects. From sneak previews on a business mobile application to checking out sizing and availability at a physical store, omnichannel marketing creates a holistic and seamless experience for consumers.

Customers become fans

Multichannel marketing, though traditionally effective, is no longer relevant as consumers are looking for a seamless series of interactions with a brand. With the current experience for the consumer akin to an infinite loop, it is becoming more essential than before to keep them engaged as they look to shop on multiple channels, at the same time.

To achieve customer-centric marketing, marketers must look for a unified solution to create such a loop for consumers. By controlling aspects such as frequency of ads seen across multiple devices and channels, sequential messaging and activity-based messaging, the customer journey can be directed and controlled through the sales funnel, even though this is no longer recognised as a linear journey. For example, a video ad can be great for brand awareness and then followed up with a compelling display ad to shift a customer’s mindset from mere discovery to awareness. In such ways, the omnichannel loop continuously engages customers by utilising a customer’s data to drive relevant interactions. They then keep coming back for more.

A win-win solution

An omnichannel solution optimises spending both within and across a businesses’ media mix, in tune with ongoing performance. In fact, we saw MediaCrossing, a digital media agency focusing on data-driven digital media management, enabling such an efficient optimisation of resources that cost per action (CPA) for one of their brands fell by nearly 75% while conversion rates for another increased by 348%. Together with performance intelligence, an omnichannel approach maximises the return on investments (ROI) for businesses and leaves them with happier, more engaged customers.

Additionally, an integrated platform allows marketers to manage addressable channels from a single platform with a single log-in. By using dynamic budget allocation across the entire digital spend, brands can ensure that they are maximising their media spend fully, while simplifying workflow and business processes. This is a fundamental shift in the approach to marketing, moving away from media channel-based decision-making, to real world business challenge problem solving, in real time.

Ultimately, it is imperative for brands to be where the consumer is and deliver what they desire to see. An omnichannel approach is required for a shift to consumer-centric marketing as it enables a single view of customers, providing an integrated, holistic experience for both marketers and consumers alike.

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