The Marketer s Guide To Building Multi-Channel Campaigns

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1 The Marketer s Guide To Building Multi-Channel Campaigns

2 Introduction Marketing is always changing. Currently there s a shift in the way we talk to customers and potential customers. Specifically, where we used to launch campaigns, which required sending hundreds, thousands (millions?) of messages to our audience, we now aim to deliver relevant, timely interactions that feel more like conversations and less like one-way megaphone marketing. we now aim to deliver relevant, timely interactions that feel more like conversations and less like one-way megaphone marketing. But that s not the only thing that s changing is set to be the year that multi-channel marketing really hits the mainstream. 1

3 What Is Multi-Channel Marketing? Multi-channel marketing is perhaps most easily defined as any marketing activity that spans all available consumer touchpoints, both in terms of outbound communications and the inbound signals that consumers send to the organization. Perhaps more importantly, it is a step beyond allowing the consumer to interact with the organization via multiple channels; it s about ensuring that all those channels work together, in a sensible, seamless manner. people want (and expect) to be treated in a way that feels relevant and conversational. Why it matters should be obvious: people want (and expect) to be treated in a way that feels relevant and conversational. What does that look like? Well, to give a simple example, it means ensuring that we don t send push notifications reminding a user to submit a hotel review on an app when she has already submitted one online. Delivering that seamless experience is difficult for sure, but with so many access points, it s more important than ever. The rise of mobile apps in particular has meant that consumers are interacting with brands across at least two channels (mobile app and web) and often more - including bricks and mortar stores. One simply cannot assume that customers are only interacting with us through a single channel - as was true only a couple of years ago. Note - this analysis is focused on mobile apps excluding games. Apps from all other verticals are considered in the analysis. 2

4 Getting Started With Multi-Channel Of course, multi-channel marketing can be a bit intimidating. It s a whole other level than campaign-building in a single channel. Even more daunting for the typical marketing professional some of the challenge is of a technical nature. But that s no reason to turn away. In fact, it just makes it more important to start today. multi-channel marketing, like anything that requires a degree of thought and effort, can be a critical source of competitive advantage. Those organizations that adopt these techniques early and effectively will be the winners of tomorrow. Potential customers will become true customers. And true customers will come to love them! Those organizations that adopt these techniques early and effectively will be the winners of tomorrow. So here's how to make it happen: 1 Conduct an Audit 4 Talk to People! 2 Think Data 5 Measure the Results 43 5 Segment and Target Let's look at those steps in detail... 3

5 1 CONDUCTING AN AUDIT Perhaps the best way to get started is to take a long hard look at your business from the consumers perspective. It is the best way of identifying how you can improve your customer s cross-channel experience and where it makes the most sense to start. An audit is as easy as 1-2-3: 1 2 First take some time to consider what common tasks and interactions consumers undertake. You don t necessarily have to guess - you can take a look at data from all channels or individual channels and identify typical workflows Next, get out there and test those workflows - as an anonymous user, of course. Make sure to attempt them across channels, not within a single channel. And take time to examine the marketing communications you receive (in all channels) during the process. 3 Last, consider and evaluate your experience. What worked? What didn t? Where could more have been done and when did you feel something that should have happened didn t happen. Note - this analysis is focused on mobile apps excluding games. Apps from all other verticals are considered in the analysis. 4

6 2 THINK DATA There s no escaping the fact that smart marketing requires we know as much as possible about our customers (and potential customers). That s doubly true of multi-channel marketing. Indeed, it could be argued that it s the whole point. Certainly before we start to deliver communications and conversations that span the whole multi-channel environment, we need to be sure we are collecting and aggregating all the data that matters. Systems of Record and Multi-Channel Marketing Many organizations have a central system of record, accessible (admittedly with a certain amount of effort) by all other relevant platforms and the teams who use them. That s fine as far as it goes, but multi-channel marketing demands more. Specifically, while these systems often store information on key financial events such as purchases or transactions of whatever kind, they usually fall short when it comes to user behavior. That data is often siloed in each channel (think in terms of the information stored in a web analytics tool relating to site visits, pages visited, etc). To build an multi-channel marketing program, you ll need to un-silo this data to ensure each channel knows what the other is doing. Note - this analysis is focused on mobile apps excluding games. Apps from all other verticals are considered in the analysis. 5

7 That will mean looking at... Web data Mobile app data The online world still matters. You ll want to know what pages users are visiting, how long they are staying, and whether they are viewing particular items. If relevant, you ll most definitely want to know what s in the basket - or what was. Mobile is now just as, if not more, important than the traditional web. You ll be looking for the same kind of data as you did with the online world, including the areas and pages of the app that users visited most and least often. Communications data Whether s in the online world or push notifications and in-app messages on mobile, it s important to know who received what, and, perhaps more importantly, how they responded (or if they even saw the message). Real-world store data This can include (thanks to ibeacons and other similar technology) data equivalent to that collected online and on mobile: what stores and areas of stores were visited and when, in addition to location information relating to purchases themselves. Phone and chat data If you ve got a support desk, you want to make sure all consumer interactions that take place there are available to your other channels. multi-channel marketing relies on it! 6

8 3 SEGMENTS & TARGETS Once you ve pulled your data together, you re ready to think about building your multi-channel marketing campaigns. We re using the concept of segments, and indeed campaigns, advisedly here, because the truth is that multi-channel marketing should aspire to the level of 1-to-1 conversation. Your programs should have a natural feel that make consumers feel the contact is relevant, helpful, and engaging. However, we have to start somewhere and there s nothing wrong with looking first at what is most achievable. So in that spirit, after integrating data from multiple sources, it s time to segment based on your integrated data. This isn t necessarily something that is done as a once-off activity. Rather, it s best thought of as something that should happen on a per-campaign basis. 7

9 To give a concrete example, let s imagine you re sending a push notification on mobile to users who have looked at a particular men s suit recently. You can of course simply send the push notification to the people who searched on their mobile app. But that s just one segment. In an multi-channel marketing world, you can send a push notification to anyone who s searched on mobile, web or even browsed the men s suits in-store. That s the initial difference of multi-channel marketing. But it doesn t stop there. For one thing, there is almost no limit to the sophistication of the segments you can create once you master the full scope of the data collected or shared in an multi-channel marketing universe. With a little elbow grease, you ll have huge amounts of both behavioral and demographic data across multiple channels all working together. In addition, there is a greater array of ways to communicate with those ultra-granular groups of individuals, and an almost infinite number of ways that these communications can be brought together into single campaigns. And that s where the real power of multi-channel marketing lies. 8

10 4 TALKING TO PEOPLE In its simplest form, that s what marketers want to do. And it s what works. At the heart of multi-channel marketing is nothing more complex than the age old desire to say the right thing to the right person at the right time. It may occur naturally when people converse, but it s the holy grail of marketing technology. Multi-channel marketing delivers. The multi-channel marketing approach puts all possible ways of reaching the user in one place, and enables you to do so based on a true 360 view of the consumer. The multi-channel marketing approach puts all possible ways of reaching the user in one place 9

11 Your communications should ultimately include: Push notifications Still going strong all these years later. Users still expect - and respect - well targeted and relevant campaigns. And is, of course, still the most persistent way to send messages your customers will keep (and can retrieve). In some ways the mobile equivalent of , push notifications are about more than bringing back lapsed customers. To give one example - how about a push notifying in-store customers that complementary products to the ones they ve already purchased online are available in-store today? In-app messages Native content Like online messages but for mobile! An ideal way to talk to users, informed by their experience anywhere else in the organization, when they are right there in the app. Don t make the mistake of assuming that multi-channel marketing means only traditional campaigns. You can create content and experiences for specific user types and serve them up as appropriate in both the mobile app and online. Consider it as simple personalization and optimization. Offline communications Online messages It s vital to remember that traditional communication channels such as direct mail and phone should also be informed by the data and segmentation that goes into an multi-channel marketing program. Aside from anything else, the traditional communications are often the single best way to get a message across. If a user browsed a particular item on your app, let them know it s available at a discount next time they visit your website with an online message! 10

12 Four Tips on Building Effective Campaigns It isn t the intention of this whitepaper to go deep into all the myriad of ways in which multi-channel marketing campaigns can and should be built. But some basic advice might help get your program off to the right start. Here are four ways to make that happen: different techniques are useful for different purposes. To confirm a purchase (whether online or on mobile), send an . 1 Unless otherwise necessary, stick to what users like. Part of the beauty of the multi-channel approach is the ability to use multiple communication channels. But all other things being equal, campaigns should be delivered in the channels users prefer to interact with. So send push campaigns to heavy mobile app users, for example. That said, it is also possible to determine which campaign types users (from whichever channel) respond to. If your app user always responds to and never to push, use that information to your advantage. 2 Use channels for what they are good at. Always take into account rule 1: different techniques are useful for different purposes. To confirm a purchase (whether online or on mobile), send an . It s what users expect. To inform someone of a time-limited offer, send a push notification. Even if that offer relates to something on sale in a physical store. 11

13 3 4 Don t be afraid to link channels within single campaigns. In fact, this is almost the whole point of taking the multi-channel marketing approach. Consider the example above, if the in-store push notification results in a purchase being made, there s no issue with sending an to that customer to confirm the purchase. If a user puts an item in a shopping basket online, by all means let them know about a price drop via push notification if that makes sense. Mix and match. Test! Ultimately, there s no real guide to what works and what doesn t other than real user data. Every aspect of your multi-channel marketing program should be tested to the point of exhaustion. That means every campaign, in every channel, and indeed the combinations of touches that are integrated in long-term campaigns. Don t forget it s not just about the content of messages. It s also about which channel is right, which audience is right, and the timing of your campaigns. Don t forget it s not just about the content of messages. It s also about which channel is right, which audience is right, and the timing of your campaigns. 12

14 5 MEASURE THE RESULTS It s a given that you need to measure and track the effectiveness of your activity. But that can be harder to do in the multi-channel marketing sphere than marketers are used to. While traditionally marketers have worked with single channel tools that have little difficulty attributing ROI, it can be harder to evaluate success when what is done in one channel delivers different results in another. However, if you ve integrated correctly in terms of your data, the challenge is not insurmountable. You simply need to ensure that the metrics that matter to you are tracked back to the specific campaign, no matter what channel they occur in. Remember, this isn t just about revenue (which would be relatively easy to track). It is also about engagement, retention, and getting customers to perform actions that matter to you. If that is the case, you need to be careful to ensure you measure those metrics across all channels. In other words, it s necessary to ensure that if you re measuring engagement as a result of a push notification, for example, you are also looking at time on-site in addition to time in app. That way, the multi-channel approach can deliver the results you really want to see. 13

15 Grow your mobile business with Swrve The Swrve Mobile Engagement Platform is designed for digital marketers who are focused on transforming the way brands connect and interact with customers in an increasingly mobile-centric world. visit us at swrve.com Follow us! https://www.linkedin.com/company/swrve Understanding how to engage users quickly and maximize revenue is a core competence of Swrve s, and recognized by our partners - including Sony, Travelex, The Guardian, Condé Nast, Warner Brothers and Microsoft. Swrve customers have delivered more than one billion mobile messages, and every single day the Swrve platform processes over six billion events. https://www.facebook.com/swrveinc SwrveTV San Francisco New York London Dublin Prague

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