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Why Effective Multi-Channel Marketing Requires Customer Intelligence

By Joe Cordo, CMO of Extraprise

Editor's note: this is the second in a two-part series. Read Part One here.

Joe_CordoLast week, we discussed how to tie mobile and social profiles to the customer lifecycle in order to deliver the right kind of marketing to customers and prospects regardless of the channel. Today, we take it one step further by discussing the role of personalization and how it can be applied across multiple channels.


By Joe Cordo, CMO of
Extraprise

Editor's note: this is the second in a two-part series. Read Part One here.

Joe_CordoLast week, we discussed how to tie mobile and social profiles to the customer lifecycle in order to deliver the right kind of marketing to customers and prospects regardless of the channel. Today, we take it one step further by discussing the role of personalization and how it can be applied across multiple channels. 

After all, true personalization goes far beyond the use of salutations in emails, SMS text or over social media. Personalization is about understanding buyer needs. Customer intelligence associated with buying behavior creates what marketers need to deliver on for a truly personalized buying experience over any channel, timeframe and customer lifecycle stage.

The challenge for the marketer is to create a complete customer profile that spans mobile and social customer user experience, online and offline interaction history, service experience and purchase history.

At the most basic level, there are two types of customer intelligence multi-channel marketers need to consider when leveraging buying behavior: account penetration (or in the B2C world, share of wallet) and market penetration. The former focuses on customer retention or brand loyalty, while the latter is critical to new customer acquisition. In each case, multi-channel marketers must take their organization’s business objectives into consideration, rather than assume that new customer acquisition and increased market share is the defining corporate goal.

There have been several instances where organizations have competed in mature markets, increasing market share marginally. But by formulating a specific strategy around account penetration or share-of-wallet, they have significantly grown their company’s top and bottom lines, fueling new sources of growth.

Applying customer intelligence to an account penetration strategy leveraging multi-channel marketing yields the following types of information that are critical in the mobile and social world:

- How many customers do I have, what do they look like, what have they purchased, where did they purchase it, who influenced them, and what is their purchasing behavior?
- For B2B customers, do we have Net Promoter Score data? What online communities do these buyers use and how are they influenced?
- What online conversations are taking place and how do they influence buyer behavior?
- Can location data demonstrate patterns of behavior?
- What is the measure and level of product and service saturation generally within your customer base and by specific customers?
- Are there correlations between customers who are low volume purchasers vs. the high volume ones? What can you learn from the latter to offer to the former to improve saturation?
- How can you tell from a contact’s interaction and, if appropriate, purchase history that the person may be ready to buy your company's offering or something like it?

Note a couple of key considerations in patterns emerging from the above questions and the intelligence that is implicit from them. First, customer service, sales history, online support communities, and user groups are all fruitful channels for a multi-channel marketing strategy to drive buying behavior. Given that these channels produce live interactions and that ample customer intelligence exists to create a message and drive an offer, optimizing revenue at the right time can become core to your multi-channel marketing to penetrate an account or acquire a customer.

Second, implicit in the above questions is the need to engage existing customers at every stage of the customer lifecycle. Indeed, existing customers can work their way through the customer lifecycle all over again, culminating in a new purchase, and in the process, solidify their brand loyalty based on their level of interaction with you. The buying behavior principles of account penetration carry over to multi-channel marketing for market penetration. In fact, building a data strategy around optimizing account and market penetration yields competitive advantage.

To drive multiple channels, marketers need to think and behave as multi-channel marketers. Thinking about outbound and inbound marketing does not drive a holistic multi-channel strategy, and reduces effectiveness. Marketers need to embrace the idea of their closed loop marketing and sales environment, replete with an interactive marketing hub, based on a marketing database, as the mechanism to publish and drive messages with the right offer, at the right time, and in the right places.

Using the interactive marketing hub enables marketers to drive campaigns that place the right social media buttons, for example, on the right landing pages or in the right messages for that particular buyer. The placement of social buttons or directing messages through a social media channel can even be personalized through matching content to clusters of customers.

Previously, we explored the idea of using location data via mobile in more personalized ways. In this instance, the conversation moves directly between buyer and seller. With each of the instances, whether through mobile or social media communications, the expectation is that the buying experience becomes conversational, and not only on the terms of the buyer, but also their extended influencer group, which can involve Facebook friends, LinkedIn contacts, or Twitter followers. To achieve this level of conversation, marketers must combine the use of an interactive marketing hub that drives the intimacy of the conversation, leveraging customer history, with the dynamics of mobile and social media conversation.

It’s this combination, which enables the marketer to publish the right message, at the right time, in the right place, to the right buyer.

Joe Cordo is CMO of Extraprise, a leader in right time revenue optimization for B2B and B2C enterprises, providing database marketing and demand generation services. For more information, contact the author at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit http://www.Extraprise.com.