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Guest Column: Leveraging Data in an Omnichannel World: Stacey Hawes, President, Data Practice, Epsilon

Guest Column: Leveraging Data in an Omnichannel World: Stacey Hawes, President, Data Practice, Epsilon

Author | Stacey Hawes | Monday, Jul 03,2017 8:30 AM

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Guest Column: Leveraging Data in an Omnichannel World: Stacey Hawes, President, Data Practice, Epsilon

There are many mediums for consuming and receiving content – from smartphones to TVs and computers – and consumers are always switching between them. For marketers, these are all viable methods of sending a brand message to your target consumer. Data is everywhere, and any small interaction by a consumer is an opening to enrich the consumer’s ad experience and produce a personalised marketing touchpoint. As marketing moves away from mass, push-based messaging, and towards more personalised, 1:1 communication with consumers, the power and potential of data-driven marketing is clear.But the real challenge is finding a way to effectively utilise data across channels.

Omnichannel is an extremely misunderstood term and many businesses don’t even know where to begin. To start, Data needs to be carefully combed through to create an audience for each marketing campaign based on the objective of the campaign. While building a target audience, the data being used needs to show the entire customer portrait. It’s important to be able to reach the selected consumers the same way across all the channels to ensure consistency. If targeting strategies are inaccurate, the consumer will have an inconsistent experience with the brand.

Something that must be discerned is a consumer’s choice of channel.  Once you start to understand each consumer on a deeper level, you can fully use the data available to know a consumer’s’ preferred channel of communication. With an influx of data from new technologies, marketing practitioners have the opportunity to determine the right message to send out to the right audience, and scrap messages that may not be performing well. Some marketers become so focused on one platform, channel or conversion metric, that they often miss this bigger picture. All channels deserve expertly crafted content tailored to the medium, for example, start by considering audience marketing and which channels are best at meeting certain objectives.

The modern customer journey is increasingly and simultaneously taking place both online and offline. A buyer may notice something at a local store, then check for the product online and purchase it. To keep cross-channel consumers satisfied today brands must allow them to pick up from where they left off, no matter where they are in the purchase process. Another interesting challenge associated with modern, omnichannel marketing is sending the right message out through the appropriate channel and developing content that makes sense for each segment of the audience. Millennials might opt to engage with brands on Instagram while an older audience may prefer email communication or even the directmail approach.

Using data to determine the best audience and the channels will help you reach your marketing goals. Data from partners can be used for insights, audience selection and activation across channels. 62 per cent of marketers currently have or plan to implement an omnichannel strategy, and 70 per cent view omnichannel marketing as important or very important. That being said, there is still a lot that needs to be discovered when activating data across all channels.

(The author is President, Data Practice, Epsilon)

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com

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