It’s only a matter of time before omnichannel marketing is the status quo. In a world where mobile tech abounds, and people move between devices and channels without a thought, marketing just won’t work unless it’s as omnichannel as the people it tries to connect with.
We sat down with an omnichannel master to better understand how to create a successful omnichannel experience. Check out our Q&A with Rupen Shah, Head of ISV Alliances Program for Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
Q. What brands do you think are doing great omnichannel marketing right now?
A. Room & Board and L’Oreal are great examples of brands embracing omnichannel marketing from their use of emails, mobile, social, and in-store engagements. For example, Room & Board, a furniture company with an online and physical store presence, uses predictive intelligence to create a unique one-to-one customer experience by making smart product recommendations based on their online visitors’ wish lists.
L’Oreal, has taken an extensive omnichannel approach by connecting with consumers across channels and giving them the feel of personal assistance. L’Oreal has several mobile apps and a website that helps consumers do everything from finding the right product to getting suggestions to purchasing products.
Q. Why do you think most marketers aren’t thinking about offline conversions like phone calls?
A. Marketers don’t think of phone calls for several reasons. First, marketers may not understand how they can scale a high touch method for engagement using phone calls. Second, marketers may put phone calls in the same category as something like direct mail, as in it’s an older channel that falls short of today’s digital standards for efficiency, automation, and measurability.
The truth is that companies like Invoca have brought the same level of visibility and automation to phone calls that digital marketers have come to expect. The phone is a very familiar and comfortable way for many audiences to engage, and brands need to reimagine what’s possible with these traditional channels and how they can incorporate them into their omnichannel strategies.
Q. When creating an omnichannel marketing strategy, where do marketers begin?
A. It varies from one marketer or company to another. For some marketers, it might make sense to start with one channel and then add on other channels as part of their strategy. Other marketers may be looking to start fresh or bring together various areas of marketing together to automate into a holistic strategy.
What marketers need to keep in mind as they begin building an omnichannel strategy is that each customer wants personalization. Customers take various journeys, but they need to have a positive and engaging experience regardless of the stage or channel of their journey.
Q. What is the most important data marketers need in omnichannel marketing?
A. Marketers need to build a single view of the customer, and this is challenging since data comes from online web activity, mobile activity, social activity, phone calls, etc. All these interactions and moments need to be captured and analyzed to be effective marketers. This is one of the reasons why marketing will be one of the largest budgets for companies since the lines of the customer blur from sales, customer service, and marketing engagement.
Q. How do consumers expect their experience with a brand to be personalized?
A. At the very least, consumers want to be addressed by their name and be treated like a human. In other words, consumers want brands to hear them if they are unhappy or in the mode of buying something new. They want all those touch points to be connected so they are well known to the brand.
Q. What do you think is the biggest challenge of true omnichannel marketing?
A. There are many challenges for omnichannel marketing. First, I believe the term “omnichannel” needs to drop over time and just become “marketing” as what marketers are doing. Silos will need to merge, and while technology will help consolidate marketing data and efforts, there must be a cultural shift and awareness among marketers to unify all marketing efforts and goals and cross the lines of departments. Consumers are more empowered than ever and are connecting with brands in a whole new way. Data without context, siloed channels and departments, and one-dimensional customer views just won’t work anymore.
Q. The marketing landscape has dramatically shifted with the rise of mobile. What do you think the next big shift will be?
A. This is a good question. The next big shift will be in the Internet of Things. This is where products and services will blur and brands and products will learn from consumers how they use and interact with products. The next frontier for marketing in the coming decade will be harnessing the data and utilize it effectively to engage with consumers.
Rupen Shah is the Head of ISV Alliances Program for Salesforce Marketing Cloud. He manages a team to expand the Marketing Cloud platform with marketing technology partners to augment and extend the Marketing Cloud ecosystem. He manages this ecosystem of partners and has created a commercial go-to-market model with ISVs.