Be humble, be where your customers are and deliver high-quality customer service in every channel are just three of the 12 actions for multichannel success that were presented during a session that took place at Integrated Marketing Week 2013 in New York City last week.
Leading the discussion was Ernan Roman, president of Ernan Roman Direct Marketing Corp. Roman discussed the latest findings from his voice-of-the-customer research over the last six months, which found “consumers have shifted from being passive recipients of ‘push’ marketing to selecting companies which engage, listen to and act on input from customers and prospects,” he said.
What’s more, he said consumers “expect companies to use their preferences to deliver increasingly personalized offers, communications and experiences.”
Roman also discussed the “reciprocity of value equation,” which basically says that consumers today must understand and recognize that if they want to receive or be able to access increasingly relevant information, they must share information regarding their preferences.
“If they trust a brand and see a useful value proposition,” Roman said, “consumers will opt in to sharing increasingly detailed personal preference information in exchange for the marketer’s promise to deliver relevant information and offers.”
This equation basically reframes data privacy concerns, Roman said. “Reciprocity is seen as a valuable exchange of information which benefits the customer,” he said. “This information will constantly change, grow and be enriched through ongoing interactions with consumers.”
As a result of these preference-based interactions, consumers are far more willing to respond to communications and offers, Roman said, adding that this customer-driven data enrichment process “creates uniquely powerful databases which achieve 25 percent to 50 percent increases in revenue.”
The 12 actions
Later in his presentation, Roman was joined by two other panelists — Jeff Howell, director, subscriber communications and engagement/CRM, at SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and Welington Fonseca, vice president of marketing at Gilt Groupe — to present the following 12 actions for multichannel success:
1. Be humble. Acknowledge what you don’t know about how your customers define engagement. Listen to your customers.
2. Understand how customers define the “reciprocity of value equation” with your company.
3. Create opt-in preference databases to drive true personalization of communications and offers.
4. Achieve frictionless, high-value engagement across every medium in the multichannel mix.
5. Customers engage with your messages across multiple media. Ensure message and brand consistency across all your media.
6. Communications should reflect the “personalities” of the individual media used by customers to engage with your brand.
7. Each medium should reinforce the other (e.g., on air reinforcing social, mobile reinforcing web, etc.).
8. Be where your customers are (e.g., push mobile alerts during commuting hours, holidays, etc.)
9. Select channels that serve the customer. Texting an offer is intrusive; using SMS as a reminder for something they want is a value.
10. Avoid silos. Ideally one team should manage all customer touchpoints.
11. Make customer listening a part of every functional area, not just marketing.
12. Deliver high-quality customer service in every channel. Marketing has to take responsibility.