Today’s marketers work in an exciting yet challenging landscape of evolving technology and new marketing channels. It’s a customer-driven economy. Customers expect to shop, compare, purchase and consume on their own terms, through a variety of channels, and on a variety of devices. These customer demands may be pushing your business beyond its current marketing practices.
Businesses like yours must maintain a brand presence across all of the channels that your customers use at work, home and play. This means you have more communication channels to manage than ever before, yet somehow, you have to produce a clear, consistent voice across all of them.
At the same time, customers are suffering from marketing fatigue. That’s understandable, because it can be difficult not to oversaturate your customers and prospects when you’re marketing across so many channels.
To reduce marketing fatigue, build a satisfying and consistent customer experience for your brand. Messages should be as relevant and personalized as each channel allows. Successful marketers overcome the omnichannel challenge by:
- segmenting customers;
- mapping the customer journey; and
- carefully managing campaigns across all channels.
Segment Your Customers
Marketers have to select the right offer and match that to the best possible group of customers. Customer segmentation helps you to identify groups of customers with similar characteristics so you can create relevant messaging and offers.
The goal of customer segmentation is to reduce customer marketing fatigue and improve campaign results. Some businesses segment customers only by demographics, but it's a better practice to dig deeper. To truly benefit, you should segment your customers analytically using all of the information known about them across the enterprise, including demographics, transactional behavior, preferred channels, campaign history, model scores and date-relative filters.
Avoid assumptions about how many segments you create. Your company and product lines may need just a few segments or have many different natural customer groups.
Mapping the Customer Journey
To manage the customer experience, you need to plan and formalize the purchase journey. Mapping can help you visualize your customer journey across channels, ensuring communications are timed appropriately and are relevant to your customers. By anticipating possible actions by your customer along each step of the journey map, you can create the right content and offers.
The steps of your customer journey should be personalized to the needs and preferences of your customers. For example, a customer who has only purchased items on sale should be engaged differently than a customer who values prestige and luxury brands. Customers who respond better to email than social media or direct mail should have a journey with more email touchpoints.
Your customer journey should also be dynamic, with each next step of the journey dependent on what actions (or lack of actions) were taken by your customer in the previous step. Mapping out the customer journey helps you keep customers engaged at all times, ensuring they aren’t driven around in circles or, worse, left standing at a dead-end.
Carefully Managing Campaigns Across All Channels
Campaign management solutions can give you the right tools to plan, execute, measure and analyze your campaigns more effectively across all marketing channels. From laser-focused targeting to more effective messaging and dynamic customer journeys, campaign management can help you achieve marketing results that contribute directly to greater profitability. With a campaign management solution that contains comprehensive tools, your company will be able to:
- easily segment customers for improved targeting, and map their journey to increase engagement; and
- optimize outbound campaigns, including email, to deliver targeted messages containing the right offers to the right customers at the right times.
Drill into the data and analyze results to develop powerful customer insights and refine offers.
Doug Tiffan is the chief merchant at Infor, an enterprise software company with modern solutions for retail ERP.