The Year Omnichannel Ambitions Become a Reality for Retailers
It's a question that's been at the forefront of marketers’ minds for years: How can I engage with customers uniquely, based on both their interests and their value to my brand? And then digging deeper: How can I manage that conversation not just digitally, but offline, too, through any channel? These are questions that have been asked, pondered, discussed and, ultimately, never answered. That is, until now. The promise of omnichannel marketing enlightenment gets realized this year.
Why it's Important?
Retailers have been making progress through the years. They know more about their customers than ever before and they're targeting them in ways that are more relevant to who they are than ever before. However, there's more to do, and the opportunity is vast. The value of omnichannel marketing implies knowing your customers without conditions. This includes any number of customer stories — e.g., the history of their in-store engagement, how they interact on your website or mobile app, what their value is to your brand. It's not about one story; it's about all of them.
To bring it to life, here's an example: You have a high-value customer in-store. This person has shopped your brand for years, always in-store, but they haven't been coming around recently. What happened to this person? They began shopping online, of course. Yet many retailers, upon seeing this long-time customer arrive on their site for the first time, still might think, "Hey, this is a new customer."
New marketing solutions will enable retailers to recognize this individual as a long-time, high-value customer with preferences and behaviors that are already known, and market to them accordingly. It's about absorbing all the customer's data through past and current behavior, no matter how they shop, and having that data be immediately actionable.
Well, it would have been earlier — certainly the idea was alive in recent years — but it's taken so much work and technology development to get to where we are now. Why this year? Simply put, it's because the technology has finally caught up to the vision. More vendors and partners are using lower-cost, cloud-based technology to build their solution, enabling top-tier insights that mid-tier retail can afford. More importantly, there are a collection of partners that can drop right into your existing partner ecosystem, enhancing and unifying your display, email, social, mobile and content personalization vendors. They're delivering the true promise of a marketing hub; they're providing a cloud with only silver lining.
Michael Osborne is the president and CEO of SmarterHQ, a personalization platform that makes it easy for marketers to increase revenue now and customer relationships over time by powering highly relevant, cross-channel experiences.
As CEO of SmarterHQ, Michael Osborne provides leadership and focus on building their innovation, growth, and success. SmarterHQ works with leading brands such as Bloomingdale’s, Omni Hotels, Santander Bank, and Finish Line, and has been recognized by Forrester’s Total Economic Impact study to deliver 667% in ROI.
Prior to SmarterHQ, Michael served as Chief Revenue Officer for Bazaarvoice (NASDAQ: BV) and spent nearly five years at Coremetrics, (Acquired: IBM) where he built and managed the client services team.