Reaching for the Omnichannel Brass Ring
Do you have a 360-degree view of your customers? Can you attribute sales accurately to each channel? Are you creating the right omnichannel contact strategy for each customer?
No? Hold onto your hat. Neither is anyone else.
How do I know? Recently, I was privileged to be one of 10 "gurus" at DMA 2014 in San Diego. Attendees came to each of us throughout the day for 15-minute appointments and many questions. Here's a recap of the questions I heard from those attendees and others.
Most Asked Questions
- "How can I track sales from all channels?"
- "How can I attribute sales to the proper channel?"
- "How can I combine all the data coming from all the channels in a way that's actionable?"
- "How do I get a 360-degree view of my customers, in all the channels they're using?"
- "How do I find a platform or service provider who can put together a 360-degree view of my customers for me?"
These questions came from giant marketers, small marketers, B-to-B and B-to-C.
Answers … Sort Of
First, don't feel bad about your situation. It turns out that no company currently has a 360-degree customer view, and no platform currently exists for getting it. The 360-degree omnichannel view is currently an idea, not a reality.
A great panel discussion (panelists included executives from IBM, Oracle and Teradata) made this clear. Some quotes:
- "most enterprise companies don't know what data they have";
- "we're getting pretty good at automating deliveries of data for each channel — stitching it all together is what's hard";
- "We're in uncharted territory regarding how to integrate"; and
- "whoever can inhale it all and output it in a meaningful way will win."
Translation: "We're working on it, but we're not there yet." The panelists and their clients were all giant companies that can afford to get there. But what about the rest of us?
Susan J. McIntyre is Founder and Chief Strategist of McIntyre Direct, a catalog agency and consultancy in Portland, Oregon offering complete creative, strategic, circulation and production services since 1991. Susan's broad experience with cataloging in multi-channel environments, plus her common-sense, bottom-line approach, have won clients from Vermont Country Store to Nautilus to C.C. Filson. A three-time ECHO award winner, McIntyre has addressed marketers in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, has written and been quoted in publications worldwide, and is a regular columnist for Retail Online Integration magazine and ACMA. She can be reached at 503-286-1400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.