We believe that effective multichannel marketing is arguably the single biggest challenge - and opportunity - for businesses over the next few years. For this reason, we recently announced our October JUMP event, aimed at client-side marketers who are interested in joined-up online and offline marketing.
To do justice to the importance of this theme, we have been working hard on fresh content about multichannel. As well as our first Jump magazine out this month (yup, we’ve published a magazine), we have also just released our first Multichannel Campaign Management Buyer’s Guide.
The report covers market trends and contains advice about finding the right technology provider. It also contains profiles of the following vendors: Agillic, Alterian, Aprimo, Eloqua, Neolane, Portrait Software, SAS, smartFOCUS, Traction and Unica.
It's not just us who are focused on multichannel. The importance of this topic was evident at the Omniture Summit in London last week, which attracted well over 1,000 delegates.
In his keynote Omniture co-founder Josh James spoke passionately about the importance of personalised customer interactions across channels. Quoting Forrester figures, he pointed out that 40% of offline sales are now driven by online.
Paul Weiskopf, Adobe’s SVP Corporate Development (who was instrumental in the Adobe acquisition of Omniture) talked about content increasingly being consumed across a variety of devices and screens. Both speakers pointed out that sales of smartphone devices would soon outstrip PC sales. In Japan, said Weiskopf, 20% of web commerce goes through a mobile device.
Along with Acquisition, Conversion and Analytics, Multichannel is now one of Omniture’s four key areas of focus. Tellingly, the company now talks about online analytics rather than web analytics because of the importance of measurement across other channels such as video, social media and mobile as well as the traditional web.
Omniture aside, companies with a heritage in email and e-commerce are also increasingly paying attention to multichannel. It is fascinating to see vendors coming at multichannel from so many different angles, though our new buyer’s guide focuses on vendors whose main focus is, specifically, multichannel campaign management.
The report contains an overview of a market which is being fuelled by the following trends:
- Marketing has become more data-driven. The ascendancy of digital marketing and e-commerce means that marketers now have more data than ever about their customers and how they are interacting with them. The opportunities to target marketing communications and to measure the success of campaigns are unprecedented.
- Need for integrated online and offline experience. The customer journey has become more complicated because of an increasing number of touch points. The onus is on companies to think about an integrated experience and meeting the needs of customers at different points of their journey. Expectations have increased due to the media-rich experiences that customers have on social networks, video sites and mobile phone applications. The mobile internet now needs to be central to business thinking.
- Shift of power from brands to consumers. There has been a fundamental shift in the balance of power from brands to the consumer, as the voice of the customer has become louder. The rise of word-of-mouth and viral marketing – fuelled by social media - has made it more difficult for companies to define their brands and to dictate their agenda via broadcast advertising. Companies need to think about two-way communication across different channels, and about the overall customer experience, in order to protect and enhance their brand equity.