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This post is part of the #JUMPchallenge, a blogging competition designed to raise awareness of how to join up online and offline marketing, launched to support Econsultancy’s JUMP event.

Kevin Cochrane, Chief Marketing Officer of Day Software, discusses the importance of implementing a multichannel marketing approach across all touch points of an organisation. 

We now live in a big brother era. Everything from our supermarket loyalty cards to web-surfing habits and purchase history is being monitored. From this, companies can establish our sex, age, location, reading habits, shared interests and social influence.

Customers know the data that is being collected about them, and accept it, but only if companies are using the information to improve the consumer experience.

This loss of anonymity among customers means expectations have been raised. Customers now expect companies to contact them through their preferred channel with relevant information at the best moment in time.

Joined-up marketing helps brands to achieve this and I believe there are three core elements for marketers to consider. 

Gaining a single view of the customer

Companies need to be able to collate information from the web, sales feedback and customer profiles across all areas of an organisation including marketing, back-end commerce, order-management, inventory and fulfilment services.

Only then can a business get a single view of their customers and better understand customer preferences such as, the channel they respond best to, and the information that will be of interest.

Designing a holistic marketing approach

Customer preferences are even harder to establish since consumers can now interact through a multitude of channels, at any time. However, this is great news for marketers, as for the first time they have a variety of resources available to engage with customers, but they do need to design a marketing programme that combines all these elements.

This could be a promotional website with targeted teaser, a personalised email promotion as part of a monthly rewards programme statement or an SMS alert using geo-location to target customers nearby. 

Ensure consistency

To achieve true excellence in joined-up marketing, companies need to make sure that the customer experience is consistent across all channels. This means brands need to use the information customers provide to segment customers and establish their preferences. Marketers need to guarantee that users only receive information that is relevant to them regardless of how they are contacted.

To ensure that the customer experience is consistent across all channels, the Metro Online, has started to use our web content management platform that shares content resources and promotion strategies across both its online channel and its new iPad application. This means, if customers don’t like entertainment stories, and note this online, they are not going to see entertainment stories on the iPad.

To successfully engage with customers on multiple channels, marketers need to be agile and deliver relevant experiences across all channels simultaneously. It is only then that companies can enjoy the operational and commercial opportunities that joined-up marketing provides. Ultimately, integrated campaigns that encompass traditional advertising, social media, data analytics and CRM are key to providing the excellent customer service that proves the customer is always coming first. 

This is one of the entries in the JUMP blogging challenge, and we're looking for more bloggers to contribute by posting an article. The closing date for entries is September 17. 

The winner will receive a 'blogging hamper', which includes an iPad, a press pass to JUMP, free Econsultancy membership, some strawberry jam and more. More details here

Graham Charlton

Published 13 September, 2010 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

2565 more posts from this author

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