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The use of the term “Multi-channel” has increased significantly in recent times with eCommerce directors and marketers given new objectives to improve consumer experiences across all touch points. FusePump highlight 7 techniques for effective management of product data and why marketers need to embrace their feeds.

The Magnificent 7!

Lee Brignell-Cash from FusePump explores seven ways that product level marketing make for a better consumer experience.

Online marketers should understand how feeds allow them to deliver a better shopping experience for consumers across all channels. The concept’s simple, use a single set of clean, up-to-date data advertise and engage consumers across multiple online channels. Using data from the same reliable source ensures consistency and accuracy, especially where pricing and stock availability is concerned. Feeds also allow you to precisely control which products you integrate into a channel and how they are presented.
Pictures for each section as examples (Econsultancy)

1) Avoid calls from the ASA! (Present accurate product information in advertising).
Decide how often you should update your data and work towards this goal. Most feed based channels used to work to a daily schedule but the increased scrutiny from the ASA since 2011 shouldn’t be the driving factor here. Most importantly, consumers don’t like broken links, incorrect pricing and “Out of stock” messages on arrival.

2) Make sure the consumer sees the same information across channels
Whilst most marketers will be focusing budgets around SEO, Search and (for some) Social, the number of digital touch points means that you have an almost unlimited number of channels to market.

Intelligent and consistent strategies around your data and feeds make managing multiple channels easy, with the added benefit that all your products are presented consistently throughout. You can utilise the same feed source to power affiliate marketing, search, dynamic advertising & retargeting, price comparison sites, email, Google Shopping and social media and more.

3) Deliver rich data for each application
Most integrations will have a minimum required specification. For example, in order to list in Google Shopping or a Comparison Shopping site, you will need to deliver a feed with specific attributes that meet their requirements. But what about “recommended” attributes? Should you include these too? The best way to evaluate this of course is to view the application or website from the consumer’s perspective. What additional functionality will the extra attributes bring? Will you rank higher if you provide them? Will you be able to communicate your offers if you include promotional text? Review each channel from this perspective and you will discover how to optimise your integrations effectively.

4) Deploy new channels quickly!
The number of channels that utilise feeds is rapidly increasing. Effective management of your feeds allows you to take advantage of new market opportunities immediately and to start generating revenues immediately from a proactive test and invest strategy. Planning your integrations processes in advance allows you to be slick with this too.

5) Always link to the right page
This sounds like a no brainer but in practice this is still done badly by some advertisers. Different touch points may require different landing page strategies. Should you land the user on the product page, the category page, or an entirely bespoked landing page based on their search? Try and include multiple landing page options in your feeds to start with and you can quickly optimise to what works best. In some cases you might even want to drop the product in the basket as the user lands too.

6) Get hold of your feeds
Simple tools allow you to select and filter products for specific applications. For example, you could choose to present your bestsellers or new products for your Facebook page or you might want to create a dynamic advertising campaign focused on your discounted Jeans. Make sure that you can access your data and consider how different attributes can bring your marketing to life. Make sure you build in the right tracking flags into your feeds too. Then you can take actionable insights and optimise your feeds accordingly.

7) Open up your data
If your partners (especially affiliates) can see your feeds and relevant KPIs, they will be in a much better position to create, optimise and deliver better performance and new innovations for you. For example, allow your affiliates to understand which products they convert well on, or how their performance compares to other channels and you will be providing them with the tools and knowledge to deliver better results for you.

For more information on data feeds and online multi-channel marketing please see www.fusepump.com

Published on: 9:00AM on 24th May 2012