Marketers Need Data
Your Omni-Channel Strategy
Let’s face it, communications have become more complex and customers are getting their information from multiple sources. We are living in a data-driven age where every customer wants to feel special and unique. As marketers, we must create a consistent experience for customers across all channels that still allows each person to feel special – this is an omni-channel strategy. Omni–Channel Marketing is the newest evolution in the multi-channel marketing strategy and it is all about the data. The key difference is that you are concentrated on a seamless approach to the consumer experience through all available mediums ( web, mobile devices, in-store, television, radio, direct mail, print, etc); and letting consumers experience your brand rather than a single channel within the brand.
It is easy to lose track of what content is living where, how it is being delivered, and who is getting that information. With the blurred lines between the online and offline activity of your customers, things can get complicated very quickly. However, when you can create a process for syncing all of the information you have going out to the world about your company as well as the information you are collecting from your customers, then you can improve the results of your marketing tactics.
Marketers Need Data
For example, look at the 4 different applications a company is using – one for email, one for contact management, one for e-commerce, and a fourth for internal communications. How are these applications talking to each other? Is any information shared across these different applications and what message or messages are there? The data shared across these applications may be key to your success, because all marketers need data to improve the customer experience.
To get the data you want, first we need to think about how it is being collected.
1. Start by understanding the basic aspects of how the technology and applications you use work. How can we leverage this technology to build the most effective omni-channel marketing strategies for the brand? This may take some reading or research on your part.
2. Next we want to look at the ways our applications can share information. Are they connected through an API? APIs (Application Programming Interface) will facilitate your need for the data and can potentially provide the solutions to specific customer issues.
Connectivity Between Applications
Companies build an API to connect their technology with other applications – this is purely a software-to-software interface. Developers can create applications that can expand and improve the usage of that software application (such as your CRM system), and this connectivity can potentially improve your data collection and analysis. As a user or customer, we only see the user interface (the website or mobile application). Behind the scenes, however, there are many applications that are working together using APIs. This is a seamless integration where your customer never sees the different applications functioning – it all appears to be the same.
Think about how we have a CRM system for tracking customers to send emails to them or review purchase history. Now imagine that it was plugged directly into your e-commerce to create a more complete analysis of usage and activity. It has become a more robust system for you to gather data, and it is a seamless experience for the customer.
Take Aways: Spend some time with the developers to learn about the technology you use and learn more about APIs.