Almost half of all marketing sector professionals are looking to build their strategies closely around the customer, based on the use of a variety of different channels. However, their approach to using each channel requires some refinement.
In the last eighteen months 46% of all marketing professionals have made multichannel development a priority, reveals the US-based firm Experian Marketing Services in its latest Benchmark and Trend Report, which points up the trends of last year and for the coming year. This encouraging finding suggests that a good many companies have now woken up and are intent on customer-centric thinking. Brands are now adopting two-way multichannel communications. In 2012, it appears that will be focusing their efforts on three areas: some 61% of the marketers surveyed stated that they would coordinate and intensify their email drive, 53% intended to concentrate on advertising on social networks, and 47% were planning to do more with mobile applications.
A strategy for each channel
Of course it's vital that all these endeavours actually enable brands to get closer to their customers. However, given that each channel is different, each requires its own strategy. The report therefore suggests putting in place a four-phase marketing process. Firstly, listen to your customers and find out what they really want from each channel. Secondly, analyse the results and segment your market for each channel. Thirdly, coordinate and build a strategy for each channel. And finally, interact with your customers using a multichannel approach.
An integrated approach
If brands are to optimise the way they handle information on the various channels, they need to ensure they gather customer data in an integrated manner. Each department in a company has to be able to work with the others and share information, on the one hand in order to attain an overall view of each customer, and on the other so as to make sure that the database is as 'clean' as possible. Some 42% of the marketing professionals polled stated that their various company units all work together on their marketing programmes, only 13% of the companies surveyed admitting to working entirely in silos.