How Omnichannel Integration Solves Business Issues

Customer Experience
Customer Experience
Omnichannel marketing is inevitable. Although the evolution will take a few years to scale, companies must validate their strategies with quick pilots and wins along the way.

There are two types of fragmentation: fragmentation of customer attention across the different media channels and fragmentation that exists within organizations across divisions, regions, groups or teams.To successfully address fragmentation the customer must be placed at the center.

A leading insurance company CMO had a strong branding machine and a solid presence in the marketplace, but siloed marketing strategies across content channels. These isolated divisions within the organization, in addition to acquiring and maintaining customer attention, brought two distinct but similar problems of fragmentation.

Omnichannel integration addresses each of these overlapping problems in a fresh and integrated approach, utilizing the best data assets with proven success.

Fragmentation can be overwhelming with eight primary media and channels through which to communicate with new and existing customers: direct mail, phone, email, web (including display and search), mobile, retail, outdoor, and TV. These eight outbound media and inbound channels can incorporate various specialty service providers or separate business units that must be managed. For example, email with an ESP, direct response with a direct marketing agency, display with a digital agency, and DRTV with mass media agency, to mention a few. The internal management of different service providers or business units with different goals and objectives can be extremely inefficient and redundant.

The insurance company's approach for implementing a connected customer relationship management (cCRM) program to address both internal and external fragmentation issues included three steps:

1.) Audience insights

2.) Target high-value populations

3.) Custom analytics

This process actively places the customer at the center and brings an "omnichannel" marketing strategy forward instead of a multichannel strategy. Here's how they did it and how your organization can handle the issue of fragmentation:

Audience Insights

The first step in placing the customer at the center of an omni-channel solution is understanding the customer. To understand the customer, this organization merged big data from anonymous web traffic with detailed individual customer response and direct marketing data. This gave the company a full picture of its customer base and how customer and prospects responded to communication through any media and channels. One of the key components for audience insights is the ability to know who was targeted through every marketing channel; this can be done by utilizing website logs, anonymous audience targeting, customer data, and prospect targeting as an example. Once data had been organized into an easily digestible format, the insurance organization was provided with insight that was revolutionary to its previous understanding of its customers. For instance, the company had never before seen with any degree of clarity that its typical direct mail customer was wealthier than its internet customer and that the internet customer was more ethnically diverse than the direct mail customer base. This invaluable insight into customers gave direction to targeting high-value populations.

Target High Value Populations

The next step is to target high-value populations which were revealed in the audience insights report. After the data is compiled into a single location, populations that could be extremely beneficial were exposed by overlapping the index reports. The most common scenario observed was highly responsive populations in one channel that were not being targeted in other channels. Another scenario included forming segmentation strategies for search, so that higher bids could be placed on user keywords that were input by high-value segments.

Custom Analytics

The foundation for omni-channel integration is established as more information about the consumer base and an understanding of populations to target is completed. The next step for the insurance organization was to execute a targeted display and direct mail marketing campaign. While this is conceptually easy, execution can be fraught with quick sand and sink holes if the right partner is not on board with tracking and executing for omni-channel integration. For example, in ad-tech-land, it seems as though everybody does everything. Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) are becoming experts at customer data and data management platform (DMPs) and are sprouting up from all parts of the LUMA chart. The key for omni-channel integration is computation, product, media, data integration, research, and analytics to name a few. It is nearly impossible for a small adtech firm to become expert - or even capable - at all of these capabilities and grasp omni-channel integration.

With the established first step for a display and direct mail campaign, this insurance organization utilized customized analytics to define the optimal universe to target. The simplest approach was to work with the company's digital partner to transform the most highly successful online responders into digital cookies and IP addresses that could be used as the basis for a digital campaign. By focusing on the top 2 deciles of the online targeting model, the result was a 30 percent gain in conversions to the website quote page and a 10 percent reduction in cost. As any analyst knows, with that kind of efficiency, more can be gained through further analytics.

Omnichannel marketing is inevitable. Efficiencies created from inter-channel awareness of campaigns, segmentation, analytics and attribution will separate industry leaders from laggards. Most companies are attacking this challenge/opportunity with large contracts, but this CMO proves that, although the change will affect everyone in marketing and take a few years to scale, you need to validate your strategy with quick pilots and wins along the way.