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Cynthia Clark | May 2, 2013

Creating a Seamless Multichannel Marketing Strategy

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metalpuzzle2.jpgToday's customers are interacting with their chosen brands over multiple touchpoints. This phenomenon provides a huge opportunity for companies to have a more in-depth communication with their customers.

However, this trend also poses a challenge. While today's omni-channel customers are interacting with organizations over different channels, they expect a uniform and seamless experience across all these touchpoints. For customers, whether they're interacting Company A over Twitter or when in a brick-and-mortar store, they're doing business with the same company.

Many organizations have found it difficult to integrate their different channels. Especially larger organizations have struggled with bridging departmental silos and finding ways to convince their different teams to work together towards an integrated marketing approach.
Autodesk and Eaton, two of the winners of the Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards 2013, have made major inroads in their integrated marketing performance, and have seen positive business results. These two organizations were not scared to take chances and find new and exciting ways to interact with their customers and prospects. Autodesk, for example, decided to leverage gamification to make its trials more interesting.

However, unlike many companies which make the mistake of introducing a new marketing tool but not integrate it within the rest of the marketing mix, Autodesk, the Gold winner in the Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards 2013's Integrated Marketing Performance category, made sure that every touchpoint was totally integrated. The software company linked its gamified trials to its social channels, providing incentives for prospects to use the trials but also creating a fun and competitive experience. At the core of the strategy was an in-trial marketing game for Autodesk's 3ds Max, a 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software. By building game mechanics into the trial, Autodesk found a way to reward prospects for using it. Providing an engaging experience meant that prospects would be more interested in learning more about the software, and players were also able to share the points and achievement badges they earned on social media to earn additional points.

The initiative was a success and more than 600 users played the game over a three-month period. Trial downloads went up by 10 percent while trial usage went up by over 50 percent. Most importantly, buy clicks through the trial went up by a notable 15 percent.

Eaton, the silver winner in the same category, has also embarked on a robust marketing effort that helped the power management company increase sales and capture leads. The company wanted to penetrate the IT sector and needed to start communicating with different audiences in a more relevant way, moving away from a one-size-fits-all marketing approach. The key to the new strategy was understanding pain points and challenges so that Eaton's marketing department could tailor campaign messages to these needs.

After gathering the necessary research, Eaton designed and launched "Things Have Changed," a campaign intended to underscore the company's expertise in IT and data center solutions. Eaton built an online ecosystem with numerous channels and tactics driving traffic to SwitchOn.eaton.com. This hub invited users to share their personal information to get some value in return, for example download a White Paper or sign up for sweepstakes.

Such a targeted campaign helped Eaton penetrate the IT market and the success was evident very quickly. In fact, in 2011 alone, the campaign exceeded the goal of gathering 10,000 end user leads and 400 reseller leads in less than the earmarked time.

The successes of Autodesk and Eaton should serve as an example that robust integrated marketing efforts lead to results. It's imperative that organizations create a collaborative environment where different departments can work together and share data and best practices to develop a seamless multichannel marketing strategy.

Download the e-book with the Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards 2013 winners.

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