Joining up On and Offline Channels and Data

Joining up On and Offline Channels and Data

Digital Cream is a roundtable event organised by Econsultancy where over 200 senior client-side marketers have the opportunity to share best practice and discuss what is and isn’t working for them. I describe it as an opportunity to do exactly what you would rather be doing at a lot of the conferences and events you go to. After all, its good to talk.

I was moderating a session around Joining up On and Offline Channels and Data.  Although I can’t share any of the detail, what is said on Digital Cream stays on Digital Cream, I thought it worthwhile sharing some of my take outs arising from my research and discussions around the subject.

Where delivering multichannel customer experience is concerned there are still a lot of organisations moving from the stage that is considered to one that is capable. That means there are still a lot of brands and businesses working with systems and processes that are customer focused but not necessarily harnessing cross channel capabilities.

When it comes to delivering a truly joined up customer experience and taking elements of the online customer experience and delivering them offline (or vice versa) it feels like retail is leading the way. Whether that be delivering a truly omni-channel experience or creating virtual shops in Asian subway stations there is a lot of innovation going on in the retail sector.

It is pretty clear that the two biggest challenges brands and businesses face are structuring their internal and external teams and joining up the numbers, whether that be driving insight or understanding the role and value of each channel.

On the subject of teams and talent I have felt for a long time that there’s a short supply (and hence a big opportunity) for those people that are ‘specialists at being generalist’ and can work effectively across channels and disciplines. These guys and girls take a critical role in driving joined up planning, delivery and measurement. But if you are really are into sharing the burden of joining things up then you need to be developing multidisciplinary silo bashing teams – across your interim and external or agency teams.

Data is of course becoming pretty cool and there’s a lot of talk around datafication, it’s ability to support big leaps forward in our understanding of the customer journey and the potential to help deliver fantastically integrated marketing programmes. It feels like there is a real thirst from brands, businesses and marketers to make that happen. One thing I would say though, especially where attribution is concerned, is set realistic expectations and be careful not to hit the law of diminishing returns around Return on Analsyis Resource (ROAR). Maybe next year will be the year of data driven marketing. Now that would be cool!

If you do want to take a deep dive into what it takes to do a lot of this stuff I recommend you take a look at Valtech’s white paper Agile Marketing, the new imperative (PDF download). It’s a good ‘un.