While leveraging multi-channel opportunities is the current darling of the retail world, there’s one aspect that separates success from failure – the ability to market to multichannel customers.
This isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. It’s easy to maintain a single retail brand identity when you’re only working with one channel – this is how mom-and-pop stores around the corner have built their loyal customer base over years. The challenge crops up when a retail brand has to provide a consistent brand experience across different channels: RSR Research, in their November 2012 report, revealed that 59% of retailers surveyed pointed to coordination with other channels to create a seamless brand experience being their major operational challenge.
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for handling customers, and the same applies to retail channels. As Marshall McLuhan famously said in 1964, “The medium is the message”. This is where CMO’s of retail organizations must step in and improve the marketing analytics currently being used to make strategic retail decisions. Why?
As HubSpot puts it, “marketing analytics includes data not only from your website, but also from other sources like email, social media, and even offline events.” The difference between web analytics and marketing analytics is that the latter is more people-centric. This is critical for retailers because they can track the effectiveness of marketing channels in relation to each customer, or customer segment. The marketing analytics benefits cycle works like this:
- By monitoring customer interactions and collecting feedback across different channels, retail CMOs will have the ability to segment their customers better and target communications appropriately across channels.
- Based on this activity, retail CMOs can identify which marketing channels work well when it comes to communicating a promotion, offer or any important message – at a customer level, or at a customer segment level.
- This in turn provides retail CMOs with ROI on marketing efforts, which further helps with resource allocation (like budgets and time) across channels. So you’ll know whether it’s worth your time and money to tweet, blog or send out an e-mailer.
And the cycle continues!