Traditionally, brands only had to ensure that their print campaigns meshed with their TV spots, and that their TV spots meshed with their direct mail campaigns. However, as online marketing has increased in importance, a brand’s websites, email campaigns, banner ads, and other online mediums must all tell the same story as its offline content. The marketing model of the not-so-distant past is now altered in a profound way.
Enter the new paradigm
As the impact of traditional advertising declines and influential ‘consumer wizards’ (those who regularly use technology to do their shopping) further shape and define our marketplace, it is time to embrace ‘multichannel customer engagement solutions’ that can draw in the most savvy consumer cohort in history. Brands need to look at solutions such as enhancing shopper marketing; delivering on-demand product comparisons and recommendations; creating unique and richer connections between products and digital experiences; connecting print advertising, out-of-home, digital, and augmented reality; and fundamentally transforming marketing and media communications to cross-channel, participatory, interactive, and two-way mediums.
The key takeaway for brands—as the consumer moves towards multi-touch, multi-delivery, 360-degree product and service experiences—is to deliver relevant messaging along the consumer’s path to purchase. Delivering enhanced multichannel (traditional and digital) marketing solutions in balanced, measured, and optimized ways (at home, on-the-go and in-store), enables brands to deliver the most innovative, relevant messages to consumers at the right time and in the right place.
Brands need a quick migration to multichannel engagement models because the use of content is now being adopted over a wider range of distribution methodologies. In order for brands to take advantage of the business potential in this evolving marketplace, they must focus on the requirement to manage content and distribute it over an exploding number of current and emerging digital channels. Social networking applications, e-commerce initiatives, email blasts, web 3.0, mobile, news feeds, animation, and access to product and service information at the POS level are all being added to the brand’s arsenal of marketing strategies.
High-performing brands are heartily tackling the new paradigm and multichannel integrated marketing—an approach that’s all about end-to-end, closed-loop campaign creation, execution, and analysis. Once implemented, it holds tremendous promise for streamlining marketing processes and providing meaningful insights into the ROI for multichannel customer engagement programs. It is well within any brand’s grasp to move down this path, and brands are advised to move swiftly before their competitors do.
The Active Consumer
At St. Joseph, we know the challenges brands have and the importance of multichannel customer engagement. We are working with retailers and consumer packaged goods companies alike, as they increasingly need to focus on connecting traditional to digital, social, mobile, and e-commerce in order to have deeper, more meaningful relationships with their customers. Let’s call it a convergence of media with the rise of the active consumer. Marketing needs to be holistic, 360 degrees, and integrated to take advantage of the active consumer. Consumers of the future will respond positively to all efforts that allow digital connectivity. Brands and organizations that fail to take their cues from connected consumers will be missing a great opportunity.
“A rising tide lifts all boats. It’s not until the tide goes out that you realize who is swimming naked.” – Warren Buffett
To immerse yourself in customer engagement, register for Customer Engagement Technology World (CETW) in New York on November 9-10, 2011. I’ll be speaking at the conference on current trends in social shopping. Drop by to say hello.