By Josh Gordon, Director of Marketing, Knotice
Mobile has developed as a viable direct digital marketing channel, it seems, at the speed of light. What began as a simple marketing opportunity to reach consumers on the go with a text message has mushroomed into a portable hub of communications where the web, email, SMS, apps, and other communications methods are there for leveraging.
But, while the web and email are accessible on smart phones, most mobile consumers still own feature phones, cementing a seemingly temporary but real disconnect between the core direct digital marketing channels of email, web and mobile. Consumers rightly expect a consistent experience regardless of whether they are on a mobile web site, receiving a text message, reading email on a PC or browsing the web. The consumer sees one brand, but marketing organizations are often not prepared to create a seamless, cross-channel brand experience that caters to each individual consumer.
The resulting gap between consumer perception and marketing’s reality creates a negative situation for the consumer, which leads directly to lost opportunities and sales. Marketers must understand this reality and formulate cross-channel strategies where each channel is treated individually but the execution is complementary.
Here are two crucial questions to answer while formulating a winning direct digital marketing strategy that successfully crosses channels.
Question #1: How can data be effectively coordinated across the direct digital channels?
We know experience matters. It deepens relationships and loyalty and strengthens sales. The key to providing a great experience, regardless of channel, is to have a data environment that is capable of powering email marketing, onsite targeting on the web site and mobile marketing. Marketers have a lot of technology and data at their disposal now. The next step for successful marketers is determining the most effective way to leverage that data to achieve marketing goals. A data environment, like a universal profile management system, is ideal because it captures and stores both known customer data points like enterprise data and purchase history, and captures behavioral data. The breadth of the each segment, and the ability to attach that segment to content in any channel, ensures that the consumer experience is consistent, targeted and relevant — regardless of channel.
Question #2: Can mobile tactics be used to capture email information, or vice versa?
A resounding yes. From a coordinated data foundation it is easy to identify a mobile customer who has not yet shared their email information. A prompt to capture that information is perfectly acceptable and smart. Likewise, if a web site visitor or email subscriber has not yet shared their mobile number to receive special offers, then a prompt is a good idea. Once the information is captured, however, be sure that the content remains relevant. Understand that a traditional email call to action will likely not fly in a text message or an app. Encourage the consumer to share additional data, but do not violate their trust with irrelevant content or a bad channel strategy.
A good cross-channel direct digital marketing strategy treats the channels differently, but the customer the same. Marketers can and should use each channel to enhance the others. It is important to keep in mind, however, that content is always king. The best cross-channel strategy in the world only succeeds if consumers respond. Fortunately, when marketers think about the consumer experience first, data centralization second and content third, success in a cross-channel marketing environment becomes as easy as it is mandatory.
Josh Gordon is the Editor-in-Chief of the popular direct digital marketing blog The Lunch Pail and Director of Marketing at Knotice, a direct digital marketing solutions company. Contact Josh at firstname.lastname@example.org.