Equipped with smartphones, mobile apps, email and numerous social accounts, the connected consumer is more accessible than ever. Though these platforms help bridge the gap between business and buyer, many brands are still learning how to leverage an omnichannel approach as part of a cohesive, consistent marketing strategy. With consumer insights available through social networks and the opportunity to communicate throughout the purchasing cycle, brands now have access to a plethora of rich data.
A recent IBM study revealed that only 10% of real-time data is effectively used. Brands must utilize the wave of insights available to them to evaluate and improve upon existing efforts. By leveraging data and applying an omnichannel strategy, brands can sculpt campaigns that not only engage with their audiences, but foster stronger relationships.
Here are four steps to ensure brands are properly entwining data, omnichannel and engagement to break through the clutter and create innovative, insightful interactions.
1. Do Your Research
Before you start conceptualizing your next campaign, carefully analyze past initiatives. By auditing previous ventures and studying consumer trends, marketers can effectively pinpoint objectives, choose channels and find a concept that ties their campaign together. Ask yourself some key questions in order to define those goals and refine your efforts: What is it that you’d like to achieve? Improve brand advocacy? Drive in-store sales? Increase mobile redemption rates?
2. Test, Then Test Again
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different messages and platforms. With social listening, web analytics and other testing and optimization tools, brands can gauge how audiences are interacting with web campaigns and tailor them accordingly. SMS provides marketers with immediate feedback, revealing which offers are most effective and when consumers begin to opt out.
By testing both messages and communication cadence with audiences, brands can learn consumer preferences and how frequently they want to be engaged with throughout the communications cycle. In addition, trying different calls to action helps brands sharpen their strategies. What type of offer drives more consumers to complete a survey? Does a chance to win drive more engagement than a 5% off? Is there a specific day/time that drives improved results?
3. Create Campaigns With An End Goal In Mind
Mobile, in particular, offers marketers a variety of ways to reach their target audiences. In order to choose the best strategy, reflect on your end goal. Proximity marketing via beacon and NFC has quickly gained traction, helping brands like Walgreens and Duane Reade boost in-store purchases by sending real-time offers. Shoppers convert at a 40% higher rate after digitally interacting with brands, proving mobile CRM is a solid marketing strategy for retailers.Other brands, looking to build brand awareness, take a more creative approach. This spring, Faberge used beacon technology to lead a New York-based egg hunt, driving visibility and consumer engagement.
When sculpting strategies, be sure to keep long-term objectives in mind and think of how to keep audiences engaged after the initial opt-in. Hidden Valley’s recent “Twist on Tonight” campaign offered customers weekly mobile messages comprised of zesty recipes and family activities. Because texts arrived on a weekly basis, audiences were not inundated with messaging, but looked forward to consistent communication. Audiences also received a chance to win weekly prizes, including the grand prize of $1,000, strengthening their connection to the brand and campaign.
4. Channel Creative Thinking
With each campaign, marketers should further channel their creative side. Increasingly, brands are transforming into innovators, embracing new technology to better connect with Millennial audiences. Taco Bell has plunged into Snapchat and Reddit, where it has shared contentand hosted scavenger hunts. Often visited by younger audiences, Taco Bell is emulating the playful nature of its consumers and adapting its messaging to take on the tone of its target market.
Other brands, such as Starbucks, have integrated digital activations and point-of-sale efforts into their campaigns. This shift to personalization provides data revolving around who redeemed certain offers and what language spurred the most interaction. Once brands determine a consumer’s preferences, they can send more relevant offers. By customizing content, brands receive better consumer insights and differentiate themselves from competitors. Personalized messaging also deepens a consumer’s relationship to the brand, boosting ROI and loyalty.
Data, Omnichannel And Engagement: The Marketing Trifecta
Using rich data to create a cohesive omnichannel marketing approach allows brands to captivate audiences and create life-long customers. With each campaign that is implemented, brands should dig a little deeper into consumer preferences and learn how to better interact at the right time with the right language. Testing different messages, channels and approaches will help brands land on a marketing strategy that’s both engaging and effective with consumers.
Jessica Lee is the Sr. Manager of Mobile for HelloWorld. With more than nine years of mobile marketing experience, Lee is a veteran in the space. In her role, Lee focuses on driving the mobile strategic direction of the agency and their clients. Driven by knowledge and innovation, Lee’s career includes mobile work with Proctor & Gamble, Walgreens and Humana. In addition, she works with the Heartland Mobile Council to develop mobile certification classes and to facilitate discussions between brands regarding their mobile learnings and strategies.