How can brands structure effective multichannel communications? That’s one of several key questions from our recent three-part virtual roundtable series on building a seamless multi-channel customer experience. In part one, five of today’s most influential marketing leaders spoke about the strategies, technologies and best practices they use to create omnichannel experiences that drive engagement and retention. Read on for insights and ideas from that conversation, and be sure to watch the video below.
Data, Technology & Creativity Power Multi-Channel Communications
Orchestrating a consistent, relevant and engaging experience across channels remains a key challenge for brands. Our experts highlighted how they leverage technology, data and creativity to address it.
Angela Byrne, managing director of digital banking and transformation at NatWest described how data integration across platforms helps drive more effective cross-channel messaging. She highlights how advances in API connectivity, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, empower her team to leverage data from multiple-sources and create a more connected, seamless experience, regardless of which channel a customer chooses to engage on.
Mantas Ratomskis, head of CRM and retention at Kilo Health added that while data and data revenancy are important, it’s up to marketers to harness data insights effectively and creatively: “You are in charge of making assumptions, segmenting that data correctly, predicting behavior, and then using tools like Airship to deliver messaging on the right channel.”
Consistency Is Key Across Customer Touchpoints
According to our panelists, the key to great omnichannel experiences is to make them as seamless as possible across all of your customer touchpoints.
For Neil Kirby, marketing and consumer director of Bupa Global, it’s essential that brand voice, values and messaging are relentlessly consistent, regardless of whether they are communicated in-person or via digital channels. He explained that brands certainly need to drive better digital engagement with data, but emphasizes that “we also need every single human being in the business to echo that value and deliver the same messages to customers”
Airship’s Steve Tan, VP and general manager, EMEA/APAC, echoed that sentiment. He explained that marketers must evolve from a channel-centric view to one that looks across every customer touchpoint, physical or digital, to create one consistent and seamless experience.
Customer Insights Drive Relevant, Real-Time Engagement
Our experts also shared how they use customer insights and data to create better experiences, on the right channels, at each stage of the customer lifecycle.
Steve Tan explained that today’s increasingly mobile consumers expect real-time engagement, and he touched on how automation powered by solutions like Airship’s customer engagement platform make that possible: “The future of marketing is less about scheduling campaigns and more about reacting and delivering real-time automation against behavior.”
Holly Ainger, CMO of Nuffield Health described how the COVID-19 pandemic prompted Nuffield to dig deeper into customer insights in order to better understand how customer needs have evolved during this challenging period: “We’ve done more research in the past 12 to 18 months than I genuinely think we ever have, and that has changed our whole approach to the customer value proposition.”
Several panelists, including Mantas Ratomkis, highlighted the value of leveraging both data-driven insights and qualitative insights, including in-person research such as focus groups, and pointed to the importance of identifying the right timing for getting meaningful feedback. Customers are more likely to give feedback when something went particularly well or poorly, he explained, but that type of high emotion feedback is often irrelevant in terms of driving product and messaging decisions that create better day-to-day experiences with your brand.
Angela Byrne described how at NatWest, their messaging evolves to meet the unique needs at each stage of the customer lifecycle. She explains that brands should not be afraid to confirm data with customers over the course of the lifecycle to ensure they’re delivering messages that meet those needs. Insights gathered online, in-app or through one-to-one engagement such as a live chat is crucial to designing low-friction experiences that mean more to customers.
Our experts agree that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to creating great omnichannel experiences. But by leveraging technology, creativity and customer insights, brands can create better experiences at every customer touchpoint, throughout the customer lifecycle.
For more ideas and best practices from these experts, keep an eye out for parts two and three in this blog series, and download the full Raconteur report ‘The Future of Marketing and Customer Experience’ where you can read this article alongside other insightful opinions pieces and data reports on this topic.
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