Marketing Automation + Multi-channel Retail Software = Results
Multi-channel integration helps businesses recognise latent value from their existing data
Consumers demand personalised communications and offers from retailers, and multi-channel integration can make that expectation a reality. Here are the four steps to free your data to create genuine results.
1. Link Data
Every business maintains records of transactions, customer interactions and purchase history. Commonly these data stores exist in isolation, with each business unit retaining responsibility for their own system.
Even where an ERP platform underpins business operations, ancillary operations still maintain their own systems. CRM data is managed by Sales and Marketing for instance.
Historically data has been kept in silos partly for security, but mainly because systems were designed to serve a single purpose. Sharing data between systems and business units is still a relatively recent innovation.
Linking systems is essential to unlock additional value hidden in the data you already own.
“The data fabric is the next middleware” - Todd Papaioannou, CEO of Continuuity
2. Mine Data
Multi-channel software solutions can provide a platform that links disparate systems to create a holistic view of your company and customers. This data can then be used to:
- Segment your customer base to create target groups.
- Identify product buying trends.
- Correct inaccurate records and disseminate updates between systems.
“Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine” - Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner
3. Use Data
The data mined through the multi-channel system can then be put to use, improving business efficiency or increasing revenue. Suggested uses for ‘mined data’ include:
- Targeted mailshots or email campaigns based on new target groups.
- New product creation based on observed trends or ‘gaps’.
- Clean up data sets to ensure records are accurate and legally compliant.
- Improve internal operations where weaknesses or failings have come to light.
In terms of multi-channel integration, the data should be used to improve marketing efforts. Predicting response rates and offer success becomes much easier when equipped with historical evidence. Marketing automation also becomes much simpler, as your team can accurately identify what does and does not work, tailoring campaigns months in advance with a high degree of accuracy.
“37% of marketers say their biggest roadblock to effective use of segment targeting is lack of data on users” – BtoB Magazine
It is also important to realise that customers expect personalised communications and marketing. Your business has a responsibility to know them and communicate according to their preferences.
“50% of consumers expect to find personalised merchandising on the home page, [and the] merchant’s recommendations’ role on the product page grows in importance as over 60% expect merchants to recommend similar products in addition to related items” - MyBuys/the e-tailing group
4. Reap Benefits
Multi-channel integration is an investment that keeps generating returns. Not only do finely targeted marketing campaigns yield higher returns, but each campaign also generates new data for further analysis.
Multi-channel software also extends beyond linking existing systems. Data can be collected from ecommerce sites, PoS terminals in store and any other point at which customers interact with your brand. With each iteration of your automated marketing cycle, new, valuable information is obtained, ready for further analysis.