Why Do Most Multichannel Campaigns Fail?

By | August 15, 2012

Why do most multichannel marketing campaigns fail? This was a question that was asked at an excellent Webinar (still available here) on analyzing customer behavior sponsored by Adobe Omniture and featuring Philip Graves, author of Consumer.ology.

The answer, noted Raj Sen, group product marketing manager, multi-channel customer analytics for Adobe, is that marketers don’t take into account both online and offline customer behaviors. Therefore their ability to understand and accommodate customer behavior and motivators, as well as analyze their own missteps and disconnects, is severely restricted.

Ah, the carnage left by marketing fragmentation and broken links in the data chain.

It’s not a problem that’s easily solved. Think about all the channels that are being used as part of companies’ marketing strategies. Direct mail, call centers, social media, email, and mobile, retail stores, call centers, SEO. . . Each has its own data silo and contact strategies and too often lessons learned are not shared between them. No channel has a complete view of customer relationship, purchase patterns, and contact history.

Then consider that online media and email are often the funnel through which customers learn about products and services, while conversion often happens offline at a retail store or through a CSR at a call center. When that connection between online and offline is broken (as it often is), companies lose critical insight about customer behavior.

For those of us involved in 1:1 communications, this should send up alarms. How can we create relevant dialog when we only have a sliver of the overall picture? To create truly relevant campaigns, we need to know how people behave and what motivates them from the prospecting stage all the way through conversation. How much effort do we put into finding that out? True customer-centric communications is hard to do when you have few insights into what people do across channels.

Granted, vendor webinars are there to sell the company’s products and services, and Adobe is no exception. Still, the points are valid ones.  We talk about customer-centric marketing, but in order for that to happen, we need to do a better job of monitoring and analyzing customers’ behavior all along the chain.


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2 thoughts on “Why Do Most Multichannel Campaigns Fail?

  1. Joe Manos

    Great post Heidi.

    Our customers are solving this challenge by linking the marketers CRM across all marketing response avenues. Online ad off line marketing channels are linked as part of an integrated marketing channel and the data creating the target list and responses is also linked to the entire process as well as captured in the CRM.

    This insures that you have a clear picture of each response channel and more importantly the data from all responses is tracked, measured and most importantly responded to in real time.

    Only the most advanced marketers are doing this today but the fact that our customers are making the marketer more aware of the importance of this fully integrated marketing approach will lead to more adoption of these best practice methodologies.

    If anyone needs more info how this is accomplished I am happy to help – jmanos@mindfireinc.com

    Again – great post – keep them coming!

  2. Harvey

    Heidi, it’s simple! I have embraced the value of data and the ability that digital offers when used in enhanced direct mail. The constant element in direct marketing (and in all forms of communications) is: you need to create a message that gets to the prospect’s frontal cortex in nano-seconds, consistently. Put the right message in front of the right prospect and watch what happens. The only non-constant is that everybody in marketing pretty much is still operating their creative strategies using the mass-communications theories of the 60’s which only set up a monologue, instead of the one-to-one opportunities that set up a dialog. Once you master these, your vacations will get better.

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