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.