As retailers continue to evolve loyalty programs to meet the changing needs of today’s consumer, channel integration is more important than ever; but data is key. A recent survey conducted by the Aberdeen Group of 100 retailers revealed the greatest challenge companies are facing today is the inability to capture customer data. Chris Cunnane, senior research associate at Aberdeen, explains the two significant problems this poses for retailers:
- Customer insights based on prior purchase behavior or demographics are unavailable to create personalized offers.
- If retailers are unable to ascertain channel preferences for communication delivery, marketing efforts are duplicated across multiple channels and are therefore ineffective.
Here are three key take aways from best in class retailers cross-channel strategies that you can use today:
- Create a holistic view of the customer relationship.With a CRM database in place, you have a clear view of the customer’s value and overall relationship. You can determine how actual customer behaviors drives economic value and develop strategies to proactively manage customer interactions across customer touch points to stimulate profitable behavior changes to achieve your business objectives.
- Create a personal connection with social media. Remember the conversation is between people–people discussing their needs, preferences and opinions about your brand and their interactions with your brand. You need to connect with customers and influencers to reinforce your value proposition and focus on what really matters to your customer — creating concise, relevant and compelling messages that build relationships based on your customers’ needs. To truly engage the customer in the brand experience, social media is best integrated with elements of the your customer loyalty program.
- Use mobile and digital marketing campaigns to extend reach of your message. The mobile and digital marketplace allows retailers to take advantage of location-based promotions, smart posters, 2D barcode promotions, or social media applications.
Customer preferences are changing and retailers who approach marketing messaging more effectively can expect to remain top-of-mind with consumers. Successful retailers have already taken advantage of multiple platform programs, but even more are making plans to do so. According to a recent study, only 24% of all retail organizations surveyed utilize a multi-channel loyalty strategy, but 58% of retailers plan to implement cross-channel strategies in the next 12 to 18 months.