Marketers battle against fragmented channels
Multichannel marketing is a high priority in large organisations but there are still a number of major barriers - such as channel fragmentation - to achieving it, according to communications software firm Pitney Bowes Software.
The 'Disconnected Customer Channels' survey report observed that, while most organisations are striving to fully integrate their communications and recognise this as best practice, only a minority has achieved it. Companies that are using sophisticated marketing segmentation techniques based on deep customer insights are also more likely to be using predictive analytic tools and communicating with customers via their preferred channels. But, despite this, only 2% of companies said they had already arrived at this level.
Among the key findings of the survey, which examined companies in the financial services, telecoms and utility industries:
- Organisations are finding integrating communications channels a real challenge with 90% saying they want to do so but only 31% achieving it.
- The situation is compounded by the growth in channels: Over half (53%) now engage with customers via social networks but only 8% achieve integrated, cross-channel communications based on preferences.
- The result is often lost customers, with fragmented communications blamed by 32% for losses during onboarding, and mass targeting blamed by 26%.
- Some 27% say they are not capitalising on the inbound channel and only 9% have systems that model customer behaviour to make appropriate prompts that enable staff to maximise the opportunity.
Gary Roberts, executive vice president (EMEA) for Pitney Bowes Software, explained: "Customers now use a whole range of different communications channels and expect continually improved standards of customer service from their providers. These providers need to speak with a clear and coherent voice and this is proving a real challenge with today's disconnected channels."
There are three things that companies can do to connect their customer channels together to help drive customer loyalty and lifetime value:
- Embrace technology to achieve cross-channel marketing;
- Fine-tune channel exploitation and make the most of all opportunities, particularly during the 'onboarding' phase and with the inbound channel;
- Gather insight during every interaction and use this to enable more relevant communications at every touchpoint.