__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 68

MARKETING

68

The future is omnichannel Consumers will abandon brands that fail to provide personalized marketing. Rasmus Houlind and Colin Shearer explain

Omnichannel is more than a marketing buzzword. It refers to a significant shift in marketing practice, to the point at which the entire organization has recognized that customers’ buying decisions are not linear. Consumers today do not distinguish between e-commerce and commerce. Nor do they care whether they buy from a local company or not. They do, though, expect a seamless experience when switching between digital and physical sales, and between communication channels; and they get annoyed by irrelevant offers that fail to take account of their history with a company. As a result, more and more companies are moving from a salesoriented multichannel focus to an omnichannel focus, where customer profitability and customer loyalty are at the heart of all major decisions. A 2017 study from Brightpearl, The State of Omnichannel Retail, found that 91% of retailers already either had an omnichannel strategy or planned to invest in one. However, only 8% felt that they had mastered it. While doing research for our book, Make It All About Me (LID, 2019), we found six common disciplines shared by that minority of market leaders – disciplines which have made firms like Sephora, Amazon, Nordstrom, The North Face and Telenor masters of omnichannel. How are these six areas set to develop in the years ahead?

Consumers get annoyed by irrelevant offers that fail to take account of their history Dialogue Q4 2019

1

Being recognized in the physical world will become the norm

Leading omnichannel marketers recognize their customers across channels and ask for permission to communicate directly. At Forevermark’s Shanghai jewellery store, Libert’aime, customers that have signed up through WeChat and booked a try-on session

are automatically recognized and greeted by name on arrival. This comes as a surprise to many customers today, but it will become the norm. Consumers will expect sales associates to have full insight into their previous purchase patterns and communication history, and to be treated accordingly.

2

Data collection will be ubiquitous

Today’s leaders collect data systematically from all touchpoints and channels; that will become ubiquitous. Amazon collects customer data from Amazon Prime, Kindle, Echo, AmazonGo, Amazon.com and a host of other services. Data sources aren’t limited to website visits and email clicks, but include physical presence recorded by camera, voice recorded by Echo, and rich behavioural data, for example from Kindle devices. In the future there will be no customer interaction without data collection.

3

Algorithms will bring superpowers to marketers

Modern start-ups such as the audio book subscription service Storytel.com are already using AI and machine learning techniques to systematically uncover the most important moments of truth with customers’ use of their services. They extract features such as sentiment and excitement curves for brand new books that no-one has even read – except the algorithm. Technology will offer a hitherto unseen variety of insights on customers, which can be leveraged with each customer to gradually increase their satisfaction and lifetime value.

4

Marketing becomes service

Today’s leaders already act on their data and insights to create better communication, service and CX (customer experience). What we used to think of as marketing will become helpful communication

Profile for LID Business Media

Dialogue Q4 2019  

Today’s global economy is shaped more by businesses than by nation states: by the goods and services they provide, the networks and supply c...

Dialogue Q4 2019  

Today’s global economy is shaped more by businesses than by nation states: by the goods and services they provide, the networks and supply c...