New generations of consumers are regular users of the Internet and smart phones, spending more time online than watching TV or reading magazines. This shift in consumer behavior is changing the way of carrying out marketing and thus customer communication, which is becoming a convergence of direct marketing and mass-marketing. For example, if you are a direct marketing professional carrying out online marketing campaigns via e-mail or mobile, you’ll probably come across mass-marketing campaigns. Why? Because, like in your case, mass marketers are investing more than ever in online advertising in exchange for reducing their TV or print budgets.

Why are both sides of the marketing ecosystem in the digital world?

Heading: Multi-channel Marketing Automation: The next frontier for operational marketing.
Date: 25/04/2014

It is because consumer’s expectations have radically changed in recent years so direct marketing and mass-marketing are no longer distinguishable. Regardless of which area of marketing you work in, whether it is online or offline, or if it is Above or Below the Line, if you want to contact consumers you have to find out where they are, that is, at home, at work, on the Internet or social media spaces and through TV, computers or mobile phones and tablets, namely through Noline media. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly necessary to customize messages, tailor offerings and engage customers in interactive dialogues that build trust and create loyalty. All this requires Multi-channel Marketing Automation technologies that enhance customer intelligence and optimize interaction through channels, with a 360° view, monitoring and responding to changes in customer behavior.

Massive marketing transformation

Investment in digital marketing is growing at the expense of traditional marketing.

Forecasts for 2014 estimate that spending on ads for TV will grow by around 2%, there will be a 4% increase for online spending and around a 10% increase for mobile, while the rest of the media outlets will continue in free fall.

The elements that are driving this change are:

  • The transfer of power to the consumer via the Internet and social networks.
  • Media fragmentation.
  • The demand for customized service through different channels.
  • The explosion of data.

These trends point to a gradual convergence of direct marketing and mass-marketing in a new model: the need for a one-to-one marketing model that is customer-focused and interactive, customized and multi-channel, a model that is leveraged by Marketing Automation. In this new world, in which customer information and interactions are becoming more digital, the need for marketing automation is growing exponentially.

In this scenario, marketers create a single view of the customer that fuels marketing automation technologies to improve the dialogue with customers in real-time when and where they want to capture them. At the same time, the vision of the customer is shifting from the IT department to the Marketing department and from there to the front office, where interactions actually occur: stores, agencies, branches, call centers, websites, etc. The analytical information from the interactions and experiences of customers with the company can enables their trust to be increased through dialogue, thereby improving the company’s results.

You can even turn customers into promoters of your company on social networks.

The solution: Marketing Automation supported by integrated and multi-channel campaign management

The main question is: What is needed to manage multi-channel marketing campaigns with one-to-one interactions with customers 24 hours a day?

The answer is simple: you need a Multi-channel Marketing Automation management campaign solution which allows highly customized and relevant communications to be launched and integrated across different communication channels. True customization is achieved when Customer Intelligence tools are used, applying plans and marketing tactics to them in one-to-one interactions with an appropriate contacts plan.

This solution must take three functional areas into account:

  • 360º customer view with high quality data obtained from analytical tools.
  • Campaign Management and Optimization which, through process automation, enables offers to be coordinated through multiple channels, reporting the results. At the same time, the interests of the different company departments, the budget limitations and the restrictions on the amount or form of contact with customers are managed. All this while analyzing interactions to make real-time decisions that translate into a positive customer experience.
  • Management of operational and financial results through process analysis, dashboards and reporting with key indicators and appropriate cost monitoring.

For the automated management of the above functional areas, it is necessary to have the most advanced Marketing Automation technology that supports these functions in a centralized and integrated manner, thus enabling the creation of online and offline communications that shift the operative marketing frontier to dimension 2.0.

Javier Echebarría