[Posted by Alexis Karlin
Digital Marketing Specialist, Neolane, Inc.]
Neolane’s VP of Marketing Kristin Hambelton recently hosted a webinar with guest speaker Shar VanBoskirk, vice president and principal analyst from Forrester Research. The key focus of the webinar was to highlight the benefits of adopting an integrated, customer-centric approach to cross-channel messaging to help marketers overcome the existing marketing campaign management barriers to success. Shar VanBoskirk kicked off the discussion by pointing out that overall interactive marketing spend will near $77 billion by 2016, while email marketing spend will reach 10% between now and 2016.
However, Shar uncovered some newly announced research from Forrester’s email marketing client reference survey, Q4 2011 which states that 93% of email marketers run welcome messages at least monthly with little effort towards coordinating email with mobile.
In stating this, Shar concluded that most marketers still fail to integrate because they are used to being a part of the age of information, not the age of the consumers, in which empowered buyers demand a new level of customer engagement. Coupled with the fact that no one vendor offers a comprehensive solution, makes it even more difficult for marketers to integrate channels effectively.
Shar’s recommendations on how to develop an integrated messaging strategy include:
- Unify your customer view;
- Automate your processes;
- Orient by the customer not the channel;
- Evaluate your current vendor relationship;
- Map out your customer journeys; and
- Start developing metrics that gauge the correlation of channels on each other
Kristin Hambelton then followed by providing her own insights, supporting Shar’s argument that marketers still have a ways to go in becoming more customer-centric in their integrated messaging approach.
Kristin stated, however, that with the help of conversational marketing technology, marketers can more easily plan, target and execute inbound and outbound messages from a single platform, ultimately helping to more effectively market to the customer, not the channel.
In summary, Kristin provided 4 must have’s for customer-focused integrated messaging (CFIM) or conversational marketing:
- Real-Time, 360-degree customer view
- Central decision engine (inbound & outbound channels)
- Native channel execution
- High-volume automation
Please let us know if you have any thoughts or feedback – we look forward to hearing from you. If you were unable to attend the webinar, you can access the full presentation here.