Ben Dickens, March 4, 2016
Omni-channel marketing, multi-channel marketing, holistic. All terms being used heavily at the moment as the world begins to get switched on to thinking about the sum of a customers engagements, their overall experience. It’s a constant topic at DVO.
There’s confusion over omni-channel and multi-channel particularly, seemingly used interchangeably by those not fully up to speed. We like the definitions provided by Lisa Mantell from Emarsys, here.
We have technology to thank for this but from a brand’s perspective, these new channels have often been added to marketing structures developed in an age where channels were limited and communication was always one way. Couple this with an empowered consumer who is bombarded with unprecedented levels of advertising and it seems like the wheels are beginning to creak.
Well, put simply, we need to dig deeper so we can better understand the needs, passions and goals of our consumer. We need to think more strategically, developing collective strategy that is shaped around our customer, adapted at a channel specific level based on where our customer is in their journey and their specific demands at that point. And we need to stop using strategy as a catch-all term for tactical channel work (pet bug bear of mine). To me it feels like we are at a tipping point, those slow to react will likely fall away and new, unencumbered entrants will step into the space, buoyed by an holistic approach to communication from day one.
Very often, and especially at DVO, this means taking a step back, rethinking strategy and how we solve problems for clients. Focusing our approach so it can work across multi-channel, not led by a particular area as this isn’t the world we live in any more. Think about it, your consumer interacts with you on the TV, in press, at a desktop, on mobile, in-store and on the phone and can do this in a blink of an eye on multiple channels at the same time. The aims of your brand are either achieved or not, through the sum of these interactions and it’s blindingly obvious that how you approach this needs to cover them all.
Better understanding your customer requires multiple research elements, integration of numerous data sources and ultimately bigger picture thinking. DVO’s approach comes very much from a strategic viewpoint but our model is different to traditional agencies in that we are entrepreneurs, our innovation core isn’t about playing with new tech and palming it off as entrepreneurship. We actively incubate start-up propositions through the agency and then, either in collaboration or under our own steam, launch new business ventures. It gives us insight at a big picture business level. This kind of innovative thinking leads to the development of products and services that blur the line between marketing and business and sit inside a brand’s portfolio of offerings, paid or free.
This is something you should definitely be asking of your agency and yourselves. How are you integrating? I personally don’t feel that huge reorganisation is needed, it’s more about sitting strategy and brand management above channels rather than being focused on above the line.
If you’d like to discuss your challenges, call us on 020 3771 2461, or drop us an email.
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