Investing In A Successful Omnichannel Strategy Takes Time

The business landscape can move and change with some serious speed - but that's no reason not to slow down and invest some time in omnichannel success.

  1. chevron left iconInvesting In A Successful Omnichannel Strategy Takes Time
Morag Cuddeford-JonesSeptember 5, 2019
  • Content Management
  • Digital Marketing
  • Content Marketing

There can be no doubt, the business landscape moves and changes with sometimes shocking speed. With each new concept or tool, there’s an insistence that marketers get on top of it yesterday, or risk losing out.

The trouble is, few organizations are actually equipped to pick up a new campaign, strategy or even tool without some extensive background work. To do that well, takes time – something which marketers don’t have much of. Regardless, they can feel so pressurized into delivering that they press ahead regardless. To no one’s surprise, this rarely ends well.

The dangers of failing to prepare are highlighted in an Insight Brief by Digital Clarity Group (DCG), Omnichannel Success Depends On Knowing Your Customer, but it also reveals the steps companies need to take to make sure they have the right foundations in place.

First and foremost, however, DCG addresses why marketers should be concerned with omnichannel in the first place. The need to even address this question demonstrates how little it is properly understood, with many marketers unable to define the concept clearly.

Only recently, brewing giant, Heineken, admitted that it didn’t know its customers well enough to be able to operate effectively online. Its global head of ecommerce told Marketing Week that it needed to convince eretailers to start sharing data because “we need to understand and you cannot understand based on intuition”. The company is looking to improve its analytical capabilities to help its operating companies make sense of the data.

What Heineken has discovered is that truly operating in an omnichannel way means much more than just understanding the data in a single channel, bringing a new channel online or just operating in a handful of digital channels, using a multichannel rather than integrated omnichannel approach. It has recognized that customer data has to be carried forward from the beginning of the interaction all throughout their engagement with the brand.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) tackled this challenge with its internal agency, Spark44. Selling across a diverse range of regions and marketing channels, the company wanted to increase demand for its premium brands while reducing costs incurred by duplicated and mixed messaging.

Having its agency work as a partner rather than supplier means internal barriers are broken down, allowing a much smoother sharing of information and data to feed the omnichannel approach. The firm now has a single source of truth (supported by censhare, of course!) for both Spark44 and JLR allowing it to send personalized, tailored content and emails that support rather than confuse the customer journey.

Critically, none of this fits into the ‘done yesterday’ approach still driving many marketing initiatives. A conservative estimate puts the implementation process at anything between one and three years. Heineken also realises that taking an omnichannel approach means much more than altering a brief or changing a workflow. The company is setting up a dedicated digital commercial accelerator unit in its most mature markets but even that, it admits, is not yet enough. “We need to look at the ecommerce-ready supply chain and global e-retailers and see if we can do global work together in key markets […] we need to learn and to test,” Marketing Week reported.

To delve deeper into the best practice procedure for helping businesses function as omnichannel organizations, download Omnichannel Success Depends On Knowing Your Customer, here.

Morag Cuddeford-Jones
Morag has been a marketing journalist and editor for 20 years but is still trying to convince herself that she doesn’t look it. She came to journalism after a brief flirtation with the music and entertainment industry, which ended when she discovered that she nurtured a passionate dislike of any tunes not produced in 1985.

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