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Perspectives on multichannel

The Festival of Marketing, which took place November 11-12 at East London's bustling Tobacco Dock, provided some fascinating insights into the priorities and concerns of today's industry leaders: chief among them was the challenge of understanding multichannel consumers.

While the widespread desire to achieve this goal was clear, the tactics and pathway remain less so for many organisations, particularly considering the challenges of working with large volumes of data in order to 'join the dots' between channels. Gareth Powell, Head of Web Analytics at JD Williams Group, noted: "We deploy a lot of emails and catalogues and obviously have an online presence. Understanding how this links with TV and store activity is quite complicated... The challenge lies in the exponential growth of data. We capture 65 GB of data a month."

Other speakers at the festival echoed Gareth's feelings that multichannel engagement is very much in place, but sorting out and making use of the resulting data is a complex process – demanding a diverse set of skills and the right technological infrastructure. While difficulties were acknowledged, others shared notable success stories.

Matt Roberts, Online Marketing Controller at Argos, noted: "We have enough customer behaviour signals (in the way they interact with our own website and also off-site channels) to paint enough of a picture to give strong results and conversion metrics". Elliot Antrobus-Holder, Group Digital Director at Barclays, provided more context by saying his bank has "started to use external data sources to understand data that’s broader than customer base and transaction data. If we can build better profiles, we can personalise more and be proactive."

The key multichannel priorities for some of the UK's largest companies, then, appear to centre around leveraging existing channels to generate joined-up consumer insights, incorporating new sources of second- and third-party data, while also developing the internal skills (and implementing the technology) needed to feed these insights into the customer journey.

censhare contributed to this year's Festival of Marketing event with a customer case study from Rüdiger Pläster (Director of Customer Solutions at Kontrast Communication Services) focusing on how Kontrast lifted Vodafone’s partner portal to a new digital maturity level in just three months. To find out more about how censhare is helping businesses to build strong multichannel capabilities, explore our Optimize solutions.