How to Deliver Relevant Experiences in an Omnichannel World

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Adobe announces new cross-channel capabilities.
Adobe announces new cross-channel capabilities.

Relevancy is the Holy Grail of marketing. But delivering relevant experiences in an omnichannel world is no easy feat. Representatives from Macy's, Twitter, and U.S. Bank revealed how they provide relevant experiences for their multichannel customers today at the DMA2013 Strategic Summit in Chicago. Here are four of their tips. 

Social media: New platforms don't mean new objectives

Social media has completely shaken up the marketing landscape. It has changed the way marketers measure engagement, conduct conversations, and drive brand awareness. However, it didn't change marketers' overall objectives, Brian Hagen, sales manager for Twitter, argued.

“The advent of Twitter has not changed the objectives of marketers,” he said. “Marketing is still all about the message—getting the right message to the right user at the right moment.”

Hagen encouraged attendees to think of Twitter as a bridge that connects real-time moments between different channels. For example, 95% of online public conversations about TV happen on Twitter, Hagen said. So, marketers can extend the life of a 30-second TV message by putting that message in front of Twitter users who have already been exposed to it. This not only creates a richer viewer experience for the consumers, Hagen said, but it also allows advertisers to get their message in front of the right people at the right time.

And while Darren Stoll, group VP of interactive marketing and analytics for Macy's.com, agreed that social signals help determine what customers are thinking and where they are in the buying cycle, he noted that this data has a short lifespan.

“Having the approach to respond to that signal in a short time period is critical,” he said.

Content: The key to resonating with customers

Using social signals to put the right message in front of the right customer at the right time is one thing; but if marketers fail to do so, their targeting efforts will be lost.

“They don't put enough thought into, 'What am I going to say to these people?'” Hagen said.

The message: Marketers need to deliver valuable content with a consistent voice if they hope to resonate with consumers.

Brand magic: Make it tangible

Many consumers have heard of “The Magic of Macy's,” and iconic moments like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and Miracle on 34th Street make this magic seem real, Stoll said. But today's consumers don't want to just believe in the magic, they want to experience it. To make that brand magic feel tangible, Macy's relies on three key elements:

Utility: Ensuring that customers can accomplish what they set out to do

Value: Providing quality products and promotions

Emotion: Being a source of inspiration for customers (such as for home décor)

“I think that where the magic comes in is when you can seamlessly blend the three,” Stoll said.

Experimentation: A marketing necessity

Marketers tend to get attached to traditional practices. And those unwilling to change will see competitors pass them by. Jill Enabnit, VP of analytics and performance solutions for U.S. Bank, said that relying on old practices in a new omnichannel environment won't yield the same results marketers saw years ago.

“It is test and learn, and it's necessary to be able to say you're going to go out and try new things. Being willing to try new things is accelerating,” she said. “Be willing to try new things and be willing to fail sometimes.”

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