The Right Channel Is Multichannel

The message at Responsys Interact2013 was clear: Customers are today’s brand leaders. So marketers need to listen to customers’ cues and be where their customers are—and today that’s, well, everywhere.

We’ve seen the shift. During the opening keynote Scott Olrich Responsys’ president, marketing and platform, took attendees back on the journey. It started with the Customer Era, when relationships were deep, choice was limited, and personalization wasn’t scalable (think: the days of the corner store). Then marketing moved to the Campaign Era, filled with anonymous, broad campaigns with little personalization but much more choice. Now we’ve entered a time that will capture the best of both. It’s the Relationship Era of marketing and its main asset, Olrich said, is the personalization of the Customer Era at the mass scale of the Campaign Era.

“Most marketers still cling to blast campaigns,” he said. “Smart marketers focus on digital and addressable.” They’re now able to deliver on the promises of personalization made 10 years ago, Olrich added.

Why is doing so important? Customers today expect personalization, choice, and value—because they get it already from leaders such as Amazon, which is one company creating personalized experiences at mass scale.

One way to do this: Flip the model, said Steve Krause, SVP of product management at Responsys. Today most marketers start with the campaign, create an offer, schedule it, and send to mass audience; instead, Krause said during his presentation, marketers should start with customer, build profiles, design experiences, and personalized interactions.

Ultimately, to be successful marketers should help to make the customer experience richer, said Michael Della Penna, SVP of emerging channels at Responsys. “Marketers need to highlight the value their brand can bring to a customer’s life,” he said, adding that a customer-focused multichannel approach is essential to this. “You have to be where your customers are to make that experience a positive one.”  

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