The Push to Real-Time Multichannel Marketing

July 1, 2015
Contributor: Heather Pemberton Levy

Marketers double down on event-triggered multichannel marketing, social and audience-centric techniques.

Multichannel marketers intend to make significant shifts away from ineffective, large-volume “push” type campaigns towards conversational,  real-time techniques   at scale,  according to Gartner’s multichannel marketing survey.

With the growth of real-time capable digital channels and adoption by targeted buyers, multichannel marketers say they plan to focus on engaging with audiences at the very moment they need it, according to Adam Sarner, research vice president with Gartner for Marketing Leaders. The survey findings also indicate the increasing importance of social media to B2B multichannel marketers and use of audience persona for channel selection and targeting.

Finding 1:  Event-triggered techniques will double in priority

“Push” type marketing through channels like email and mobile mirrors the mechanics of spam.  Marketers attempt to get a small percentage of responses from large volumes. To improve upon those inherent inefficiencies, many multichannel marketers are adding event-triggering tactics that focus on right-time events that maximize the relevance of a particular offer.

For instance, an inbound call with no resolution followed by a detected drop in social sentiment can trigger a retention campaign for the next web visit, or an offer in the customer’s mobile app the next time he walks into the store. Testing event-triggered tactics provides a base line for moving into more robust customer experiences.

In two years, the priority of event-triggered marketing will double.

Finding 2:  B2B Marketers see social as key to the sale

B2B multichannel marketers recognize the importance of social media to influence the sale no matter where transactions ultimately occur, online or off.  In fact, investment in social techniques in each stage of the customer’s buying process (awareness, interest, preference, buy and advocate) are increasing for B2B marketers.

Social media channels Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and Google+ were also chosen as top picks — pointing to B2B and B2B2C focus of the respondents. Given that Google+ received a high percentage, this may indicate that B2B and B2B2C marketers are utilizing Google+ in areas such as Google Hangouts and event support, community topic building, blogs, YouTube promotional video and demonstrations, over their B2C counterparts.

Finding 3:  Marketers seek audience relevance first

Many digital marketing projects begin as a search for cost reductions over traditional channels.  Companies seek to gain cost savings by eliminating paper and postage expenses, reducing human error and streamlining awkward manual processes. However, when asked about their primary criteria for selecting channels for their multichannel marketing efforts, marketers ranked audience relevance first, specifically “relevant to target personas.” Cost came in second for digital (and third for traditional channels).

Apparently, marketers still care about saving a buck or two. Now their interest in measurement may be waning. Interestingly “ability to measure” came lower for both digital and traditional channels as selection criteria.   A willingness to temporarily forgo a direct measurement of value means there is appetite for experimentation and channel growth.

Taken together, these three finding suggest that over the next two years marketers will experiment with event-triggered and real-time marketing strategies to learn about their audiences and significantly grow multichannel marketing initiatives.

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