Real–Time Cross Channel Optimisation

It’s no longer controversial to point out that the speed of new technology is rapidly making old marketing performance metrics useless. I’ve survived more than my share of A/B tests, multivariate tests and behavioural targeting programs, and it grows clearer by the day that these tools are no longer enough for companies to make sure they’re excelling at every part of the customer experience. 

I often hear from clients who are trying to comb through mountains of data to identify key consumer information. They feel overwhelmed. People are gathering information at so many points now in the consumer experience that it’s hard for companies to know where to even begin looking for real insights. The answer is to embrace real-time cross channel optimisation.
 
Adding a real-time component to more traditional customer interaction data gives companies predictive ability. They can learn when consumers are likely to buy, or perhaps more valuably, recognize the warning signs of dissatisfaction before they become more serious issues.

For example, let's say I place a call to a company’s call centre in the morning to complain about my interaction with a product, and then at lunch I visit their website. Real-time cross channel optimisation allows that company to target me with an incentivized offer based on what they learned that morning. They alleviate my unhappiness and foster a personalized experience. The company is more instantly adaptable, more ready to engage me as a dynamic customer.

Simply understanding single online—or offline—interactions no longer paints the most complete portrait of a customer.  It’s not enough to understand each customer’s mobile habits, social habits, or in-store tendencies as distinct patterns. Sales, retention, engagement, brand awareness— all stand to benefit from reflecting our complex understanding of customers across every channel of interaction, with the ability to respond to customer needs in real-time.
  
It’s not a new objective to make sure you offer customers distinct value in every interaction. But the means we have for measuring that value are new, and we have a tremendous opportunity to unite them in a single optimisation strategy. Consider real-time cross channel optimisation to make sure your customer experiences are prepared for new realities. 
 
This all sounds pretty complicated, but there are simple steps to get started . The key is to start with a small pilot approach, and then leverage the success of the pilot to turn it into a full-time program. Here are some typical steps to take:

1. Identify a key business pain point, where an improvement in performance would significantly improve bottom line revenue (e.g. Website conversion rates, call centre cross/up sell effectiveness, Online leads converting better in store).
2. Identify a Real-Time Decisioning solution that fits your budget and your objectives and allows you to run an initial pilot.
3. Setup a pilot using the selected tool. The key here is to start in an area that will drive significant business benefit, without being a complicated implementation piece.
4. Continue to optimise the pilot to ensure you are getting a solid result.
5. Use the success and learning from the pilot to sell to the business as a full program. This could be a board level decision or head of a key business unit.
6. Once the program is running within a specific business unit (Marketing, Sales, Service, etc.), use the success of the program to productise the program for different business needs (Reduce cost,  increase sales, improve efficiency, etc.)

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