The success of any omnichannel strategy can be determined by the quality of the data behind it. Without data, a brand’s ability to create a campaign that transcends multiple touchpoints with relevancy and accuracy will be severely compromised. Data after all is the fuel that powers modern day marketing.
That said, the way brands build and shape their campaigns is equally important, but commonly forgotten in the quest for instantaneous responses. The architecture of campaigns can impact the extent to which they are able to deliver measurable and quantifiable returns for brands, just as much as the message itself.
Data may inform the approach, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the creative. Equally, campaigns need to take into account live behavioural signals and insight garnered over time. In fact, you could argue omnichannel activity requires even greater planning and insight than more traditional direct marketing as a consistent message needs to be communicated to the end user across a range of different touchpoints.
This brings us back to the question – Why is predictive modelling more powerful than real-time responses? Whilst there is an increasing appetite to send messages to consumers in real-time, brands need to ensure that this is not simply a tactic through which to drive short-term interactions.
Real-time is a mechanic through which to communicate a particular message, to a particular individual at a specific moment in time. It is not, as it is increasingly being used, a way in which to artificially create a reason to send a message to a customer based on a loosely linked, calendar event. The birth of the royal baby, a breakout moment at the Oscars or even the simple fact it is Easter Sunday may all seem like opportunistic moments to interact with your customers. They may also inspire you to create a cunning piece of creative. However, unless the idea is going to delight in a standout way, add value to the customer or increase their brand affinity towards you, it shouldn’t make its way on to your consideration list.
Predictive modelling, the process of creating, testing and validating a particular idea in order to calculate the likelihood of potential outcome, naturally drives a far more considered approach. Now, this methodology doesn’t mean that campaign creation is going to take significantly longer to devise and activate. In the short-term, it might take a little longer, depending on how streamlined your marketing team is, but in the long run, your ability to activate campaigns will not be compromised. In fact, the technical capability now exists to such an extent that brands are able to automate aspects of their campaign activity with a high level of precision. This in turn helps brands to send messages to their audience in real-time, but in a considered manner.
As with any email campaign, taking the time to test and learn ensures that campaigns are constantly being adapted and evolved in accordance with how the audience is responding and interacting with them. Insight ultimately breeds precision and engagement. Just because a customer engages with a particular piece of content you send them or post on social media, it doesn’t mean they are actively engaged with you or invested in you longer term. That needs to manifest over time.
Identifying particular models and evaluating the extent to which they will deliver the returns you are hoping for is crucial to creating campaigns that will drive value. It provides you with vital information not only about how well messages are being received, but when and how they should be communicated. At the same time it also enables you to utilise your customer database in a far more effective manner, and enhance your single customer view.
However, it is important to note that any approach in this regard needs to be evaluated against the business’ wider strategy. Does it support the common goals of the business? Is it in-line with brand guidelines? Is it complementary to the products and services being sold? Equally is it being rolled out with the expectations and requirements of the intended audience in mind?
Decisions need to be driven by insight first, not simply gut feel. The ability to send messages that capture your audience’s attention at key moments in the customer journey is a priority aim for any marketer. But if campaigns are too reactive and tactical they are likely to be less relevant or contribute to the growth of the business.