2015 Predictions: The Path to Omnichannel Will Become Clear

Illustration of a generic roadmap without names

This post is based on insights from the Sailthru ebook “2015 Marketing Technology Predictions: The Future of Marketing” available for download now.

During the next six to 12 months, the path to omnichannel will become surprisingly clear. Becoming an omnichannel marketer won’t mean taking a leap into the abyss. It’ll mean putting one foot in front of the other. Once you start, you won’t have to worry that three new social networks will turn your plans upside down. You’ll be ready, because the basis of your marketing will be customer-centric, not technology-centric or channel-centric.

For many brands, creating a connected, contiguous experience for consumers starts with better email. That email is personalized with dynamic content based on data coming in across all channels and touch points. Storing and housing that data as a single customer view opens up endless opportunities, not only to engage and retain customers, but also to create experiences that will resonate with customers as they interact with your brand.

A single customer view also makes it easier for marketers to think strategically, rather than focusing their efforts on managing hundreds or even thousands of lists. It allows marketers to get a much better sense of which of their actions are creating long-term customer value, and to design tests that will help refine those ideas. What marketer doesn’t want to know which of their actions are creating long-term value, and to be able to replicate them?

Another place to start may be simply by assessing your current state of technological readiness, compared to where you’d like to be. Even if you’re collecting data  only across a few channels right now, start thinking about what has to happen when those channels evolve, as they inevitably will. How will your data need to be organized? Who will need to access it? Does your team have the skills to successfully analyze it?

Then find a purpose-built partner who has the capabilities to grow, as you’re ready. That way, when new networks and channels become available for customer engagement, you’ll be prepared. Your customer data will be high-quality, well-organized, easily  accessible and able to support your growth.

The output of this journey will be unique for every company, but the road map is clear: asses your data needs and know how to build a data asset, start with email or another turnkey channel, expand to include onsite, then mobile , social and in-store, moving channel-by-channel to test, learn and grow.

Neil Capel, CEO & Founder of Sailthru

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