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    OPINION “Shift from multichannel to omnichannel is key to meet consumer demands”: how martech needs to evolve

    Upstream CMO, Chrysa Karamanidi, and Head of Product & Growth, Katerina Matthaiou, highlight the importance of deploying omnichannel marketing strategies and why martech can accelerate their adoption

    Consumers today do not just seek mere digital interactions, but consistent and unified experiences across any touch point they communicate with a brand, according to Upstream.

    Speaking at MEF Connects Omnichannel in London on November 28th, the global marketing technology company’s Chief Marketing Officer, Chrysa Karamanidi, and the Head of Product & Growth, Katerina Matthaiou, delved into the challenges and benefits of deploying an omnichannel marketing strategy through their presentation: “Marketing Technology: The Key to Unlocking the True Omnichannel Customer Experience”.

    Today many brands have implemented multichannel strategies. However, few are those that have succeeded in transitioning into an omnichannel approach. Usually, the emphasis is placed on the use of various channels to reach the largest possible number of customers, with the channels working independently from one another.

    However, this approach isn’t always successful as 56%[1] of consumers report that they frequently have to repeat the same information through different customer flows, which is a cause for frustration. In fact, 79% of consumers expect consistent interactions across channels and 80% consider a brand’s experience as important as its products[2].

    According to Karamanidi: “Omnichannel is the art of redefining the customer-brand interaction. It is not about the quantity of channels, but about the quality of the integration between the channels. In the realm of consumer expectations, the product purchased is only as important as the seamless journey it accompanies. Each communication channel needs to contribute its own distinct element, working together to craft a unique personalized experience. Whenever we get closer to an omnichannel strategy, putting the user rather than the channel at the epicentre of the communication, the results are remarkable.”

    MarTech responding to the challenges of implementing an omnichannel strategy

    The benefits of embracing an omnichannel approach are manifold, ranging from brand consistency and higher customer satisfaction to personalized offerings, efficient customer support, enhanced overall experiences and elevated conversion rates.

    Despite these advantages, the transition from multichannel to omnichannel is slow and intricate, influenced by factors such as organizational silos, resistance to change, resource requirements, lack of expertise of the marketers, inconsistent customer data and inadequate customer understanding.

    Additionally, infrastructure and technology pose challenges in this transition, as different departments use different tools, which lack integration, there are costs to consider for upgrading existing infrastructure and new infrastructure has to be implemented to ensure security and privacy.

    “Here’s where marketing technology comes into play, enabling companies to adopt true omnichannel strategies” says Matthaiou. “What a martech platform needs to offer is centralization, the ability to control all the communications across the board through a sole platform. Integrating data gathered from all different channels or even from existing customer data platforms (CDPs) will ensure better targeting, but it will also enable setting up event-triggered communications. Unified reporting will help acquire a better understanding of customers, leading to improved decision making. Magic can only happen with the right tool”.

    Putting omnichannel marketing into work

    During the event, Karamanidi and Matthaiou presented cases of omnichannel strategies unfolding through the company’s mobile marketing platform, Grow. Such a case was driving plan upgrades for a major mobile network operator in Brazil. The seamless integration of the MNO’s data into the platform enabled targeted campaigns, which drove 24% higher conversions. Also, the company reported a 45% uplift in plan upgrades through automated retargeting of customers who dropped off the purchase funnel on the web, through mobile messaging channels, such as SMS or RCS.

    Similarly, Upstream reported a 135% customer base increase through onsite campaigns for a fashion retailer in Brazil in 45 days. The new CRM base was then used to drive sales via mobile messaging. Leveraging behavioural data, the company ran personalized winback campaigns that improved repeat sales by 8%, as well as cart recovery campaigns, decreasing cart abandonment by 70%. Overall, the retailer enjoyed a 16x ROI.

    [1] Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer Report

    [2] Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer Report

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