Taking Cues From the Customer: “Omnichannel” and the Drive For Audience Engagement

This white paper, produced in partnership with the Interactive Advertising Bureau, will explore the origins and likely evolution of omnichannel customer engagement strategies. Based on an
intensive primary research effort, it will demonstrate that:

  • Interest in the omnichannel approach is surging across virtually all segments of the marketing ecosystem, with 91.7 percent of panelists agreeing that such strategies drive “real value,” and 82.4 percent saying they intend on investing in the same in the near future
  • While omnichannel strategies stand to deliver a host of rewards that span marketing applications, panelists said they expect the brand identity and recognition benefits of such an approach to be the most significant of all—outstripping even clear performance gains such as “higher response rates” and “revenue growth”
  • The role of advertising in supporting omnichannel strategies will rely on continued adoption of audience-centered media formats; while 25 percent of panelists said such cross-platform products are “very important” in driving customer engagement today, a whopping 79 percent believe they will be crucial in the near future; and
  • The inherent constraints of existing media channels do not represent a substantial challenge to the deployment of omnichannel strategies. By comparison, gaps with respect to supporting technologies and internal business processes continue to hamper marketer and publisher attempts to achieve wider transformation.

The paper will outline six key competencies that define what marketers and publishers
will need in order to capitalize on the omnichannel promise in the years ahead. They include:

  • Customer Analytics and Multiplatform Attribution… the foundations of a deeper understanding of the customer and the engagement strategy best tuned to her needs
  • Rich Content—Optimized for Context and Strategic Intent… enhancing the value of every consumer interaction, and supporting a range of tactics addressing both branding and performance marketing priorities
  • Operational Infrastructure Geared to the Needs of Customer Engagement… including media buying and selling tools that support various channels (and metrics), as well as business processes, incentive structures and key performance indicators aligned with the same
  • Cross-Platform, Audience-Driven Media Products… allowing advertisers to more readily identify and engage with customer segments through their chosen platforms
  • Integration of Deeply Engaging—Yet Effectively “Disconnected”—Media Channels… including addressable television, mobile video, out-of-home media and others; and
  • Elevation of the “Omnichannel Strategist” as a Senior Role… ensuring accountability and coordination of customer decisioning, product development, pricing and other
    critical functions.