For my next interview, I spoke with Cindy Randazzo, Vice President, Strategic Solutions for SourceLink. Cindy had so much to say about trends for 2014, that we split the interview into two articles, but they all revolve around the idea of an "Omnichannel" approach to marketing for 2014 and beyond.
 

An Age Where Marketing and IT Reach New Heights

Today’s most successful CMOs have joined forces with their CIOs to insure that marketing is core to business strategies. Smart organizations have recognized the wealth of marketing data and customer insights that can be applied across the organization.

Many banks are reaping the benefits of collaborative marketing and IT initiatives to more effectively interact with customers. Today, marketing analytics is not limited to direct mail and email. Rather intelligence-driven marketing is being delivered across once siloed functions: storefront, web, call center, ATMs, etc. When marketing and IT work together, the opportunities for improved, relevant customer facing are endless – it is omnichannel.

In fact today’s “always addressable customer” demands to be known across channels. The increasing technology-savvy customer has little patience for being treated differently in a store versus online. They expect a relationship. They expect marketing to be omnichannel and to know where the last “conversation” ended. Your organization made “Offer A” to the customer online so now during a subsequent ATM transaction, the customer is reminded of “Offer A.”

Further, omnichannel is not just about making a consistent offer across channels, it’s also about a conversation. Omnichannel marketing done right is very engaging across the four screens of the customer.

Four Screens

Marketers must now communicate interchangeably to the customer's four screens (television, smartphone, computer and tablet) . For example, with all of the channels for customer data, (call center, website, store, social, mobile etc), retail marketers will be following the SOLOMO charge, mentioned earlier in the “Ten Trends” series by my colleague Rich Brown. Marketers must start to ask two questions in 2014, “What data do I have?” and “What data can I acquire to make me smarter about my customers?” We can now capture interests more accurately than ever before with Big Data. Forrester estimates that social media, email and mobile marketing market today is about $6B and will reach $16B by 2016 – that’s a BIG opportunity. The old concept of multi-channel presence for client organizations is simply not enough – tracking customers across one or two channels falls terribly short of not only understanding customers, but also meeting customer expectations. Customers expect – almost demand – a seamless, integrated experience across all channels/interactions. Client organizations must manage all data, including big data, across the organization to provide an immersive customer experience and to support intelligent, relevant omnichannel marketing.

Click here to read Part 2 of this article.