With the rise of mobile and social, there are more marketing channels and platforms than ever that businesses can use to communicate with customers and prospects. These channels have enabled more frequent interactions between buyers and businesses but also created more messaging clutter. This in turn has made it increasingly important that marketers provide more relevant content – often delivered based on a person’s behaviors — to engage them.
Together these factors have led to a rise in both multichannel marketing and behavioral marketing, with a recent Forrester Consulting study indicating that 51 percent of marketers were either “mature” practitioners of behavioral marketing or transitioning to that goal, with 64 percent doing the same with multichannel marketing:
So, what’s the difference between multichannel marketing and behavioral marketing, and more importantly, how can you use them together to maximize engagement and revenue? Let’s take a look.
Studies have shown that one of the biggest frustrations for customers is brand inconsistency across channels. Effective multichannel marketing requires that you build a consistent experience across all your communication platforms – the Web, mobile, tablets, in the store (if you have a retail presence), across your social networks and even in old mediums like print advertising and collateral. This means that you must determine your brand voice and imagery, and then take care to be consistent throughout your buyer’s journey.
Delivering content based on a person’s behaviors, a.k.a. behavioral marketing, involves listening to your customers’ and prospects’ behaviors and using that information to tailor what and how you market. Let’s face it, people are dropping hints about what they care about (and even what they don’t) through their actions with you. So even employing behavioral marketing at its most basic level — sending an email based on whether a contact opened or clicked a previous email, or providing website content based on what pages a customer visited in the past — is a smart way to more strongly engage that person.
Combining Multichannel and Behavioral Marketing for Maximum Impact
In today’s day and age, customers are letting you know about themselves in the form of digital footprints across many different medium – visiting Web pages, clicking on links, interacting with mobile apps, downloading PDFs, watching videos, placing products in wish lists or shopping carts, checking in at retail locations, sending text messages and much more.
With the right behavioral marketing automation platform in place, you can take advantage of these hints to provide relevant, real-time offers and information – across channels. These can take the form of triggered email messages, SMS messages, direct mail or phone call directives, and more. You can even use cross-channel behaviors to customize Web pages.
The key is to make sure your system is set up to understand and respects the context of your contacts’ actions across platforms. In order for this to happen, you must have what Silverpop calls “single identity” tracking across all your channels including, where possible, your social sites. (Watch our video on “single identity” technology.)
Take the classic example of a customer putting an item in a shopping cart on your iPad, not following through on the purchase, and then later visiting the same website on his or laptop. Is your digital technology smart enough to maintain that cart information across platforms? And is it capable of responding to whatever action that contact takes with personalized content served up in the channel of your choosing – email, Web, SMS, phone, etc.?
We all favor personalized experiences. That’s why, in order to achieve blockbuster success with digital marketing in today’s day and age, you must use both multichannel and behavioral marketing. Together they allow you to more closely listen to your customers and prospects, capture their interests, and deliver relevant communications when and where your contacts prefer to receive them.
1) Forrester Consulting White Paper: “Use Behavioral Marketing to Up the Ante in the Age of the Customer”
2) Blog: “Personalizing Content on Every Channel”
3) Blog: “Behavioral Marketers Get Better Results”