Uncertainty and the lack of fact-based data about the performance of marketing spendings come to an end in the era of customer engagement.
While the mission of the firm remains immutable—find and serve customers—the strategies and tactics of customer engagement will quickly evolve or undergo radical change.
The figure below depicts the impending integration of traditional marketing and online or interactive marketing, using multichannel analytics as the unifying force.
Multichannel analytics represent the next logical step towards the integration of traditional audience segmentation for media-mix optimization, database analytics for customer segmentation and profitability, Web analytics for content optimization and engagement, social media analytics for relevancy and stories that connect consumers and brands, and voice-of-the-customer content analytics that summarize customer sentiment and the effects of corporate policies on customers.
Traditional audience segmentation analysis clarifies which combinations of national and local media to use in activating a brand promotion or customer consideration.
Traditional database analytics use compiled data and special tools from market service providers, enabling trained analysts to drill into vast oceans of information and derive insights—unserved needs, unexpected satisfaction-wins, and more efficient routes to particular market segments and consumption cohorts.
Web analytics continue to evolve into a fuller but still incomplete profile of unknown and named users, using content consumption and behavioral data to derive meaningful insights. Recent advances in semantic tagging, more comprehensive user-generated customer personas, and policy-managed business processes provide powerful new sources of data that most Web analytics suites do not yet exploit.
Social media analytics enable a firm to monitor vast social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, listen for particular kinds of speech acts, categorize those comments, and track meaningful changes in awareness and sentiment (positive, negative, or neutral) about a brand.
Voice-of-the-customer content analytics use text-mining and semantic technologies to classify and summarize thousands of customer transcripts (from one-on-one interviews and telecenter calls), adding new fact-based detail and narrative to the multichannel analytic capability.
PATTERNS OF ENGAGEMENT
Mastery of the customer engagement cycle starts with deeper, more meaningful ways of listening to customers as they begin to interact, consume, opt-in, and profile the criteria for engagement.
Patterns of engagement correlate an individual’s awareness, consideration, trial, purchase, commitment, loyalty and advocacy of a brand or brand producer using fact-based data.
This induces a new level of media-mix optimization, using games, contests, and loyalty-inducing interactions to validate the efficiency and effectiveness of particular campaigns, events, and product placements.
THE GRAND IMPLICATION
Mastery of the customer engagement cycle expands the management maxim of anything that you measure, you will control.
Whoever owns and manages the center of excellence for multichannel analytics will own, by default, the control mechanisms for media-mix optimization and, by extension, content creation and placement.
The race has begun to determine which firms or groups will become a center of excellence in multichannel analytics for an industry (consumer goods, financial services, etc.) and a geographic market (North America, Latin America, European community, etc.).
Social media analytics represent one of the more recent innovations, enabling marketers and engagement planners to track and summarize hundreds of thousands of individual comments about a brand and its competition.