Channel Orchestration is a term that is now being uttered with reverence in the marketing world. Marketers are gushing at the fact that something as audacious as multiple or cross-channel customer engagements could reap huge rewards. For the uninitiated, channel orchestration is the art of engaging customers on different digital touchpoints or channels.
However, simply running marketing campaigns on different channels is not going to win them any customers. To efficiently target customers, marketers should accurately understand what they want and where they would like to be engaged. Once these details are grasped, the next step is to deliver contextually-relevant content. Let’s further explore this below.
Delivering Contextually-Relevant Content
Keeping the customer engaged continuously depends largely on what content is served to them at the right moment. Marketers should always aim at reaching customers with content that is tied to a specific context. If a conversation happens around a certain context that the customer can properly relate to, he/she would be interested in knowing more about it. This helps build engagement and eventually conversions.
Now how can marketers initiate a contextual conversation?
To achieve this successfully, marketers need to glean a few important things about their customers. They need to first check the number of products or services that customers are interested in.
Secondly, they have to understand valuable metrics such as the propensity to buy, products purchased, etc. for each customer. This can be done by looking at their purchase history and website activity.
Lastly, marketers should discern the type of channels and digital touchpoints that customers like to use.
All the above factors together help in pitching the right contextual offer to the customer on their most preferred channels.
Orchestrating the Right Message at the Right Time
Example 1: Cross-Channel Orchestration
John is the customer of a bank. He has plans to take a home loan soon and is frequently visiting the home loan page of his provider’s website. He opens and reads every email from his bank. John also clicks on home loan ads on Facebook. By observing his online activity, his bank can deduce that he’s looking for a home loan and his preferred channels are email and Facebook.
Another interesting fact that his provider noticed was that he was most active from 7 p.m to 9 p.m every day. Targeting him with home loan messages and offers on email and Facebook during his active hours is going to resonate really well with him.
Example 2: Cross-Channel and Cross-Device Orchestration
Carla is a travel enthusiast and is looking for a travel insurance plan. She visits her service provider’s website on her mobile phone. She submits a quote but doesn’t complete the purchase. Carla receives a mobile push notification and also an SMS about the completed quote with a link to continue the purchase. She clicks on the link which takes her back to the form. However, she decides to complete the purchase later on her desktop.
A few hours later, Carla fires up her desktop and starts browsing. She notices a personalized programmatic display ad on one of her favorite websites from her insurance provider. She immediately remembers to complete the purchase of her travel insurance plan. Carla clicks on the ad which at once takes her to the payment page and she completes the purchase.
Here, the customer is being targeted via channels such as mobile push notification, SMS, and programmatic, on both her mobile and desktop. This is called cross-channel and cross-device orchestration.
Artificial Intelligence: The Customer Engagement Facilitator
To facilitate orchestration, a powerful tool such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) is needed. The best feature of AI is its scalability. Using advanced AI-based algorithms, marketers can orchestrate personalization for millions of customers on their preferred channels and devices. Each customer gets his/her own customized user experience which enriches their customer journeys.
For AI to work effectively, it should be integrated with a data management tool such as a Data Management Platform (DMP) or a Customer Data Platform (CDP). This will enable it to easily fetch customer data in real-time with respect to predictive user segments set by the marketer. Once users are sorted into their specific segments, the AI algorithm can take each user on their own personalized journey.
The above examples highlight how Channel Orchestration plays a major role in directly influencing a customer’s online engagement. In fact, in today’s digital age, it has become the primary influencer in egging consumers to engage with brands. Therefore, it’s high time that marketers think of implementing it in their marketing strategies in order to stay ahead of their competition.
By Bijoy K.B | Senior Associate Marketing at Lemnisk