Omnichannel Marketing

An Introduction to High-Intent Consumer Marketing

You’ve researched up-and-coming marketing trends, and within budget, your marketing seems to be hitting all the right points. You’re sending emails and direct mail, conducting your daily social media activities, attending tradeshows, writing quality content, advertising in the several places, and even noticing some ROI (phew, you’re really doing a lot!). It can feel like the marketing industry gets more and more convoluted every day, with increasingly more avenues and strategies to reach the specific audience(s) you hope to target. With all of these different tactics and shiny new programs, how do you know you’re actually getting to your key audience, one that wants what you have to offer, at the right time? Are you “giving the right people what they want”?

High-intent marketing does just this, in a focused, particular way. One where you’re not just shooting at a broad target, but aiming at the bullseye. You’re probably thinking, “that’s nice, but what exactly is intent marketing?” Don’t worry, we’ll explain.

High-Intent Marketing Explained

High-intent marketing targets a specified end user’s intent – not only what they need (or want), but when they’re ready for it. The most recognizable type of high-intent marketing is search marketing. Users and prospects are targeted based on what they’re searching for right now, and are hit with ads, messages, and other forms of marketing communication to meet their current needs. Again, high-intent marketing differs from simply targeting an audience in that it puts emphasis on the timing of needs. For example, maybe I (the customer) am searching for a bridesmaid dress to wear to a wedding. I’m looking for it now, but I wasn’t last month, and I probably won’t be next month (unless of course I’m “always the bridesmaid, never the bride”).

Prospects have an overload of media and advertising to sort through, so the timing and reactionary nature of your marketing is how you stop them in their tracks. If you’re not combining their demographic with their current desires, you’re losing them. Using high-intent data to strengthen your marketing strategy results in more pointed themes, more precise detail in consumer personas and journeys, and highly effective marketing content, call to actions, and keywords.

What Are Some High-Intent Markets?

If you’re still unsure of what markets would be labeled high-intent, here are a few to think through:

  • Recent college graduates

Ready (or not) to take on the world, college graduates are highly focused on improving their resumes, networking with friends and professionals, and ultimately, finding a job.

  • Expectant & new moms

Nervous and constantly searching for the newest and best newborn knowledge, expectant and new moms can’t stop googling pediatricians and childcare facilities.

  • Newlyweds

Young, middle-aged, or older, many newlyweds are looking for another way to intertwine their lives – buying a home.

  • New movers

This audience base is nothing but uneasy in a new territory. According to recent studies, 40 million people move every year and they’re all looking for a new salon, doctor, favorite restaurant, grocery store, drycleaner, and more. If this is where your marketing needs to focus, take a look at SmartMove, Strata’s robust, multi-channel, multi-touch, new mover marketing program that helps you find the perfect time and place to reach your target audience.

“This Seems Exhausting”

It doesn’t need to be as tough as it sounds to use high-intent marketing. Don’t think of it as an out-of-reach, expensive project. Instead look at it as a continuous system, and an ongoing learning process to get the best return on your investment. Yes, you may spend more time and a bit of money strategizing and acquiring data in the beginning, but you’ll spend less time and money targeting the wrong people, or just as bad, the right people at the wrong times.

What to Do Now?

Start with analyzing keywords associated with your website, and compare these keywords to those that come up offsite. Additionally, get high-intent data from CRM analytics, customer service communication and online company reviews, and social media analytics. The goal is to compile data that establishes your desired buyer’s journey, and more specifically, when they approach, get to, and leave each stage.

Once you feel you have a sufficient amount of data, don’t stop there. It’s important to separate the data into different buyer stages, which can have labels like the “consideration” stage, the “informational” stage, and the “buying” stage. Keywords of these stages often look like the following:

Consideration Stage – “best”, “how to”, “where can I”

Informational Stage – “cost of”, “reviews of” “what people say about”

Buying Stage – “buy”, “shipping”, “coupons for”, “[your company name]”

Marketing to customers when they get to these stages is the bread and butter of high-intent marketing. Add in great content, imagery, and offerings, and you’ve got a proactive customer base. Do you have a high-intent market that you’re looking to target with an Omnichannel campaign similar to SmartMove? Strata can facilitate conversions for your company with high-intent direct mail, digital ads, and emails. Contact us today to learn more.

Omnichannel Campaigns + Interactive Content

While reading has its benefits, I’m sure we can all admit that it’s easy to get bored and distracted when you’re just passively skimming something. And sure, “content is king”, but everyone is publishing content these days, so how exactly can you stand out in a sea of blogs titled “The Best Blah Blah Blah” and keep readers engaged? Interactive content!

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, interactive content is exactly what it sounds like – it’s any form of content that can be interacted with by a website visitor or user. Think quizzes, calculators, and infographics – they’re all types of interactive content. And, creating these unique experiences can give you the opportunity to convey your value to your audience and encourage more engagement.

A Rundown on Interactive Content

Since we all seem to have the attention span of a squirrel these days, interactive content is the superhero here to save the day. What makes the concept even better, is that you can take any approach you want with it. The options are truly endless, but to put a picture to the face, here’s a rundown:

  • Quizzes offer a unique opportunity to both educate and engage your audience while giving you valuable data in return. Whether you do a career quiz, personality quiz, or a brain health assessment quiz, your audience will be much more intrigued and you’ll be able to grab info without even asking for it.
  • No matter if your audience is looking to buy, save, or reach a goal, calculators offer a helping hand and ensure trust when it comes to a final decision that needs to be made.
  • Infographics give you the ability to provide key data and stats in a digestible, meaningful way. At the end of the day, who wants to read a whitepaper when you can look at a pretty picture.

Finding the Time & Place

While there are numerous benefits that come with interactive content, it’s important to not overkill your platforms with it. There’s a time and place for it and finding that happy medium will benefit you more in the long run. Here are a few tips and tricks to consider when incorporating interactive content into your strategy.

  1. Figure out what your interactive content goal is. Do you want higher engagement rates, looking to capture more relevant data, or increase brand loyalty?
  2. Narrow down which style of interactive content will give the best results and help you reach your goals.
  3. Decide where your content will be distributed. Will you get the most engagement from emails, landing pages, digital ads, etc.?
  4. Execute your interactive content strategy and modify it as you see fit.

Duo of The Year

Aside from all the points made earlier, there’s still one key component of interactive content that will maximize ROI and user experience in the long run – omnichannel marketing. To put it simply, an omnichannel marketing campaign has one goal in mind — constant contact and engagement with your targets and reaching customers in ways they want to be engaged. Now tie the concept of interactive content and omnichannel marketing together, and you have the perfect combo! Imagine all the opportunities that can come along with these two very customizable concepts.

Looking into The Future

With things like VR, AR, and many other futuristic concepts progressing rapidly, one can only imagine where we’ll be in the next 5 to 10 years when we interact with our audience from afar. Already, 70% of marketers are creating more interactive content today compared to a year ago and 90% of consumers agreed they wanted to see more interactive content in their communications. It’s exciting to see how much it’s already evolved and we can’t wait to see where it will go.

Are you finding yourself as intrigued as we are and looking to incorporate interactive content in your next omnichannel campaign? Contact us today and learn more about our capabilities.

A Multitouch Approach for New Movers

In a world so dependent on making a first and lasting impression (before the competition), marketers have started to rely on an omnichannel approach to get the attention of new movers.

But not all omnichannel strategies are created equal. A good approach has to include:

  • Direct mail offerings with multiple touchpoints and response mechanisms, like BRCs, eBRCs, and PURLs that lead to personalized landing pages
  • Digital ads targeting new movers via geofencing and floodlight technology
  • Email campaigns as both outreach and follow-up

It’s nothing mind blowing, but when done correctly, it can make a big impact. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a Healthcare network that we’ll call Health X and see how a multitouch, omnichannel campaign helped them successfully target and convert new movers.

Health X’s Multitouch, Omni-Channel New Mover Campaign

We’ve run recurring campaigns for Health X since 2015, including a multitouch direct mail component. Over the last five years, we’ve noticed that a second mailer (T2) received roughly an equivalent response rate when compared to the first mailer (T1).

Essentially, this means that T2 effectively doubled response rates as opposed to a campaign featuring a single mailer. Not only that, but T2 outperformed our original benchmark and in some cases, outperformed T1. This is a great example as to why multitouch marketing is so important in a complete campaign.

But where does this fit into our omnichannel marketing strategy? Via a digital component.

In both of our T1 and T2 mailers, we gave the recipients two options for their response — a conventional business reply card (BRC) and an eBRC. On average, we received about 15% of our responses via eBRCs, bolstering our total response rate when compared to BRCs alone.

And, as our results continue to surpass benchmarks year after year, we’ve been looking at new ways to get better results, like the addition of more digital ads and PURLs as consumer preferences continue to trend towards the digital.

Customize Your Campaign

This is what’s so great about an omnichannel campaign — you can add and subtract campaign elements as you see fit. Whatever your needs are, you can customize an omnichannel campaign to those needs and your budget.

So, what are you waiting for?

If you’re interested in creating a custom built, omnichannel campaign for customer acquisition, contact us to see what Strata can do for you.

A Brief Introduction

Let’s take a step back into the old days: your marketing team comes up with a campaign, they drop it on a single platform, send a direct mailer or blast an email, and then wait for a response to follow up on. One-touch campaigns like these were common — and wildly inefficient.

We know these one-touch strategies are a thing of the past because the future (and present) is all about omnichannel, multitouch marketing. In this two-part blog series, we’re going to show you how we’ve recently used an omnichannel, multitouch approach to get results, but first, we’re going to take a look at what “omnichannel” means.

An omnichannel marketing campaign has one goal in mind — constant contact and engagement with your targets. These campaigns use data segmentation to target highly specific demographics across a wide range of platforms. Omnichannel, multitouch campaigns not only increase your visibility, but they effectively reinforce each prior point of contact. With a host of readily available response mechanisms, this style of campaign encourages engagement at every turn.

As we’ve touched on before, this strategy is heavily data-driven, but it isn’t just about segmenting your audience at the onset. As a campaign progresses, an omnichannel approach relies on real-time reporting from all channels, then adapts using that data to analyze progress and maximize effectiveness throughout the campaign.

Remember: it’s all about reaching the customers in the ways they want to be engaged — your ability to customize is endless.

Check back soon for the next part of this series, Omnichannel Marketing for New Movers, where we’ll discuss how this strategy fits into new mover marketing, including a real-world example of our recent success using this approach.

In the meantime, for more great content or to get in touch, click here.

Executing Your ABM Strategy

Innovation: It’s crucial in the world of business. At Strata, we follow this motto very closely and history has shown that innovation in one area can churn to great success in other areas.

But that means as marketers, we need to always be on top of our game when it comes to new trends in the land of marketing. What’s working? What’s not? What can actually cut through all of the noise?

Enter virtual reality – or as the cool kids call it, VR.

What is VR?

There are endless options of MarCom tools available to us, but one tool we’ve really seen evolve in the last few years is virtual reality. Even the name sounds like something you want to Google, doesn’t it? While this technology isn’t exactly going to transport you to a literal virtual reality, the visual concept can surely do the trick if it’s incorporated into a marketing campaign. Here’s how it works.

Virtual reality is basically a “near-reality” or a type of reality emulation. To put that simply, using a special headset or gloves fitted with sensors, a person can use sight and sound to transport themselves into a computer-generated, life-like environment.

Opportunity Awaits

So, here we are. It’s 2020, we’re in a global pandemic, and businesses have been forced to operate from home. Things like in-person meetings, tradeshows, and direct outreach are all up in the air. As a result, we’re all taking a dive into the innovation pond and scrambling for marketing alternatives that can supplement human interaction and reach people at the right time.

Can VR be that alternative we’re looking for while we’re all away from each other? If you ask us, the answer is yes, but it needs to be done correctly and be part of a larger omnichannel campaign.

How It Can be Used

With VR, you’re “there” without actually having to be “there”. It gives you the ability to visually send a message to your audience without having to be with them. So, while the true human interaction is still absent, this is a great alternative that will get you “in front” of your audience before the competition. Do you see my point?

But how do you actually provide this VR experience to your audience? Here’s our solution. Approach the idea as part of a larger omnichannel campaign that can start with digital ads and email. Then you can include a low-cost cardboard VR viewer inside of a high-impact dimensional mailer. It’ll have the ability to cut through all of the digital noise we’ve been experiencing lately, provide a hyper-personalized experience, and give that much desired human interaction that we’re all craving. Image how you would feel if you received that type of package – wow!  

But here’s the thing. These types of campaigns aren’t always the cheapest. If this is the road you want to go down, make sure that you truly think about your audience, qualify them, and target only your top prospects and clients. This way, your ROI can justify the high price of a VR dimensional mail campaign.

Looking to the Future

When it comes to marketing, the name of the game is innovation and evolution. Unprecedented times call for new, outside of the box tactics. What might seem like a wild idea now (VR) may be the norm in the future – and in our opinion it’s always better to be a trailblazer than a crowd follower. That’s when you really make an impact with audiences.

If VR – or any other outside of the box tactic – is on your mind, and you’re looking for a way to incorporate it into your next omnichannel campaign, contact us to learn more.

Implications of the Continuously Evolving CX Focus

Traditionally, businesses have approached customer communications management (CCM) technologies with an agenda stacked high with internal improvement goals: to cut costs, maximize operational efficiency and reduce strain on staff resources, among others.

Meanwhile, CCM’s potential affects on the customer experience (CX) garnered little attention. Until recently.

CCM now encompasses so much more than just ensuring central location of documents and accurate, timely materials. Channels have multiplied; the digital experience now figures prominently in nearly all aspects of communications; customer expectations have evolved.

In short, the customer is now in the driver’s seat. If they have a negative experience somewhere along the customer journey, chances are good that they’ll re-route their business to a competitor.

How CCM Can Transform the Customer Experience

CCM technology gives businesses the opportunity to provide consistent, positive interactions at multiple points in the customer journey.

When considering the goals of CCM technology, the focus must shift from “How do we improve internally?” to “How can we improve from a customer experience perspective?”

If your organization, like many, has yet to fully embed this thinking into its DNA, this discussion of the implications related to CCM’s role in the CX can help start an internal dialogue supportive of a change in perspective.

#1: Customer Expectations Regarding Communications Have Changed.
CCM technology arose from the need to simplify print-centric processes surrounding mass-mailed communications.

However, it’s no longer satisfactory to deliver information only in print – although print does remain a central piece of the development and implementation of CCM technology.

Indeed, many consumers still want printed communications, or a combination of both digital and print, and there remain some requirements for organizations in highly regulated industries (e.g., healthcare, utilities, financial services, insurance) to generate and track printed communications.

But customers now expect that any printed information they receive will be available online as well. Furthermore, they expect to interact with companies via the channel they prefer, at their convenience: online chat, email, call centers, text, social media. Increasingly, they’re growing accustomed to receiving alerts that documents are available (and easily accessible).

#2: Therefore, Seamless Omnichannel Communications Are Central to the CX.
With customer support and communications now taking place across multiple channels, companies are tasked with ensuring a cohesive experience at every interaction. In fact, research from Aberdeen Group bears out that companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement strategies have an 89% customer retention rate compared with 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies.

According to a 2018 Target Marketing report on omnichannel marketing and the CX, organizations will need to embody a set of key capabilities to deliver the kind of omnichannel customer journey consumers will expect in the very near future.

Among these identified capabilities are several that CCM technology can support, including:

  • Consistent customer experience across all channels
  • Interaction with customers on many channels, online and offline
  • Ability to access data from your core customer records in any channel they visit
  • Ability to reference actions taken in the past on any channel in live interactions happening in the present on any channel

For example, a customer who contacts a call center with an issue and then sends a follow-up email should (and will expect to) encounter a continuous, personalized dialogue. Enabling a seamless experience depends on data for that customer being collected at every point of interaction and available via a centralized portal so that it can be shared across various channels.

What holds organizations back from delivering a seamless omnichannel customer experience? The usual suspects: siloed content and channels, disparate systems, multiple points of data entry.

But a well-designed CCM solution that fits an organization’s specific environment and existing systems can combat these restrictions. By integrating with existing databases and core web-based systems, businesses can more seamlessly generate data-driven communications. With on-demand access from a single platform to customer information that previously was dispersed across business units, organizations gain the ability to deliver consistent, cross-channel communications from one interface.

#3: The Right CCM Technology Positions Companies to Better Manage the CX.
Staying competitive depends not just on attracting new customers but also on maximizing business from the ones you already have. Positive consumer response to relevant, personalized content is yet another piece of the CX puzzle that CCM technology better positions companies to deliver. CCM systems designed with the capability to integrate customer data can drive more relevant communications.

And if businesses that provide high-quality, consistent and personalized customer communications can significantly improve their CX scores – as reported in a 2016 study by Forrester – then CCM’s importance as an enabler of a better CX becomes clear.

CCM inherently involves interactions with existing customers. Modern, end-to-end platforms can serve to nurture customer loyalty (and therefore grow revenue). The technology can enable consistent communications that are:

  • Trustworthy, timely and error-free
  • Optimized for messaging and cross-offers based on previous interactions
  • Delivered via the customer’s preferred channels

#4: Internal Users Need a Good CX, Too.
While it’s past time for organizations to put the customer at the center of CCM initiatives, it’s also critical that solutions provide an optimal CX for internal users as well.

Analyze the departments responsible for customer service and retention. Are they more process-focused than customer-focused? Are they marked by a lack of awareness of existing customer-enrichment resources? Or misalignment with top-level strategy? Do employees spend a disproportionate amount of time searching for content and then shepherding it through manual processes, only to get it in customers’ hands well after the right time has passed?

A welcome side effect of implementing a customer-friendly CCM platform – i.e., one that’s user-friendly for your own people – is a natural shift in aligning customer-facing roles to end goals that support an outstanding CX.

The Next Step: Strengthen the CX with Custom-Designed CCM Technology
Strata Company, a Plymouth Meeting, PA-based marketing and technology firm, specializes in building custom, cloud-based CCM systems. Our powerful CCM solutions boost accuracy and efficiency, ensure regulatory compliance – and drive the customer experience forward. Contact us to learn more.