Business-to-business (B2B) marketers have long benefited from relatively straight-forward data about their prospects and customers. They have amazingly accurate intelligence about their contacts, prospects, and customers. Often, they know each decision-maker’s background, email address, phone number, and personal history (it can all be purchased or found online for free). As such, B2B marketers have become very adept at helping moving these leads through a well-organized marketing and sales funnel:
B2B marketers know when a contact becomes a prospect. They can sense “churn,” or when a customer is leaving. They know how and when to apply pressure and when to back off. They can do this because, usually, B2B marketers have much smaller audiences to work with than B2C marketers.
Another hurdle for B2C marketers is that audience segments in conventional B2C marketing tend to be static or rules-based (“has clicked on an email” or “has visited the website in the last month”), and they fall out of date quickly. Without data science, keeping audience segments up to date is a manual task for most B2C marketers. Yet, there are many recent technological advancements a B2C marketer can take advantage of to move consumers through a journey. That’s why many are justifying expensive investments in journey mapping software and email service provider (ESP) functionality.
With the emergence of “omnichannel” marketing, the timing couldn’t be more ideal for B2C marketers to move to a better understanding of their individual customers. According to a 2012 study by research firm International Data Corporation, multichannel shoppers (e.g., mobile web plus brick-and-mortar) spend 15–30 percent more than single-channel consumers (e.g., brick-and-mortar retail only) and omnichannel shoppers spend 20 percent more than multichannel shoppers. Yet, many business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers still can’t determine who these omnichannel shoppers are, and few are able to personalize an experience to them.
The term “single channel” should be fairly clear to most of us. Yet, how does “multichannel” differ from “omnichannel?” According to Rutgers professor Stacy Schulz, “An omnichannel approach puts the customer, not corporate silos, at the center of its strategy. It acknowledges that mobile and social have enabled customers to not only quickly switch between channels, but actually use channels simultaneously. For example, checking out product reviews on their mobile phone while evaluating a product on a physical retail store shelf.”
If omnichannel is so important, why can’t B2C marketers identify and connect with them? The challenge is that consumer journeys are less linear than business journeys and the current reporting limitations of many systems means that B2C marketers can easily lose a comprehensive picture of changes within their user base. Ask yourself the following:
Here’s an example of a publishing client who really gets it:
This client is using Lytics Journey Reporting to understand the flow of new visitors to visitors who repeat but perhaps haven’t provided any identifying information. These repeat visitors can be prompted for action to join an email list or sign up for a product. Known Visitors are carefully broken down in ways in which the marketer can take action at those individuals:
As marketers, it’s our job to take action and influence people to buy our products. Usually this requires following a user where they want to meet us. For example, if a high-value user started disengaging with email content, wouldn’t it be better to migrate that user to an ad journey until he or she starts engaging again, rather than risking inbox placement issues or unsubscribing a valuable user? Conversely, if someone purchased your product and shows strong momentum in their engagement with you, now might be the right time to increase email frequency and deliver personalized content to them.
These sorts of insights are essential when trying to reach your valuable omnichannel buyers. Ask yourself: Are you getting the most out of your customer funnel measurement? Can you take action on the individuals you want to move from each stage of the funnel? If not, contact your Lytics account representative or get in touch to see how Lytics can help you reach them.