CX + Loyalty Performance Marketing Strategy

Omnichannel Orchestration: The Gold Standard of Engagement Marketing

A conductor would never instruct every musician in the orchestra to play the same songs with the same notes at the exact same time. With little harmony or texture, the music would become a snooze fest, and patrons would leave the venue uninspired.

So why do marketers run same-note campaigns across channels? Successful campaigns draw out the subtleties of each component, make changes in real time to play to the audience, and keep the excitement building at the right time for each channel. Marketers can compose these show-stopping campaigns with omnichannel orchestration.

Omnichannel orchestration enables the delivery of relevant, timely content that works in concert across channels to engage audiences. With this approach, marketing happens in the moment. When the customer experience takes center stage, business-driving results follow.

Creating Unique Customer Experiences
Marketing orchestration leverages technology to create communications that react to customer behavior, or anticipate it, in real time. The communications are sent across channels for an audience segment or a specific individual, with the goal of creating unique customer experiences. The channels include any that are relevant to the business — email, SMS, app push, display, social media, in-store, loyalty programs, broadcast, print — but they are orchestrated to learn from each other by sharing information and shaping communications based on the data.

Advancing Multichannel Marketing
There is a significant difference between multichannel marketing and omnichannel marketing, although most of the time the terms are used interchangeably. The key differentiator is that multichannel marketing describes the ability to communicate to the customer through multiple channels, while omnichannel marketing describes the ability to communicate to customers through multiple channels — and use intelligent communications so that the channels work in concert to determine the right timing and frequency needed to reach a specific customer.

Omnichannel orchestration enables marketers to “orchestrate” moments that define and refine the customer experience. Consider what happens when a restaurant wants to market a lunch offer. A targeted email is sent out to customers and prospects in the morning. But if the audience doesn’t open the email until 3 pm, the offer will be irrelevant.

With an omnichannel marketing approach, the system will recognize the lunch offer is obsolete and resend the message to reflect a dinner offer instead. The channels learn from real-time data and adjust to meet the restaurant’s business goal.

And what if the customer never opens the email? There’s a built-in trigger to send the customer a text message in three days.

If a customer isn’t responsive in one channel, omnichannel orchestration makes it possible to use a different channel to deliver relevant content and offers in real time.

Marketing in the Moment
Omnichannel orchestration requires the right mix of data, technology, and business rules. Although omnichannel orchestration is a dynamic process, its success is made possible with the answers to these five questions:

  • How do customers shop? Brands must understand the customer journey.
  • Who are my customers and prospects? Brands must analyze first-, second-, and third- party data.
  • Which channels are available, and which ones are the most effective for my business? Brands must acquire and assess channel data.
  • What technology do I have and/or need? Brands must integrate technology into data and execution channel components.
  • What are the goals for my business? Brands must define specific rules to coordinate triggers and apply ongoing learnings.

All marketing begins and ends with data, and in order for true omnichannel orchestration to be possible, this data must be readily available, robust, and relevant. The use of first-, second-, and third-party data is key to effectively reaching customers.

Technology Powers Marketing
Technology is the fire power behind omnichannel marketing. In general, there are two main platform categories:

  • All-in singular solution stacks, such as Adobe or Oracle, include most of the solutions needed to realize omnichannel orchestration.
  • Multivendor, best-of-breed solutions enable the brand to utilize solutions across platforms.

The brand’s marketing partner can help to assess the technology in place and determine whether an investment in marketing technologies and platforms is necessary to reach business goals. Although each technology approach has its own strengths, both have gaps that require complementary functionality in order to realize true omnichannel marketing.

Establishing Rules
To ensure marketing efforts are focused on the right goals, business rules are designed to align with customer journeys and brand objectives. These rules, which are established by leveraging descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics, include the following:

  • Redemption thresholds (5%, 10%, 20% off, etc.)
  • Time of the offer (morning, afternoon, etc.)
  • Length of the offer (days, weeks, etc.)
  • Targeted frequency of purchases

Channel collision rules are also established to ensure that the right number of messages are sent, at the right time, via the right channel. This also guarantees that customers and prospects aren’t bombarded with too many marketing messages at once. This step also gives the brand flexibility to change channels and content based on real-time business needs.

The Gold Standard
Omnichannel orchestration is the gold standard of engagement marketing for brands that benefit from a customer-centric approach. All of the necessary technology and capabilities exist to achieve omnichannel “nirvana,” but reaching the milestone requires brands to market to customers across all given channels with precision.

Omnichannel orchestration drives richer customer experience because each marketing communication is more relevant. By determining the channels that perform best at a particular time, and what content receives the greatest response, marketers can adjust to capture these moments.

By Kelly Jo Sands

Kelly Jo leads Ansira’s strategic partner strategy and focuses on sales enablement and growth across martech integrations, performance marketing, and loyalty marketing.