The concept started in the retail sector where this behavioral path is easily tracked across online, ofﬂine and mobile touchpoints (both marketing and transactional).
The digital arena will represent the ﬁrst stage of more brands adopting an omnichannel mindset, as social and mobile data sources are blended with ofﬂine brand experiences. Customer data will be key to these efforts as big data moves from a passive pool of potential insights, into an active mechanism for deepening the meaning behind each individual interaction.
This shift in technological connectivity offers marketers an opportunity to sew their conversations with consumers together into a coherent story. It’s not about bombarding people with marketing noise, but rather integrating previous interactions to ensure greater relevance when attention is being paid to a brand’s message. Treading the line between privacy fears and consumer empowerment is going to be a key determinant of success.
In 2013 the green shoots of omnichannel strategies will involve companies turning existing datasets into active targeting engines. A retail brand might look to integrate loyalty data with social applications to deliver relevant offers or messages to consumers when they’re in or around store locations. As mobile ad-serving platforms mature, this will transition from social apps into ads running across any mobile content. As well as receiving location data, mobiles have the potential to inform nearby digital screens – Minority Report-style tailored out of home ad content may not be so far away.
The implication for marketers is to start building the infrastructure to deliver an integrated experience in the omnichannel world or face the prospect of being left behind. The risk is that your competitors start to have meaningful ongoing dialogues while you shout disjointed slogans at consumers. The technical requirement is to capture meaningful moments of engagement so they can be referenced and built on during subsequent interactions