Marketers have been shifting investments from mass-marketed, one-channel, one-way, company-driven campaigns to multichannel, two-way, interaction-driven campaigns that are more dialogue driven, more measurable, and that are able to achieve higher response and conversion rates.
To do this, marketers are increasingly extending multichannel marketing from purely outbound campaigns to include inbound marketing in the form of offer management, real-time decision making and event-triggered marketing, giving marketers targeted interaction when the customer is reaching out.
However, many vendors are offering inbound capabilities that are not integrated; therefore, creating another interaction silo. Expect half the multichannel campaign management market to provide true inbound/outbound fusion by YE2013.
There are five major benefits for multichannel inbound/outbound fusion:
1. Ability to Measure: Multichannel inbound/outbound fusion promises marketing access to a single view of campaign effectiveness. Top questions for marketing accountability include: What is going on in the campaign management pipeline? What is the return on investment (ROI) for campaigns? How should budget be allocated in the future for which campaign, offers or channels? An integrated inbound/outbound environment will provide more data to start answering these questions.
2. Lower TCO: Financial benefits will come from several sources. Besides the negotiating leverage of single sourcing (which would accrue whether the solutions were truly integrated or not), the organization can benefit in two primary ways:
Integration (such as single sign-on, a unified graphical user interface [GUI], and a common data source) will lower deployment, training and additional support costs.
A unified predictive analysis and a single-offer library and shared segmentation will make more-effective use of marketing time, with higher productivity without adding staff.
3. Increased Revenue: Inbound/outbound fusion provides access to customer data from more channels for segmenting and targeting the customer base. Taking advantage of functionality such as unified propensity modeling and universal preference management techniques means better targeting and higher conversion rates as well as information to align with the rest of the organization (for example, a connection to sales to help convert revenue).
4. Increased Responsiveness: A goal for marketing is to execute better campaigns more frequently. Multichannel inbound/outbound fusion capabilities, including one GUI, one inbound/outbound-capable dialogue, a common set of analytical tools and a signal-administration for sign-on, can significantly provide effectiveness and efficiency. Reduction in time for campaign creation, execution and reporting along with combining inbound and outbound customer data can allow marketers to make necessary changes to ongoing campaigns based on the real-time response and feedback of customers en route.
5. Consistent Customer Experience: Knowing which marketing campaigns are going to whom, what is being offered as an outbound campaign, what is being communicated as an inbound offer and how to reconcile the two for consistency will be a key benefit for inbound/outbound fusion. Capabilities (such as a common data source, access to an online/offline shared offer and segment library) and connected inbound/outbound-capable dialogue will have a substantial impact on a consistent experience. The ability to extend a relevant, planned offer during a spontaneous customer interaction has shown response rates approaching 15 times that of non-targeted outbound campaigns.
See our upcoming note on Inbound/Outbound Fusion Checklist for Multichannel Marketing where we we separate hype from the reality, and we outline and define the eight technology conditions for true two-way, inbound/outbound fusion.