Tearing Down Silos: Why Focusing on the Customer is Key
In our experience, we’ve found that most marketing departments are organized by channel. We’ll usually interact with a separate website team, email team, and paid media team. Unfortunately, while this is often viewed as an efficient way of getting work done, this strategy may not be effective in terms of relevancy and continuity for your communications. Rather than centering around a specific channel, we’ve found that the more effective approach is to center efforts around the customer. That is, begin thinking with a customer-centric, channel-agnostic campaign mindset to truly create a seamless brand experience.
Start by Stopping the Silos
Manufacturers and product brands often face this exact organizational challenge. We interact with multiple teams of people doing good work for their organizations, but they operate in totally different silos from one another. In one silo, you might have the website team collecting and storing forms in their Salesforce CRM. Then, they might pipe that into an email marketing automation system so that their email team can develop and send emails out based on web activity or consumer identified preferences.
While these are all good processes to follow, we then find that the paid media team is sitting in a totally different silo. They could be creating smart awareness and consideration campaigns but may not be receiving any inputs from the web or email teams. The paid media team certainly knows that they are driving people to the website, but they haven’t connected the tissue between web, email, and paid media to create a more seamless customer experience to send an individual to the most relevant pages.
Even beyond the web, customers can also be found in offline channels, including buying from dealers or providing warranty and review information.
Your customers do not interact with your brand in just one single channel. Rather, as they progress along their decision-making journey, customers will jump from web to email to dealer and expect you to provide relevant, personalized content (regardless of channel) along the way. This reality requires a shift from siloed, channel-centric teams to customer-centric campaigns and cross-channel collaboration. While that’s easier said than done, there is no doubt that type of change requires a major investment and teamwork from all key players in an organization. However, it is possible, and we’ve found that the results are worth it.
We approached one company (a health and wellness manufacturer) facing this exact same situational problem. Their teams were siloed, which meant their marketing was siloed. Upon recognizing this, they were ready to ditch the silos and transform their marketing approach. Once their marketing teams began communicating more effectively, it was time to get their technology systems communicating in a similar fashion.
Fortunately, this company had already upgraded its marketing automation system (in this case, to Salesforce Marketing Cloud) to help create additional synergies across their overarching MarTech ecosystem. This upgrade brought functional, cross-channel capabilities that were, to date, full of untapped potential. They were now able to stitch together their first-party email data with their advertising data using Journey Builder (email) along with Ad Studio (paid media campaign management) within Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
With these two channels connected, they were now able to feed data into an automated journey, rather than having to manually pull data on a one-off basis. This meant that when a consumer takes a particular action, the company automatically knows what message to send and where to place it to best address the customer’s needs.
Practicality Makes Perfect
A good example illustrating the practical benefits here is a common one: sometimes consumers just stop opening your emails. This is especially frustrating when available metrics confirm that this is the case.
However, there’s some good news here. When you’ve integrated your web, email, and paid media channels as detailed above, you can surround these consumers with additional media, ultimately easing them back into your sales funnel. When these consumers return to your website, you’re now able to provide a more personalized experience based on their behavior expressed in other channels.
Even better, by getting more leads into your funnel, you gain a greater perspective of your consumer’s purchasing path, which can then be shared with your dealer network. Dealers, who are now getting more leads, tend to be much more willing to give the brand back a bit more information about the lead status and activity to effectively track close rates.
Simple Doesn’t Mean Easy
All of this may seem relatively simple. That’s because it is. But time and time again, we don’t see many manufacturers and product brands making this happen. We think there's a huge opportunity for those willing to jump in and get it done.
When the health and wellness manufacturer we worked with took advantage of this opportunity, it resulted in a nice uptick of high-quality leads (can you say, happy dealers?!). They now join other companies who, along with dealer networks, are enjoying the dividends of integrating their website, email, and paid medial departments with a collective and cohesive system.
If you're interested in learning how else you can improve your personalization strategies through your independent dealer networks, check out our comprehensive list of 3 Digital Strategies for Brands/Manufacturers That Sell Through Dealer Networks on-demand webinar replay on YouTube! Three Deep would be happy to provide a no-obligation customer journey workshop to help get your brand on the right path to personalization.