Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Social Media - An Essential Component of Multi-channel Campaign Management

There are some great reads on multi-channel campaign management from Forrester's "Campaign Management Needs a Reboot" (4/2009) from Suresh Vittal as well as "Gartner's Magic Quadrant for CRM Multichannel Campaign Management." From both research organizations, there's interesting trends in how social media software companies are beginning to integrate with multi-channel campaign management solutions.

1. Integrate listening into customer touchpoints. Customers converse with brands increasing through social networks and social applications. Campaign Management solutions need to be able to view listening from social media channels (networks, communities and otherwise) as new channels to integrate within the context of an existing conversation with the customer. This is a critical component to getting brand kudos in recognizing who your buyers are. Lithium technologies, for example, has partnered with RightNow and Awareness has partnered with Salesforce, Rightnow and Clarify to ensure customers connecting through social media channels are integrated in the pipeline.

2. Realize that consumers choose what and how they communicate with the enterprise. Companies like Yesmail (where I work), Silverpop and Datran media are reaching customer in their email and social inbox. Customers increasingly reach out to brands by Twitter, Facebook, and other channels. Sadly marketing and communication channels still are playing catch-up in this channel in keeping their brand top of mind.

3. Ensure multi-channel isn't just digital and offline - it's inbound and outbound too. Advertising, search, direct mail, email and SMS are fine for delivering outbound messaging, but a true campaign management solution also uses inbound channels from social media, web, call centers and store locations into the mix of campaign management so the interactions with customers have the same face to the brand. Campaign Management solutions should make it easy to distribute content and offers to many channels. Post-launch analysis and reporting from the tool should reflect the multi-channel touchpoints in terms of campaign performance. Companies like Omniture are partnering with social media analysis tools like Collective Intellect to analyse and rank social media contributors within the larger context of web analytics.
4. Customer data append services needed. Most organizations have a fragmented look at their customer. They know there telephone number, but not their email, and not their Twitter profile, or who they are on Facebook. As customers increasingly get impatient with mass marketing, and more selective on choosing companies that 'know them' - data append services, whether social or traditional will become a critical component in filling in the picture of who a brands customers are - in the various channels in which they live - and having a positive experience with the customer as a result (well.... if done correctly).


  1. Customer data is such a mess that at this point I can't even imagine whether this type of tracking is even possible. How is that for a statement?

    Had another discussion today with someone about social media and tracking bi-directional (I used inbound vs. outbound differently) conversations and mentions. It is nice to hear that smarter people than I are thinking about this.

    Good post!

  2. What a great post. Pithy, timely and very useful!

    The Social Media are undoubtely going to bring on profound changes in the ways companies interact with their customers. And that is going to send shockwaves throughout the organizational chart!

    The truth is: many companies are still not good at listening to their customers, with or without the social media. Some of the issues raised by Julie here are absolutely relevant -like unifying customer data, the application of web analytics to the social media, etc.

    But most importantly organizations need to adat their philosophies and ethos to the new realities of the social media. Until that 'change of chip' does not take place, other ancillary initiatives will continue to fail.