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The global challenge for omnichannel marketing

In the third article of our omnichannel marketing series, we take a closer look at what you should focus on when working with omnichannel marketing in a global perspective.

The goal of omnichannel marketing is to be discerning. It's about using data and insight to create relevant and consistent customer experiences across all channels. Customers can then switch between channels without having to start the customer journey again. As a consequence, they will recognise that they are at the centre – then they will buy.

"But how about for a global company? What challenges does this pose to omnichannel marketing?"

This article is will answer those questions, it's all about the global perspective.

Detailed data brings strong profitability

It's hardly rocket science. One of the keys to making omnichannel marketing profitable is having many customers in your database – preferred customers you can reach in a direct, cost-effective way. A huge permission base, if you like. It's important to remember that it requires more or less the same amount of work to reach out to a base of 1,000,000 customers as it does to reach 5,000 customers. While customer volume can be considered as quantity, the depth of detailed customer data can be described as quality.

How much do you know about each customer? Can your company "remember" what happened the last time the customer interacted with you? Do you have data on what they have previously said, done or bought?

Your data sets the bar for how relevant your customer-orientated communication can be. The more customers you have in your database with rich data, the better your personalisation opportunities and thus your profitability.

Si trata de mí, ¡claro que compro!

In a global company, it's not enough to have content to match every conceivable situation in which customers could find themselves. Speaking the right language is a must too. Imagine that you're a customer from Spain. If you want the “it's all about me” (trata de mí) feeling, then your communication must be in a language you understand, in this case, Spanish.

There are also various cultural aspects that shouldn't be overlooked. Differences in traditions, salutations and vocabulary (between Latin American and European Spanish, for example), but also in style and tone. All of these points can be crucial to successful communication. In Germany, for instance, strangers are usually addressed with a title, i.e., in a very formal tone and style, whereas in Sweden communication takes place in a more relaxed and personal tone.

Thus: if it's really going to be about me, the message cannot just be translated – it must be localised.

Images and sound in a global perspective

The challenge becomes more complex when we consider that text rarely stands alone, but is often accompanied by still or moving images and associated audio. When it comes to images, you should try to avoid the typical assortment of stock images that don't match your brand. Not that there is anything wrong with using such images at times, but use them too much and your messages will seem more impersonal. The upshot being that the customer won't feel as if the communication is addressed to her.

Regarding audio, you can easily get into a mess with different accents and dialects. Does the English speaker on your video sound like as a southern American or an upper-class Londoner? Considerations such as these are not insignificant when getting your target group to feel spoken to and thus "at home".

The takeaway is you should always focus on the global perspective and your individual markets when communicating to your customers.

Future solutions for a global setup

When you operate in a global marketplace, it is no longer enough to be professionally ambitious when providing a coherent and relevant customer experience; the growing number of markets and languages can challenge even the most efficient setup. That is certainly another reason why, until now, we have seen very few examples of successful international omnichannel marketing.

Future solutions will require a tight and centrally controlled content localisation process, preferably system-backed with effective integration solutions. This will ensure as little manual labour as possible and, in turn, a low risk of error and increased efficiency.

As a marketing manager with an international remit, you should generally consider incorporating language processing and localisation into your platforms, that is, if you have the ambition of carrying out successful omnichannel marketing.