Making Multichannel Work: A Conversation with Merkle's Marsha Villasenor

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by Stephanie Cox | Last Updated: Nov 20, 2018

Multichannel marketing strategies are necessary for today's on-the-go consumers, but that doesn't mean they're always easy to implement. There's a ton to think about: what message is best for each channel? How do we align teams? What story do we want to tell across channels, and how are we moving consumers through each of the channels seamlessly? Marsha is a multichannel expert, so when I sat down to chat with her, I knew she'd be the perfect person to answer some of these questions. Here's a bit of our conversation:

Lumavate's VP of Marketing, Stephanie Cox: When you think about multichannel mobile, what exactly encompasses all that for you?

Merkle's Marsha Villasenor: Everybody walks around with their mobile devices. It’s where we do our online shopping, our banking…we do everything on mobile, so as marketers we should also be marketing everything through mobile and really even moving away from the mobile first mentality into more of a mobile all mentality. Everything we do should be geared towards mobile. It should still be available on desktop, obviously. But I think as mobile becomes more and more important, it’s going to become the primary component of our marketing. Organizations are modifying their desktop properties to become mobile instead of vice versa. I really think that we should be designing mobile-first, and then optimizing for desktop afterward.

SC: I completely agree. So how do you use multichannel to make sure you’re actually seeing results?

MV:  Progressive content is the way to go. When I think about some of our most successful campaigns, they’ve been SMS campaigns that include a URL that leads to a mobile landing page that is designed and personalized to the customer. Combining some of these channels and technologies is really the way to personalize and engage with the customer more effectively. You know instead of just thinking, “Oh, I’m going to do an SMS campaign” or “I’m going to do an email campaign”, it should be tied together where the email takes you to a personalized experience through SMS, or vice versa.

SC: I think we all as consumers have had the experience of receiving an e-mail and a text message with the exact same message from the same brand within a few minutes of each other. So how do you think about structuring multichannel campaigns so it comes across as helpful, and not like you’re blasting them with too much?

MV: Yeah, I think the customer behavior is really key. The messaging in a multichannel campaign should be slightly different across the channels. Some brands really can create rich experience where they’re driving their customers from one channel to the other with messaging that tells a story.

SC: In a lot of large organizations, mobile may be owned by more than one person. How do you think about getting them all together so you can have a similar theme to a massage, but it's different content across channels?

MV:  That's really why your strategy team is so important. I've worked in organizations each channel has their own team and it’s very siloed. You really need those campaign management people to make sure those channels are working together to truly be successful. And a multichannel campaign can easily double or triple ROI, if not more. Brands really need to think about how they can make these channels work together without bombarding the customer to see that success.

Mobile Conversations are excerpts from Lumavate’s Mobile Matters podcast. You can listen to this episode in full here, and find more episodes with other mobile experts here

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