We’re living in what has been labelled by some as the ‘big data era’, and this has created an increasing expectation for marketers to combine the (seemingly contradictory) roles of storyteller and scientist. Never before have we had access to such a wide range of diverse data sets – all of which can give us telling insights around our customers behavior, preferences, motivations and needs.
In keeping with this trend, we’ve seen the development of the concept of ‘360 degree’ digital marketing. In this article, we’ll take a look at what a 360 digital approach is, and how it can help you drive revenue in your business.
What is 360 degree digital marketing?
A 360 degree approach is about taking an informed and holistic view of the entire customer journey – from discovery, all the way through to purchase, with an informed and data-led action plan designed to move this process along as smoothly as possible. A successful 360 degree digital marketing approach refers to all digital tactics – inbound and outbound, social, content, SMS and more.
No more internal politics or varying ways of working across departments. Instead, there is total alignment with the customer, who is front-and-center of every process, so you can deliver uniform answers to questions like: Where’s the best place to find your customers? How is best to engage them? And what actions can be taken to convert and delight them?
The enhanced level of data at our fingertips means we can make this vision a reality. We can create a timed series of marketing actions – based on real data – and then roll out this plan in a calculated way across the media channels that are preferred by our customers. This is all done with the express intent of moving customers and prospects throughout their customer journey, to achieve measurable business outcomes.
Some have defined 360 degree marketing as the basic philosophy behind integrated marketing, coupled with the new powers and tools of Web 2.0. So how, specifically, can this approach help you increase revenue?
One of the core principles behind a 360 approach is that your campaigns should be tightly integrated and designed to complement each other. By definition, this means you can ensure consistency across campaigns, both in your creative and your messaging. Of course, you can mix things up to an extent which allows you to address the concerns and requirements that are relevant at each stage of the buyer journey – but you’ll also be able to reiterate your core value proposition and reinforce certain messages through repetition. This is increasingly important nowadays: the omni-channel consumer expects consistency across your channels, throughout your campaigns and, in essence, whenever and however they choose to deal with your business.
Once upon a time, it might have been sufficient to simply set up a store front or website and wait for the customers to arrive. Unfortunately, those days are gone – this kind of approach just doesn’t cut the mustard any more. It’s important to create and foster a mindset that embraces the challenge of actively communicating and engaging with your target customers wherever they may be. A 360 degree model lets you establish where your customers tend to come from, giving you the power to get ‘out there’ with content that’s designed to engage them – in the right place, at the right time, via the right device and, critically, with the right messaging. An analytical and data-driven approach to lead generation can save your sales team time they might otherwise have spent pursuing dead-ends, and allows you to get a better ROI on your campaigns by focusing on the channels that are most effective.
Power to react to customer preferences
With the growth of mobile tech and social networking (among other emerging trends) there have never been so many ways to reach out and communicate with customers and clients. Of course, your customers will each have their own preferred channels and techniques, which will generally be the ones they respond best to. Even as recently as a few years back, the best option you’d have would be an educated guess. The explosion of big data has thrown open the possibility of much more considered, analytical thinking in this department. It’s crucial to provide content in the format your clients prefer, whether it’s email, social, SMS or even direct mail. Once you’ve established what works best, you’re free to allocate resources to the areas that are most successful.
Convince and convert
A 360 digital approach is so powerfully laced with insight and data that you’ll be able to build a nuanced picture of who your customer is – their motivations, day-to-day challenges and, often, their most common objections to your product or service.
This allows you to refine your messaging to directly address these objections and appeal directly to the needs and desires of your customers through every digital campaign, across every channel.
This makes the whole process infinitely more scientific and, in doing so, reduces the element of hit-and-hope in your conversion strategy.
Delight your customers
The sales funnel doesn’t end once customers are closed and converted. The next step is to deliver outstanding service and after-sales care to the point where they become raving fans and, ideally, brand ambassadors who are willing to advocate and promote your brand to others.
The holistic nature of the 360 approach means that you’re able not only to focus on generating new leads, nurturing and converting them, but also on your existing customers. Showing these people a little love can have tremendous benefits, nurturing valuable repeat business and creating a powerful level of brand advocacy.
A 360 degree digital approach can yield significant benefits for your business at every stage of the sales funnel. Modern consumers expect a streamlined, united and consistent approach across all digital media – lean on the phenomenal amounts of data marketers now have at their fingertips to inform every aspect of your battle plan. Roll this out to key stakeholders and you can tighten up your efforts at every stage of the buyer journey.
If you’d like to talk more about how to implement a 360 approach within your business, why not get in touch with our team of experts?