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I'm a partner in the advanced analytics group at Bain & Company, the global management consulting firm. My primary focus is on marketing analytics (bio). I've been writing here (views my own) about marketing, technology, e-business, and analytics since 2003 (blog name explained).

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April 28, 2010

MITX Panel: "Integrating Cross-Channel Customer Experiences" (April 29, 2010 8-10a) Part II

We've assembled a terrific panel for tomorrow's event:

  • SmartDestinations' Rob Schmults is also a Creative Good Council Leader;
  • Judah Phillips is a leader at the cutting edge of analytics in his role at Monster;
  • At Staples, Colin Hynes plays a leading role in figuring out store / digital integration, and is heavily focused on mobile's role in that;
  • VisualIQ's Manu Mathew sees a broad assortment of situations in facilitating his customers' efforts to develop a cross-channel perspective and optimize based on it.

Here are some of the questions we thought to cover:

  • What integrated experiences do you look to as best practice models?
  • What are you doing in your organizations (or your clients') to better integrate experiences?
  • Where do you believe the greatest opportunities for better integration still lie for you?
  • How are you addressing the organizational and technical challenges required for better integration?
  • How far down the path toward a more integrated, globally-optimized analytic perspective do you see yourself today?
  • What's your favorite integrated experience story, for good -- or not so good?
  • What resources have you found helpful for learning more / tracking what's going on in this area?
  • What advice would you have for folks trying to push further down this path?

Suggestions for questions welcome -- just email me via the link at left.

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Postscript:  a recap of the panel on the MITX blog

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By this point, many of you will be familiar with some of the more interesting and exotic examples of "integrated cross-channel product experiences", such as the Nike+ product/ service/ community.  But the approach has gone mainstream too.  Here's a recent example I experienced:

I went with my family to the "99" Restaurant in Centerville, on Cape Cod in Massachusetts (the one on Route 28).  Lying on the table was a pad of these forms:

99 Restaurant Loyalty Coupon Form0001

  I texted my information in, and 24 hours later this appeared in my inbox:

99 email

I clicked through:

99 coupon



Store to text to email to web to store, all nicely connected.  Cool!  Hope we're back before it expires.  Otherwise we'll have to sacrifice another family member's phone.  (Maybe do that anyway, and ask for separate checks... Hey, times are tough!) 

This program is run soup-to-nuts for the "99" by an external service called Fishbowl Marketing.  It's pretty good! I'm hoping to speak with them about experiences and results with it.

A few observations:

  • Instead of texting "99", they might have asked for "CapeCod", or "Cville" to track the geographic location of the signup, allowing them to compare signups to store traffic across regions. (Fishbowl might need an SMS address unique to the "99" client for this, and that's more expensive.)
  • I may not get back to the Cape soon.  When I clicked through from the email to the landing page from home, they could have recognized where the request was coming from and returned a link to a map of nearby locations under the coupon.  I'm betting most folks won't explicitly update their preferences, especially with the unremarkable landing page copy exhorting them to do so (good testing opportunity!).
  • I sometimes participate in other offers like this.  They could offer me an opportunity to personalize my offer based on crossing my cell number against other databases that also might have it, to see what other information might be there that might have helped them -- and me (analogous to caller ID).
  • Some sample of users could (may?) have been asked to participate in an exit survey about their experience, perhaps for additional benefits.
  • maybe implement a "Share this coupon with three friends and get another $5-off when they sign up" opportunity? (I did get follow up email messages on holidays inviting me back, and suggesting I invite friends; but when I clicked through to landing pages for inviting friends, the forms asked me to tell them who I was, again, even though I hadn't cleared cookies in the interim.)
  • Also, they might have added links to their social media presences like Twitter and Facebook (for feedback, or to offer other promotions), below the coupon. 
  • Finally, and I'm sure this is on Fishbowl Marketing's agenda, they might consider signing up with a mobile location-based service provider, like Foursquare or Gowalla, either as part of the vendor branded experience or via a "white label" application developed off those vendors' APIs.  That way the "99" could vary loyalty rewards granted according to number of check-ins, and take advantage of the viral marketing advantages of these services (your friends get notified when you check in at the "99", so maybe they stop by too).   Of course you say, are "99" customers leading-edge tech adopters with the latest 3G smartphones, with OC(I)D (Obsessive Check-In Disorder)?  Not yet, but what were we saying about Facebook a couple of years ago?

What's your favorite example?  Hope to see you tomorrow morning!

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