Parallel channel marketing and the duplicate data dilemma

Our recently published whitepaper, “The Future of Multichannel Marketing in Hong Kong”, identified a major disconnect between marketers and consumers. Nearly half of all consumers surveyed told us they feel overwhelmed by communications from brands and as a result, many are disengaged. However, 85 per cent of brands think they’re doing an effective job of segmenting and targeting their customers.

 Just how did we arrive at such a big disconnect? One reason is that marketers and consumers have different measures of what constitutes ‘effective marketing’. If 20 per cent of consumers open your email or two per cent transact on your SMS, you probably rate that a successful campaign. But as a consumer, if I read only one in every five emails I receive, I would say that’s pretty ineffective.

A recent personal experience brought it home for me. Whilst shopping in Hong Kong, I was asked for my personal details to apply for a VIP customer card. Two things struck me. First, the ease with which I handed over my personal details meant the salesperson was well trained in the importance of data collection, and maybe even incentivised to do so. Second, to make it easier for me, she asterisked the mandatory fields, which was only my name and mobile number. Later on that evening, I subscribed to their email newsletter and immediately received a welcome email. This highlights an all too common occurrence – duplicated contact data. This is a great example of a missed opportunity.  I could have started my digital engagement with this brand with clean and de-duplicated contact data. Instead, I’m two different people in their database(s). Welcome to parallel-channel marketing.

I can imagine why this might have happened. The email database could be hosted on a separate platform in Europe, but the mobile campaigns could be run by the local marketing team in Hong Kong, meaning there is no single marketing view of the customer.

 There’s no doubt that marketers are working hard to ensure that their messages are heard by consumers and that they engage in the right way. But how you communicate is just one part of the puzzle. Underpinning all communication is accurate data. Clean and well-maintained contact data is absolutely crucial for enhancing database analysis, improving efficiency and, most importantly, retaining valuable customers. Capturing information accurately first time, gaining a holistic view of each and every customer, and accurately interpreting this goldmine of data will form the foundations of communication success across all channels.

 Get the data right and you can better understand how and when your customers want you to engage.