4 minute read

Navigating the Cross-Channel Campaign Management Landscape

With so many vendors to choose from for services like email, vendor management, CRM, and more, marketers often rely on third party research firms like Forrester to be the neutral voice of reason for assessing what’s available and make recommendations on what to look for. Forrester recently released their “Now Tech: Cross-Channel Campaign Management, Q1 2018” report on the enterprise marketing technology landscape to give marketers a better idea of the cross-channel campaign management tools available today. (And across large, midsize, and small vendors that cater to a variety of industries, there are quite a few to choose from.)

In the report, Forrester defines cross-channel campaign management as: Enterprise marketing technology (EMT) that supports customer data management, analytics, segmentation, and workflow tools for designing, executing, and measuring campaigns for digital and offline channels.

In a nutshell, this means a single platform for building and executing marketing campaigns, both on and offline. Cross-channel campaign management offerings provide a better way to understand your customers, while executing your brand strategy across multiple channels and customer experiences. How can you win at cross-channel campaign management? Here’s a summary of what Forrester found.

Beating the Competition Means Staying Relevant with Customers

In our society, “wow-factor” customer experiences have become commonplace. Between brand interactions across social media, artificial intelligence, and other cutting-edge campaigns, the space between marketer and consumer is closer than ever. But it also means there’s no excuse for brands that aren’t delivering meaningful experiences. Forrester even says that “today’s empowered customers feel entitled to contextually relevant experiences.” Therefore, “B2C marketers understand that their traditional marketing and advertising campaigns must evolve to address such ever-increasing customer experience expectations.”

That’s why a cross-channel campaign management is a crucial part of your enterprise marketing technology ecosystem. To effectively evaluate all the available vendors, Forrester advises that marketers must prioritize a solution’s ability to help you:

  • Build deeper levels of customer understanding.
  • Execute your brand strategy consistently across channels.
  • Align brand experiences with CX expectations.

Choose Vendors Based on Size and Functionality

For this report, Forrester interviewed the industry’s most prominent cross-channel campaign management vendors, categorizing them across size (large ($199M+), midsize ($25M-$199M), and small ($3M-$25M) and available functionality.  

What they found was that marketers must consider three main criteria when seeking the best cross-channel campaign management for their firm. The top cross-channel campaign management vendors:

Offer an enterprise marketing software suite (EMSS) with cross-channel campaign management modules. Less is best when it comes to implementing cross-channel campaign management. Enterprise solutions with email and other digital marketing capabilities are attractive options for B2C marketers who want to consolidate vendors into a single provider.

Focus on real-time interaction management (RTIM). Some vendors focus specifically on integrating customer data to provide more relevant, insights-driven customer interactions. Forrester reports that “B2C marketers who prioritize data management, analytics, and real-time decision engines should consider these vendors to complement digital marketing investments.”

Provide independent marketing platforms. Small and midsize vendors have the agility and expertise to focus on specific channel, vertical, or geographic specialties through their partnerships with marketing service providers. Forrester notes that these firms offer “best-of-breed point solutions to complement their EMT ecosystems.” (At SmarterHQ, we do this by specializing in retail, travel & hospitality, and financial services and providing pre-built integrations that integrate with existing technology ecosystems to consume all data points and power behavioral messages through multiple channels.)

Make Cross-Channel Campaign Management Core to Your Marketing Tech Stack 

It’s crucial that B2C marketers surround themselves with tech that’s planted firmly on insights and engagement. Doing this creates the most relevant customer experiences possible. Forrester’s final recommendations urge marketers to:

Clarify your unique EMT ecosystem requirements. Know your needs and cater to them. Choose a cross-channel campaign management solution that can effectively and seamlessly meet your specific needs with a unique mix of vendors.

Complement your enterprise CX investments. B2C marketers must “prioritize vendor options that address specific vertical, organizational, or operational CX requirements,” according to Forrester. To be most effective, cross-channel campaign management must be aligned with other customer-facing solutions across the business, including your website, apps, social media, etc. After all, customers don’t discriminate between channels—and neither should you. Marketers should have the flexibility to identify and engage with them wherever they are.

Collaborate with your firm’s technology organization. While your marketing organization must be the leader in driving customer obsession across the business, the amount of data and analytics you’ll encounter will require strong relationships with your business technology team. That’s why bringing them into the decision-making process for your cross-channel campaign management early will not only give you valuable input upfront, but will save you time, energy, and angst in the long-run.

The Forrester report also features an in-depth breakdown of nearly 40 vendors based on size, functionality, geography, and vertical specialty to arm you with more decision-making power.