How data is shaping the future of omnichannel marketing

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The expanding data landscape will help shape the future of omnichannel marketing and has impacted how pharmaceutical marketers reach and target healthcare professionals (HCPs) and patients. Now more than ever, businesses are turning to omnichannel to attract and reach changing demographics. Being able to tap into extended datasets such as geolocation, email, websites and new areas such as wearable devices will be key to understanding more behaviors, attitudes and values, and will in turn provide better information and better personalization of omnichannel strategies.

The definition of omnichannel has evolved over time. Just a few years ago, what used to be called omnichannel was actually multichannel, where marketers used a variety of channels to send messages in silos. Instead, omnichannel is about coordinating and synchronizing interactions across channels and devices seamlessly to advance the customer journey in a way that makes sense and with more meaning for the recipient.

More data-gathering features will help build an omnichannel arsenal. It used to be a foreign concept to have the ability to collect data on when a healthcare professional received, opened and interacted with an email or online. Today, with transformative technologies – think of the application of artificial intelligence (AI) – there is a plethora of personalized information. However, the data needs to be integrated in the right way so that it provides the right narrative about what people are doing. The result can be messaging tailored to the preferences of the HCPs.

Assessing and deconstructing data is an essential part of any omnichannel strategy. For example, extended data beyond demographics, shopping habits, or browsing history will help predict and drive the next best set of actions. However, the quickest way to “turn off” an audience is to bombard them with constant messages that disregard their preferences or are perceived as general uncoordinated messages.

Focus on data validation to ensure quality across all touchpoints. As data spread across multiple ecosystems, the entire chain, from service providers and manufacturers to healthcare professionals and patients, became a battleground to receive and follow the correct information. Companies are very focused on collecting data, but they also need to confirm that it is correct and trustworthy. One way to do this is to build relationships with trusted partners, ones that have a lot of rigor and controls in place to ensure they collect and distribute clean data. From there, extract them, evaluate them, and confirm them to see if they make sense.

As our thirst for information about how people interact with omnichannel grows, global rules and regulations around data usage and privacy will need to be taken into account. For example, data restrictions in the UK are very different from those in the US, and US states roll out their own consumer data privacy laws. Being in the business of capturing, tracking and enforcing user activity and preferences will necessitate the need to protect people’s information and privacy.

It will be a constant challenge to stay on top of the data landscape with an ever-expanding universe of user information collected by trusted data sources and partners while staying true to data privacy rules. With a fully integrated data ecosystem, performing the right analytics and ensuring a coordinated end-user-centric experience will deliver the right message to the right audience.

Rommel Fernandez can be contacted at [email protected]

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