Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Mobile Customers want multiple Channels of Communication

What are the different Channels of Communication? Let’s explore first -

Multichannel Communications

Businesses with multichannel communications, engage consumers by sharing content across multiple touch-points, including web, apps, social media, email, and more. However, due to the fragmented nature of multichannel communications, messaging is not necessarily seamless or consistent across channels. This approach also ignores the need to optimise the customer experience across specific devices, such as mobile, tablet or laptops.

Cross-channel Communications

Cross-channel communications allow consumers to see multiple touch-points as part of the same brand. In turn, this enables businesses to craft a ‘single view of the customer’. This involves unifying the organisation’s message across selected channels. However, each channel still operates as an independent silo. Essentially, cross-channel is more unified than multichannel and yet not as seamless as omnichannel.

So what is Omnichannel Communications?

The Omnichannel meaning is the mode of communication for a singular experience to consumers across all channels. Essentially, thinking of the brand in terms of the customers or employees perspective. Therefore, omnichannel refers to unified communications across multiple channels. This approach allows consumers to have a seamless brand experience as content is optimised for each channel and device. In turn, organisations with an omnichannel approach allow consumers to migrate from channel to channel in a consistent and seamless way.

To adopt omnichannel communications, a business needs to be dedicated to delivering the same experience across every brand touch-point and platform. This refers to consistent messaging and branding across channels, including mobile apps, social media accounts, website, print, and more.

Which approach is the best?

Each business is different and in turn, so are their communication needs. However, as technology continues to develop and markets continue to evolve, striving for omnichannel marketing is becoming more important.

Do any amount of reading or research on omnichannel communications, and you'll find plenty of discussion on how mobile users want to select the channel brands they use to engage with. Not only that, for different activities, mobile users want to use different channels. Financial information is dominated by email, but for critical updates (fraud alerts, balance alerts, and other time-sensitive information) SMS is important. And what about emails? They'd better be mobile friendly because first (or more frequently) mobile users check emails on their mobile devices. If you want to keep mobile customers happy, you need to cover email, SMS, push, voice, and soon chat. Which raises the following question:


More importantly, how do marketers and consumers get on the same wavelength of communications? There is a disconnect between how customers want to obtain information and how they are provided by marketers. Using the right technologies bridges that gap, but you need to get started with a good technical foundation.

Accommodating Challenges

You need to first identify them before finding a solution to your communication challenges. Here are just a few omnichannels and challenges for marketers in mobile communications today:
  • Identify which channels customers use
  • Identify the best channels for your messages
  • Optimization of emails, landing pages, and websites for mobile users
  • User segmentation and maintenance across channels
  • Data collection and analysis (data silos breaking down) to understand whether campaigns are effective
These challenges are not unique to mobile marketing, or even omnichannel communications, but they are more complicated when you try to track the same customer from smartphone to tablet to desktop/laptop. We know that consumers are already using more than one device to communicate with brands, finding holistic solutions to these challenges is imperative. The solution is only partly technical. There are processes and institutional changes that also need to occur, but let's first stick to the technical side of things.

Integration of all tools is important

The communication tools in your set (email, SMS, push, voice and chat are the core ones) need not only to be present but also integrated in order to approach the challenges. Having each tool in its own silo of messaging, data, and lists is not good enough; you need to be able to create a message, select the segment, then select all the channels to use. This is a gross over-simplification of the process as emails may be longer and richer than SMS and push messages are linked to device apps, but the premise is unified, cohesive messaging. What you have is a bunch of applications within a single interface without integration, not an omnichannel communication tool.

The omnichannel platform is flexible

The technical part of the issue requires a single system uniting all the channels and data into one system. The most powerful part of an omnichannel communication platform is not that the messaging tools are in one place, but that the data and customer profiles are in one place. The problem is not solved by messaging tools alone. There are many ways to send emails from one place, push notifications, and SMS messages. Even if you have to cobble something with a tool to consolidate message sending, the challenge remains to manage lists, segments, and preferences. omnichannel communications platforms (often grouped as Communications Platforms as a Service or cPaaS) provide both messaging capabilities and a consolidated view of critical customer data.

omnichannel tools provide you with an insight into which users use mobile devices predominantly and which channel they want to be contacted. It is the data of the user that makes this possible. It is not the ability to send the message, but the ability at the right time to send the right type of message to the right person.

Compatible Messaging

In the world of omnichannels, the consistent message is not just about branding, tone, or product alignment, but the right way to send messages consistently. Setting a preference such as sending email newsletters, SMS coupons, and updates through push notification are frustrating just to have those preferences ignored by the system. What was the point of first setting them then?

Consistent messaging also means ensuring that customers place messages in the product journey in line with that. One kind of messaging is needed by new users. There's something else that experienced users need. Expert users who may even have upgraded to pay for your service (or are paying you at least) are in another part of the journey. If you send a power user tip to a new user, it may be confusing. It's almost insulting to show one of your expert users a very basic feature. Worse is offering upgrades to paying customers who may see a deal much better than the deal they have.

Only if you have all your customer data in one place will you receive consistent messaging. A single view of the habits, preferences, and buying behaviour of a customer. You can develop your customer segments on the basis of the criteria that match your business objectives with the data in one place.


Data in hand helps customer segmentation. To deliver the right and consistent message to customers, segmentation is essential. Usually, customers fit into multiple segments at once, and this must be taken into account by your segmentation tool. You might have someone who is a mobile user who prefers SMS coupons, no newsletter, paying subscriber, your segmentation's long-standing expert. That person should receive messages that are completely different from a brand new customer. These segmented groups need to not only auto-populate with customers as they join the system, but also update as customer behaviour changes automatically and dynamically. For example, a customer who hasn't opened an email in three consecutive weeks will be pulled from the main mailing list to a special list flagged for re-engagement. One of the critical advantages of omnichannel communication tools is to automate as much segmentation as possible based on business rules and algorithms.


Marketers use data and metrics to live and die. Open rates, click rates, generated leads, conversions, cart checkouts, all these data are essential... but not only essential, necessary to be as fast as possible in real time. Let's take the example of a retailer. You're running an email and SMS coupon promotion. You segmented your lists but first decided to do the first round on a section of your overall list. You weren't 100 per cent sure if both the SMS group and the email group were going to convert. If you have real-time data, you may see that two hours of SMS conversions in the campaign are twice as much as email. Most SMS messages were actually opened and only 35% of emails were opened. Now, instead of sending a lot more emails, you can send an SMS to people who prefer it (or you know it's most commonly on their mobile devices). Customers who are only interested in receiving emails would still receive an email, but those who have no clear preference will receive SMS.

Only having data in real time can allow you to make those decisions on the same day, just hours after the campaign began. You're waiting at least until the next day without real-time data before you can decide how to send your campaign to the rest of your list. Whether open rates for email vs SMS or A / B test subject lines, metrics and data in real time make the difference when working with multiple channels.


Today's communication complexity speaks to the challenges faced by marketers in an omnichannel communications world. This complexity has been softened by the cPaaS platform itself in the Marketer's Guide to cPaas post and the Marketer's Guide to omnichannel Communications ebook. A reliable communication platform for cPaaS omnichannel unravels the challenges without over-simplifying them. Built on stable tools, real-time data and centralized customer profiles, the omnichannel marketing solution from bigassert gives you confidence that the platform you trust to deliver your messages can actually deliver the messages.

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