Communications channels are evolving and changing faster than ever before. In the quest to reach people where they interact, organizations must keep track of new channels, connect their systems to the most relevant new ones via application program interfaces (APIs), and attempt to integrate new data streams with legacy infrastructure. 

Multichannel marketing is now vital to how businesses and organizations of all types, including governments, need to operate. According to IDC’s Worldwide CMO 2020 Predications, by 2023, 75% of digital marketers will use multi-touch attribution, due to recent rapid technology improvements supporting multiple channels, advanced statistics, AI, machine learning, and easier implementation of tools and platforms.

With the proliferation of new digital channels marketing campaigns must be multichannel. And the next step? Omnichannel. Data and intelligence will inform more personalized and context-sensitive content delivered across channels to enhance the customer experience. It’s powerful, effective, and complex.

Here’s why looking at a cloud-based service like Communications Platform as-a-Service (CPaaS) makes sense, and why a collaboration between marketing and IT as co-custodians of channel communications is key to success.

The Increasing Value of  Connected Conversations

“Marketing is increasingly data-driven, using insights into customer choices, experiences, and preferences. While email, voice, and SMS still hold tremendous value as marketing and communications channels, new generations of devices with fast-evolving and innovative apps are introducing new channels. The number and diversity of channels used by consumers and organizations globally are growing rapidly,” says Arti Yadav, Director, Global Marketing, SAP Digital Interconnect.

Different types of consumers favor different combinations of channels. In addition, different types of communications lend themselves to different channels based on user demographics, the relative urgency of the communication, and data connectivity limitations.

For example, offers are often best delivered as emails, with more room for content and attachments; checking to see if an item is in stock, on the other hand, is more efficiently done over SMS or social media channels like chat. An email left unopened after 24 hours could then be sent via SMS or RCS for greater immediacy, since 30% of consumers open emails after more than 10 minutes and 48% of SMSs and 38% of chat app messages are opened within one minute, according to research by Ovum. 

Channel Marketing Evolution Required

The proliferation of different channels creates challenges for companies developing multichannel and omnichannel experiences for their customers, employees, and other stakeholders. McKinsey & Company found that the challenge of creating personalized content across a myriad of different channels is a “missed opportunity in engaging customers in a deeper way ─ in the touchpoints where they want to be reached ─ and creating personal experiences across the addressable channels.”

CPaaS platforms offer off-the-shelf plugins for plug & play ease when adding communications channels. Cloud-managed, CPaaS takes away overhead costs, complexity, and time required to integrate and support whatever mix of channels each organization requires. CPaaS solutions lend themselves to support AI, machine learning, and the pervasive intelligence required for true omnichannel experiences. 

The Vital IT and Marketing Partnership Around Channels 

Instead of relying on IT alone to drive and determine the channels and platforms, having CMOs and other marketing leadership at the decision-making table is essential. Platforms like CPaaS are becoming integral ways to inform, sell to and enhance customer experience with brands. Front-end interface decisions will increasingly impact marketing efforts while issues like security and scalability will remain the domain of IT.

“With the growing volumes of data and increasing use of AI, CPaaS provides a significant opportunity for greater personalization, better service, enhanced customer experiences, and higher revenue,” says SAP’s Yadav. “As the network edge gets closer with 5G and the Internet of Things, even more channels are likely to surface. Now is the time for organizations to decide how they’ll integrate all of the touchpoints into an easy-to-use environment where customer experience information is shared in real-time and made instantly useful.”

For more information SAP’s CPaaS offering, read this IDC paper.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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