Achieving message convergence

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The days of siloed email messaging are over. Or at least they should be, says Dave Lewis, CMO of Message Systems. Only when there is message convergence, he says, can real engagement and conversion happen. “Message convergence is an engagement strategy that accommodates the changes in [user] behavior relative to the different channels so you can speak to the [user] in the most relevant place with the most relevant message,” Lewis said. Marketers must integrate multiple data sources and channels so they can be acted on, shared and analyzed, he said. In some cases, that means implementing a single marketing automation system. In others, it could be as simple as creating a data management and integration piece that lets disparate marketing systems talk to each other. Then, of course, the marketing policies and procedures to support such integration must follow. There are real benefits to achieving message convergence, Lewis said. Here, he details the top four:
  1. You can generate more revenue. This, more than any other reason, should make marketers stand up and pay attention, Lewis said. “A CMO's charter is to generate revenue and generate lifetime value,” he said. “Those companies that are successful in managing this process are going to reap the rewards at the expense of the competition.” With an aligned strategy and messaging, customers aren't confused and marketers can analyze results—and make changes more quickly—when it comes to campaigns.
  2. There's less splintering within the marketing organization. Under the old paradigm, companies had multiple brands, each with its own marketing group—many of which were divided by task (such as email, social, and print). One company, Lewis said, could have many organizational units with each using its own email marketing platform or solution. When companies function under a message convergence strategy, those barriers break down and more information is shared. “Cross-organizational silos can share information and insight that may have been missing in the past,” he said.
  3. Customers are happier and may suggest or endorse your products or brands. If a customer can ask a question on Twitter, read commentary on Facebook or get an answer sent via email, he or she is going to be more satisfied overall. “Customers are engaging with you across multiple channels; so that's why it's so important to move to a multichannel communications strategy,” Lewis said. “Customers are happier when they don't have to say the same thing more than once. It's also much more efficient and lowers your cost.”
  4. Data is more secure. If you've got four different databases, that's four places that phishers and other criminals could attack. “It's a heck of a lot easier to secure a single environment than multiple sources and multiple databases,” Lewis said. “It's also easier to control the brand—what you're saying, how you're branding—when everything is pulled together in one place.”
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