Maybe the most fun aspect of my work at Unica is that I have many colleagues from both the online and the offline marketing worlds. So I get to learn and compare the view points of both sides first hand. As it turns out, cross-channel marketing requires more than just integrating marketing methods and metrics. You know what else it requires? It requires integrating the mind sets of the marketers.
My colleague Kevin Cavanaugh pointed me to the following analogy recently which I think is absolutely brilliant. Kevin is one of our veterans here at Unica with one foot deep in the offline, direct marketing world, and the other deep in the online marketing world. One of Unica's most savvy web analytics customers, Judah Philips from Reed Business, recently described Kevin as the "Jedi of Whiteboarding".
We online marketers live in The Matrix, i.e. we have an unbelievable detail of data about every prospect's and customer's every click, every day, every time. Having so much data at hand we use web analytics to turn the (otherwise useless) data into insights with which we can improve the success of our web site design and our online advertisements. What do you - not - see in The Matrix as easily however? A picture of the customer! We online marketers have traditionally been more focused on acquisition marketing at the aggregate level rather than paying much attention to the individual customer relationship.
What about the offline marketer’s world? The offline marketer’s world is more akin to CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The offline marketer is not blessed with the detailed data available to the online colleague. So they have to leverage every bit of information that they can extract and derive about their prospects’ and customers’ wishes, needs, desires, dreams. So, they have become very intelligent at using every bit of data that they can get their hands on. Additionally, the offline marketer has been at this job much longer than the colleagues on the web site. As such, the better offline marketers have already taken to a relationship marketing approach rather than "one size fits all" or spamming. Yet, according to Forrester Research, despite the availability of open web analytics solutions such as Unica’s Affinium NetInsight, too many offline marketers have still not added the available online customer insights to their customer data mart.
In combination it appears that the online marketers have all the data, but the offline marketers have figured out the right questions to ask. I think, they should talk, yes?
Are you an online marketer or offline marketer yourself? Please add a comment on how you get along with your colleagues on the other side. Or are you one of those model companies that have broken down the barriers between the two? Please share your story!