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The most effective engagement strategies are those that incorporate online and offline elements into a cohesive package that elicits a desired behavior from the consumer. To engage with accurate information and relevant communications at critical moments throughout the customer journey, enterprises must aggregate, analyze, and integrate all unstructured data from both offline and online sources; evolve to insights-driven organizations that anticipate customers' needs and behaviors before they arise; and blend and merge digital and traditional functions and roles throughout their organizations.

Three imperatives for holistic customer engagement

Holistic customer engagement is daunting, and many customer experience leaders are attempting to piece together and understand customer experiences by relying on fragmented approaches. Many also think of customer engagement as a "digital-only" concept. Still others can't combine data as it becomes available across channels, giving them partial insights as to whether their efforts positively triggered the buying process.

While integrating traditional and digital data sources is critical to understanding customer identity and achieving a single, 360-degree view of customers, enacting the strategies and processes that enable integration leads to many implications from a technical and operational standpoint. Success hinges on building integrated capabilities, making the right data accessible, and simplifying processes.

  • Create unique customer IDs. Enterprises that successfully create unique customer profiles that contain consolidated data based on all interactions from offline and online touchpoints, devices, and existing systems gain an accurate representation of customers' journeys and a holistic understanding of customers' behaviors. Such unique profiles will help paint a clear picture of how customers interact with a business before, during, and after the purchase process, as well as help leaders understand their individual needs.

  • Blend cross-channel roles. Some enterprises are taking the monumental steps in integrating their digital and traditional roles and functions within departments and sometimes across the enterprise. It's more critical than ever to ensure that employees are working in concert to make sure an enterprise's marketing and messaging are consistent across all digital and traditional channels.

  • Become insights-driven. At their core, insights-driven enterprises focus on closing the knowledge gaps that exist in their organizations and repairing the disconnect of complete data delivery. Enterprises that operate on an insights-driven model run activities that support master data sources within the enterprise. In insights-driven organizations, IT collaborates with nontechnical key decision-makers to ensure that they have the capabilities and access to data to make knowledge-based decisions anytime and anywhere.


Further reading

The Omnichannel Imperative: Integrating Traditional and Digital Engagement Channels, IT0020-000247 (March 2017)


Mila D'Antonio, Principal Analyst, Customer Engagement

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