Engagement matters.  It matters to marketers and it matters to the consumer…but what is the most effective way to improve that engagement?  We sat down with Marketing Expert, Liz McLemore to get her take on the top 5 marketing resolutions to improve your marketing programs.

Resolution 1: Gain a full understanding of your data

This year, strive to get a full picture of what data you have available. In order to really know who your customers are across all channels and be able to deliver meaningful experiences to them, you’ll need to consider what sources of data are available to you, and then who needs to have access to that data in order to best leverage it. Here are a few tips to get you started:

-Collect demographic and behavioral data to get a clear picture of your customers. Combining these data types will help give you a better view of your audience.

-Perform a comprehensive data audit to figure out exactly what your data is telling you.  Document everything, from the data type to how often it’s updated.

-Find a partner who can centralize your database and help you leverage unlimited data types and sources.

Resolution 2: Amp up your personalization

Your newly centralized data will allow you to better personalize the content and timing of your cross-channel communications. In order to make change executable, consider a phased approach to personalization.

-Start small, with elements of your current template that can easily be personalized, such as headers or footers.

-Enhance personalization through demographic or behavioral data, such as loyalty points.

-Move toward a true 1:1 experience by partnering with a cross-channel communications provider who can help with state-based personalization.

Resolution 3: Maintain a consistent approach

When your customers interact with your brand, they should encounter a consistent brand experience. They don’t think in channels, so why should you?

-View your brand as a customer would. Sign up for your emails, check out the in-store experience, and follow your brand on social media.

-Compare your message across channels. Is the story you’re telling consistent?

-Examine your internal operations, and work to remove silos. Cross-functional teams need to work together seamlessly in order to deliver a seamless cross-channel customer experience.

Resolution 4: Adopt a mobile-first approach in every channel

Customers do more than check email on their phones. Mobile commerce is growing, and a Business Insider BI Intelligence report predicts that mobile will account for 45% of all ecommerce by 2020. In order to take advantage of this growth, expand your mobile-first approach beyond the inbox.

-Have a well-paved mobile path. Test the look and feel of your emails on a mobile device. Make sure that your website is mobile optimized, and that the path to purchase is as frictionless as possible.

-When incorporating an SMS campaign, have a clear goal in mind. SMS campaigns can be effective ways to promote upcoming deals, cultivate loyalty, or inform, but it’s important to narrow your focus in order to best engage your customers.

-Be compliant. If you do not have a mobile expert on your team, be sure to partner with one who can ensure your campaigns follow mobile compliance guidelines.

Resolution 5: Measure effectiveness

Now that you’ve put processes and plans into effect, measure their impact.

-Work with your web, mobile, and social teams at the campaign creation stage to determine what metrics you need to measure, and why. In today’s cross-channel marketing world, it’s about more than open and click rates.

-Compare your engagement rates to industry benchmarks to gain a better sense of how your brand is performing, but remember you need to be your OWN benchmark.

-Invest in more sophisticated analytics programs to take your reporting to the next level, or seek the professional advice of experts who can show you how to separate the signal from the noise and gain deeper insights.

These five tips and more are discussed in our webinar “Trends are Dead Ends: Create a clear road to success with our 2017 planning tips.” If you didn’t get a chance to join us, you can view a recording of it here.  Also, if you want more information on our 2016 holiday insights please join us for our next webinar “It’s a wrap: 2016 holiday insights, “on February 23rd at 1pm ET.

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