Why Channel Preference is Important

In Consumer Financial Intelligence by Travis Meeks

You’ve come a long way, baby

As marketers, it’s important to realize that this is not your grandmother’s consumer audience. In fact, product development moves so quickly today that it’s probably not even relatable to your older brother’s. For example, how many millennials do you think recognize where that headline came from?

What hasn’t changed, however, is the need to always put your customers and prospects first.

So, what do successful marketers do? How do they ensure messages are reaching the right consumers? Or building the type of brand loyalty that makes the competition say, “We should have thought of that”?

While there is no silver bullet, knowing how your customers prefer to interact with you is key. That includes understanding your customers’ channel preferences.

We’re not in Kansas anymore

It wasn’t all that long ago that product messaging was relatively simple. Print publications or direct mail.
Today, marketers choose between:

  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • Email
  • Mobile
  • Direct mail
  • Outbound telemarketing
  • Digital advertising
  • Interactive television

The list is virtually limitless and it’s making consumers very picky indeed. In fact, they’re in the driver’s seat and the balance of power has shifted. They’re adept, savvy, and (literally) have the world at their fingertips.

But, you can get a leg up.

The more things change

If you know and use the marketing channels your existing and prospective customers prefer, they are more likely to make purchases — provided you are communicating with them consistently and effectively in those channels.

How do you determine preferences? Test, test, and test again.

This is done across multiple channels using a statistically valid sample of your customer/prospect base. Next, send a sufficient amount of marketing messages across these channels. When designed and executed correctly, they will deliver a pool of responses for analyzing. From this pool, you identify commonalities and correlations, and begin building predictive models. Once completed, these models predict which marketing channels your customers and prospects most prefer.

Catering to customers by communicating where, when, how, and what they prefer not only improves their experience, it helps promote brand loyalty and satisfaction while decreasing churn. Using data to predict buying behaviors enhances the customer experience and drives increased revenue and profits.

You can’t stop there, however. In order to continue increasing the lifetime value of your customer relationships through predictive modeling, you must continuously test and monitor results. Things change. People change. And all of it affects outcomes. There is a place and point where models will no longer predict accurately. When their performance starts to decline, it’s time to redevelop.

Change is the one constant, and success depends on your ability to recognize and adapt to it.