Prioritising channels based on segment values

Most organisations aspire to deliver an optimal customer experience, but this often needs to be weighed up against the practical reality of managing the cost to sell and serve. Taking the time to line up marketing, sales and service channels based on customer value provides the opportunity to be more cost-efficient while delivering improved customer outcomes. Is it time for your business to develop a new channel strategy, or correct an ineffective strategy?

Blackdot has identified 5 key steps that leading enterprises take to reorganise around the changing customer and meet elevated customer expectations. Having previously covered the first two steps of developing opportunity-based segmentation and customising offerings to segment value, this post explores Step 3 – prioritising channels based on value.
 
BLACKDOT’S CUSTOMER STRATEGY APPROACH
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Delivering a cost-effective, optimal customer experience
 
We define a channel as being the resource or method used to engage with a customer throughout the sales and post-sales processes. The channel strategy also includes the objectives and activities carried out by your resources to engage customers.
 
Prioritising channels around high-value customer segments allows organisations to deliver an optimal customer experience in a cost-effective way – leading to an increase in both profitability and customer outcomes.
 
Achieving customisation of content at scale
 
Whilst bigger accounts are often seen as the most attractive, real growth opportunities are often found elsewhere. The revenue opportunity is often in the lower-value segments due to the volume of customers they represent.
 
Digital channels and marketing automation enable distribution of customised content at scale, meaning you can maximise the return on investment from your marketing team by recycling content and distributing it to relevant customers at the right time on their engagement journey.
 
Engage a wider variety of customer journeys
 
Most organisations target the most common customer journeys when planning how to engage customers. Whilst prioritising these journeys is a sensible approach at first, as you start to engage customers more effectively and cost-efficiently, you can start focusing on engaging customers and prospects on less obvious journeys.
 
The roles of Marketing, Sales & Service in channel prioritisation
 
Different functions play different key roles when prioritising channels based on value. The following diagram illustrates where Marketing, Sales and Service teams should focus their energy, depending on the segments they are targeting.
 
CHANNELS & FUNCTIONS ACROSS SEGMENTS
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Best practice tips for aligning marketing, sales and service effort based on value
 
1. Deliver a premium experience to high value segments

Focus on creating premium, personalised content for high value segments. Examples might be targeting these segments for marketing events and aligning more expensive face-to-face sales and service teams towards this segment, with a larger time investment made for each customer. You should also utilise specialist resources to support in-depth sales conversations in this customer segment.
 
Real life example:
Blackdot worked with a health science provider who developed an online portal for VIP customers to access premium content. Customers were also provided with access to specialist sales representatives who could provide high value expertise and support.
 
2. Leverage technology to reach a larger audience more efficiently

Serve large volumes of customers in a cost-effective manner through remote engagement. Leverage
remote engagement tools such as marketing automation, webchat or inside sales to offer high-impact but low-touch interactions with each customer.
 
Real life example:
Blackdot helped a media organisation to improve the customer experience to a large customer base in a cost-effective manner, partnering an inside sales team targeting a large volume of low value customers and prospects, with a face-to-face sales team that met with the higher value customers in this segment.
 
3. Provide customisation at scale for lower-value segments

Focus on volume, reducing cost of sale and touching as many customers as possible. Automate the delivery of content to a large audience, using data to customise at scale to broad categories like industry, geography, or drivers, delivered at the right points of the customer journey.
 
Real life example:
Blackdot developed a channel strategy for a pharmaceutical company involving digital remote engagement channels to service low value or hard to reach customers, freeing up costly face-to-face
resources to focus on visiting higher value customers.
 
What’s next?

Once your channel strategy is in place, the next step is to ensure content, campaigns and execution across these channels are also appropriate to each segment’s needs and value. We’ll explore this in more detail in an upcoming blog.

Worded by Tim Rayner.

Thinking about your channel strategy?