Don’t Let the Digital White Elephant Get You—Watch Out for Multichannel Without Context



January 22, 2015

With the opportunity of interacting with customers in many different (often digital) channels –  getting these channels up and running has been the focus for many companies looking to ‘Go Digital’. But multiple channels brings with it new challenges.  One of the main challenges is making sure content and dialogue is relevant, interesting and serving the correct purpose in the channel it is received. How can we make sure the customer is reached by the ‘same’ or ‘right’ message, even though the dialogue is held in different contexts?
This was one of the questions discussed during Webbdagarna CMO Summit back in June this year. Although I was not personally present, my colleagues were, and Per Önnemyr have posted two previous posts about other topics brought up in those round table discussions. See The digital chicken – how to avoid working in silos between departments and Get your digital ducks in a row.
So I will continue the track started by Per and in this post I will focus on some important aspects to consider in order to ensure the content in our channels take into consideration the context in which it is received.
I would say there are currently two main general (I’ll not touch upon “personalization” here) dimensions to context: Channel and Device. Channels are Web, Facebook, Twitter, Chat, Print, Mail, SMS etc. Devices are – well you know. And the most important aspect about Devices is not screen size any more, but really other key functions such as e.g. smartphones being able to tell location and interact with the environment. So you need to make sure your interactions with your customers take these parameters into account. A message or dialogue using Facebook may have a different tone than an email, SMS or an article on the web.  So make sure that the message and dialogue fits the channel and also take into account and utilize the possibilities of devices with location.
Talking about location, there is actually also “time” as a related context. You are open for different types of interactions and messages during different times of day. And you don’t want your customers to be disturbed by an SMS in the middle of the night! So if you have travelling customers, it naturally would be great to be able to pair location and local time with time aspects of your channels! 

So to summarize, in order to make the most out of your digital channels, make sure to adapt messages and dialogue according to Channel, Device and Time. And of course utilize a platform that supports your way of workng and the functions you need to manage/adapt messages for the different channels and context as discussed. Otherwise you might find yourself with a Digital Multichannel White Elephant!

Ps. For some related interesting point of views on this, also check out All Channel Experience section! 

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