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In this guest post, Katerina Matthaiou, Product Innovation Director at Upstream explores the advantages of an omnichannel approach to marketing, and how the tools they have developed can help businesses reach their customers in new and exciting ways.

Great brands take on many human qualities. They like to surprise consumers, constantly presenting them with the unexpected. And it’s those surprises that keep people coming back for more and can turn first-time customers into fierce loyalists.

Now think of channels as those little surprises. One alone won’t do the trick, two will raise an eyebrow, three means you’re putting in the effort, four or more, it’s hook-line-and-sinker.

That’s because with an omnichannel strategy you can follow customers throughout the day and connect with them at different touchpoints, whether they are online, offline or on the move.

There’s even solid proof that multichannel orchestration works: omnichannel customers shop 1.7 times more than shoppers who use a single channel. They also spend more¹. And in the case of mobile operators, by breaking down silos of each channel, they can take advantage of the unique strengths of each one while mitigating their shortcomings.

Much like humans, each channel has unique personality traits. It’s not really a question of good or bad; instead, they’re different ways of connecting with customers depending on which stage of the journey they’re at. So make yourself comfortable on the therapist couch and prepare for some channel psychoanalysis.

The unique traits each channel brings in the multichannel mix.

Let’s start with SMS. Being direct and personal, they reach everybody—and over 98% of customers actually open them. SMSs are great for delivering urgent and time-sensitive messages, and they’re awesome for bringing back lost subscribers. Our own results show that retargeting campaigns via SMS can bring 3,5 times higher CTR than RCS.

Much like humans, each channel has unique personality traits. It’s not really a question of good or bad; instead, they’re different ways of connecting with customers depending on which stage of the journey they’re at…

If, on the other hand, you want to share lots of content, then it’s a great idea to add MMS to your channel mix. MMSs can include enriched content like photos, videos and audio; what’s more, there’s no text size limitation.

Want an even richer format than MMS which allows for a conversational flow? Then check out RCS. Also, as RCS is a pre-downloaded app there’s no need to download it and it’s very secure.

What’s more, they have great engagement rates. For example, our campaign results promoting plan upgrades for a mobile operator in Brazil showed that the order rate of the RCS users is 67% higher than SMS. The downside? Well, RCS messages have a low penetration rate and they’re not widely adopted—yet.

Let’s look at something a bit more cluttered but still great considering the content possibilities it offers: E-mail. It has a large reach and is still used by businesses as their main marketing channel. However, it may also be subject to spam filters and may be ignored (haven’t we all been asked to look at our spam folder to discover a message that someone has sent us?). So, what do we do if people ignore our emails or—worse yet—have turned off their email notifications?

Then it’s time for Social Messaging. Because while emails can be ignored, nearly everyone opens WhatsApp and Viber messages within 3 to 5 minutes². Social Messaging enjoys a 110% YoY usage growth³ and it does deliver: in a recent promotional campaign we ran for a retail customer in Brazil, we saw that WhatsApp resulted in 5x higher CTR than SMSs. Also, as both WhatsApp and Viber feature E2E encryption, they’re very, very secure. However, as they’re more expensive than others, you may have to include other channels as well.

And finally, there are Push Notifications—effective but also intrusive and annoying if they are not properly targeted and timed. They may also be disabled by users if they receive too many irrelevant or unimportant messages.

Multichannel orchestration with Upstream’s marketing automation platform

So, now that we have all these great ways to connect to customers, let’s meet the dream team where you can use multichannel orchestration to unlock every channel’s full potential. It’s called GROW.

With Upstream’s marketing automation platform, mobile operators can orchestrate many channels to match different business objectives. The icing on the cake is a technology called a Mobile Identity.

This enables mobile operators to combine multiple channels while delivering connected and consistent experiences, which helps create targeted and personalized messaging because each customer is uniquely identified through their phones.

And in the end, making someone feel really unique is what great communication is all about.

Check out the amazing flexibility of Grow or, better yet, book a demo with us to discover the wonderful traits of this platform and what it can do for you.

Katerina Matthaiou

Product Innovation Director, Upstream