This month, CMI Media Group tapped Lasso for their latest episode of The Nth Degree - The Power of Omnichannel. We had the huge honor of being the very first partner invited to CMI’s series as a key thought leader. Our CEO Greg Field joined Jose Ferreira, EVP of Product Strategy & Transformation at CMI to define what is and is not true omnichannel marketing, the role of technology, and the criticality of data.
The Million Dollar Question: What Is Omnichannel?
At Lasso, we really define omnichannel as an integrated and coordinated messaging strategy with analytics across all communication channels, both online and offline. Some of the top features necessary for true omnichannel marketing include data centricity and analytic centricity, no longer a channel centricity. So, when marketers are considering how to actually approach an omnichannel strategy, it’s not just about involving a diverse mix of media but actually taking a step back and thinking about the consumers, and consistent data and insights across those channels. It’s not just a matter of integrations but also the coordination and having a sequence of messaging that really resonates with a consumer where they are willing to engage and where you have consent and identity to engage with them.
So, What Role Does Lasso Play in the Omnichannel Space?
We help power the omnichannel for our clients by being and providing the infrastructure for that vision of omnichannel. Our role in this space is also highly related to CMI Media Group's role. CMI does a fantastic job in actually processing the data and the insights and developing the coordinated messaging that’s going to perform well in an omnichannel strategy. Once you have those data signals, you’ve identified the targets and audiences that are going to be of high value to your brands and customers, and you’ve developed that sequential messaging that will inform and engage the consumers in a meaningful way, how do you then go execute that? That’s where Lasso comes in. We become the infrastructure that allows you to take those target audiences and connect them to addressable identifiers and then route those messages to them in a coordinated and seamless manner.
“Lasso has been an incredible partner as we’ve scaled our own omnichannel capabilities through our technology, so in our history, we’ve always been data-centric and hyper-personalized. That direct daily integration that we’ve had with Lasso for a few years now across a multitude of channels that we’ve been able to activate has been beneficial for our clients and ROI. We’ve seen a significant uptick in Rx, and by virtue of serving the next best action in real-time on a daily basis, through our partnership with Lasso, we’ve been able to generate a much greater engagement from our clients’ customers.” - Jose Ferreira, Executive Vice President, Product Strategy & Transformation, CMI Media Group
That is the perfect example of omnichannel. It really starts with the data - years of historical data, across all consumers and providers and all media touchpoints. That allows you to create fantastic insights and process the engagements so that you can move people along the sequence and along those channels. Not everyone is present on every channel, so you need to understand where those audiences and where those individuals are actually consuming your messaging.
The Need For Speed
“A barrier we’ve tried to overcome at CMI is the ability to transact as quickly as possible, and that’s where Lasso has been a really good partner because you guys come at this from a technology perspective. The legacy publisher community has been thinking about it in a different way, and Lasso’s ability to activate based on the signals we are sending on a daily basis has been extremely beneficial because most of the industry is still on weekly cadences.” - Jose Ferreira, Executive Vice President, Product Strategy & Transformation, CMI Media Group
If you have a strategy that says you’ll do some programmatic this month and some social the next month, is that actually omnichannel activation? There might be a sequence there, but with such a large time lag and channels not talking to each other in real-time, then you’re not actioning on those engagements in a coordinated manner. That’s why speed is a huge element of making omnichannel effective.
What Is Not Omnichannel?
There are a couple of easy examples which are pretty clearly not omnichannel. For example, a legacy DSP - you’re not engaging with social or email or anything offline with that more traditional piece of technology.
There are also a few other examples in the industry that masquerade as being omnichannel. Some of those would be a diverse media plan that includes a wide range of channels with some dollars allocated to programmatic, social, email, and offline. While that is more valuable than just thinking about things in a silo, that still misses the fact that you have integrated audience data and integrated analytics to make sure you are understanding the engagement across all those channels. Additionally, a central system connecting the more advanced features of omnichannel strategy like consent, frequency capping and coordinated messaging across all touchpoints is the key to reaching your targets in the most efficient and seamless way possible.
The Opportunity for Personalization
Sometimes the next best action could be nothing, but that would be based on the preference of that consumer or what’s occurred in the previous channel. We want to avoid over saturation of individual audiences, not just because it could create ad blindness, but also because that next dollar could be better spent engaging somebody else in a novel way. Having a centralized analytics system, that captures the reach and engagement from every channel, allows for the personalization of the next best action which can only be realized through an omnichannel strategy.
What’s Next In Omnichannel and In Technology?
The biggest miss in omnichannel currently is centralized analytics and holistic evaluation. One of the things we’ve prioritized at Lasso is creating a suite of measurement and analytics tools that can truly be for online and offline channels. We focused on being able to identify and attribute engagements at touchpoints and real-world behaviors from any channel that we can receive. The appreciation within the market and large adoption of the analytics piece in omnichannel is going to be what we see next.
From a media perspective, we will see more integration with offline channels. Currently, we’ve covered our bases really well in the digital ecosystem, but we will need to integrate with more channels like digital out of home, in office, electronic health records, telehealth, and more.