It’s not hard to find literally hundreds of articles imploring brands to adopt a multi-channel–or as is fast becoming de rigueur, “omni-channel”–strategy. I’ve written my fair share of them.
Typically these articles provide helpful hints or highlight core capabilities one must embrace to achieve this recommended state of retail nirvana. In fact, at last week’s CRMC conference in Chicago, speaker after speaker delineated the usual suspects.
We must have a 360-degree view of the customer. We need to become channel-agnostic. We must leverage actionable customer insight to drive personalized interactions. Our customer experience should be seamless across touch-points. And so on.
All good stuff to be sure. Yet the cold hard truth is that while these components are all quite necessary, they are simply not sufficient.
The unfortunate reality is that all the Vice Presidents of Customer Insight and all the Directors of CRM and, for that matter, all the whatever you want to call your new leader of cross-channel initiatives, can do an exemplary job and it won’t get you there as long as a few other conditions exist.
If your brand is still fundamentally organized by channel rather than customer, you will only get so far.
If your company’s senior leadership is rewarded by channel performance, more than brand and customer-driven metrics, you face an insurmountable challenge.
Without the walls between channels being torn down–without the Board and Mr. or Ms. CEO making customer-centricity THE driving force of your customer growth strategy–all the well-intentioned efforts of an enlightened few will fail to gain essential traction.
So Ms. CEO tear down those walls! What are you waiting for?