Inconspicuous innovation is a core theme at CES® 2016, and the tools of engagement for multichannel and omnichannel media distribution and marketing will be hiding in plain sight. We plan to cover this exciting new approach to consumer engagement at the ShellyPalmer Innovation Series Breakfast presented by Verizon at CES.

Multichannel vs. Omnichannel

For this article, let’s define multichannel as a best practices approach to consumer engagement and user experiences that leverages each individual platform’s capabilities but does not provide seamless integration or consistent messaging across each individual channel. For example: you have an awesome mobile web experience, a great laptop/desktop web experience, and a brilliant video distribution platform, but none of them really work together – they have different workflows, different metrics, different data governance, etc.

If you had an omnichannel approach, then marketing, messaging, business goals, and design across every platform and device (consumer touch point) would be fully integrated.

The buzzwords don’t matter (they are sure to change), but the conceptual differences between multichannel and omnichannel as defined above are nontrivial. In order to achieve a true omnichannel model, you need a significant amount of hardware and software that you either don’t currently have or are not using in a way that will yield competitive business outcomes.

It’s a Streaming Video World

What is the point of streaming a video if you can’t maximize the value of the stream? It’s a rhetorical question. Video needs to be interactive, measurable, actionable, consumer friendly, bandwidth and screen optimized, and targetable (to the level that a marketer wishes to target: individual, household, geographic, demographic, psychographic, etc.). Whether it’s over the top (OTT) or just online or IP-Delivered through a gateway or via smoke signals or carrier pigeons, video also needs to be fully integrated into CRM, Social, e-Commerce, and every other measurement and conversion tool you may wish to use.

It’s a Mobile World

A huge part of the process is creating a “single source of truth” for your data. When a potential customer does a mobile search – Google says mobile searches (which exceed 100 billion per month) have surpassed desktop searches – what will they find? Are the pins for your location in the right spot? Are the hours of operation correct? Is there a specific search-related offer or relevant content presented in the results? If you do get past the first click, how is the consumer experience integrated into your data management platform (DMP)? If they pick up where they left off on their laptop, do you still have them? How about on social or on a game console or connected TV?

What We’ll See at CES

The velocity of data is increasing and will always increase. This is not a trend; it’s a postulate about the world in which we live. If you take one of our CES tours, you will get an up close and personal view of thousands of devices and sensors that all generate actionable data. From smartphones to smart windows, practically every device on display is “connected.” The question we will help you answer is, “Connected to what?”

The Tools of Engagement

The short answer is SaaS and cloud-based platforms that are purpose-built to facilitate excellent multichannel experiences. True omnichannel user experiences require a commitment to an omnichannel strategy. Depending on your business needs, there are probably several excellent approaches to evolving your consumer-facing digital infrastructure from multichannel to omnichannel. We don’t have favorites, but we do have a group of subject matter experts and strategic advisors who can help you learn about this subtle but important transformation of best practices consumer engagement through consumer technology.

We are going to go super deep on Multichannel and Omnichannel media, related technologies and the associated emergence of the data economy in our upcoming 2016 CE Trend Report and on our CES® 2016 ShellyPalmer Floor Tours. See you in Las Vegas in January.

About Shelly Palmer

Named one of LinkedIn’s Top 10 Voices in Technology, Shelly Palmer is CEO of The Palmer Group, a strategic advisory, technology solutions and business development practice focused at the nexus of media and marketing with a special emphasis on machine learning and data-driven decision-making. He is Fox 5 New York's on-air tech and digital media expert, writes a weekly column for AdAge, and is a regular commentator on CNBC and CNN. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com or subscribe to our daily email http://ow.ly/WsHcb

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"CES Trendspotting – Tools of Engagement" by @ShellyPalmer

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