The Multichannel Challenge

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9780750687119: The Multichannel Challenge
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While innovation in products and services continues apace, today’s competitive strategy is equally based on innovation in the route to market. Tesco.com, Direct Line, First Direct and easyJet are just a few examples of innovative channel strategies as a key component of the value proposition. We find ourselves in a multi-channel world.

This book is drawn from the experience of major companies such as IBM, First Direct, Taylor Woodrow and BT. Lessons are explained clearly: be Multi not multiple; channels as weapons; think combinations; design from the top, but think people and measure it. The key concepts are backed by carefully tested practical advice from making organisational change to understanding channel metrics. Based on work from Cranfield's world leading Customer Management Forum, this is the essential practical guide for senior management in key areas like marketing, sales, customer services and strategy.

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From the Back Cover:

We live in a multichannel world. Whether booking a hotel, reviewing our pension or evaluating potential suppliers at work, we routinely step from one channel - the web, the telephone, e-mail, an outlet, a sales representative, a distributor - to the next as we go along our journey as customers.

Yet viewed from the other side, in the customer-facing functions of marketing, sales and customer service, we often behave as if customers stayed strictly within the channel silos and functional tasks around which our organisations are structured and measured. Rethinking multichannel strategy around the concept of channel chains - combinations of channels which perform complementary roles in the customer journey - does not just provide a more compelling customer experience: it unlocks the possibility of reducing costs and extending market reach simultaneously.

Based on over five years of research with leading organisations, The Multichannel Challenge explains a step-by-step process for developing multichannel strategy. Its case studies on such leading exponents of the art of combining channels as First Direct, IBM and BT also spell out how to implement the strategy, dealing in depth with change management, customer migration, metrics and rewards.

Channel strategy has long accounted for a large proportion of the enterprise's costs. As products have become commoditised, it has also become a key driver of revenue, the primary communication vehicle for the brand and a critical avenue for knowing the customer better. Drawing on powerful success stories from business-to-business, consumer and not-for-profit sectors, The Multichannel Challenge demonstrates how multichannel strategies can become a business goldmine, delivering step-change improvements to profits as few other business initiatives can. Multichannel innovation will be a major competitive weapon over the years to come, and the multichannel challenge must be on the agenda of every senior management team.

About the Author:

By Hugh Wilson, Director of the Centre for e-Marketing at Cranfield School of Management, UK; Rod Street, Head of Customer Management, IBM Business Consulting, UK; and Lindsay Bruce, Research Fellow, Cranfield School of Management, UK

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