The multi-channel customer: lessons from a frog


Frogger was the title of an arcade game released by Konami in 1981. The goal of the Frogger game was to guide the intrepid amphibian to its home pad with the last obstacle being a river filled with diving turtles and floating logs. After 30 years this simple, but addictive game is still played and has become a classic among arcade titles.

Consider the pad as your conversion point and the heroic hopper as your potential customer. There is practically no way for you to predict from the safety of your pad which route the multi- and cross-channel consumer will take to reach you.
This analogy hopefully helps illustrate the message that there must be a fundamental shift in your marketing strategy if you want to succeed in today's multi-channel reality.

You can't be everywhere

The simple truth is that this old truism is no longer true. You can and you have to be. Just like our friend Frogger, today's multi-channel consumer is going to pick a path that appears to be the most attractive. This doesn't necessarily mean it will be the shortest most direct route either. Those factors may only be part of the equation -- this is why you can't predict the path effectively.

Turtles and touch points

The only reasonable alternative is to be everywhere, on every log and turtle they may land on. Each of these is a channel the consumer may cross and each channel is a touch point on the consumer journey/experience. It's up to you to ensure that experience is seamless and doesn't force them to jump helter skelter looking for relevant information and an enjoyable experience. Worse, you don't want to have them simply hop into the river, thus ensuring no safe arrival at the conversion point.

OK really, you can't be everywhere

The conundrum for marketers is that while you have to be on every log and turtle, you simply can't actually be there. And yet, if your touch points on that journey are not relevant, engaging and intuitive, the consumer will land on someone else's pad. This is why more and more companies are looking to automated optimization solutions. Of course, automated does not mean removing the personal touch which is key. It simply means optimizing the experience so the cross-channel consumer gets relevant information and cross-channel interaction where and when they expect it - offering them the choice of direct personal interaction at their convenience.

Logs and landing pages

If that log is moving too fast or in the wrong direction, the frog will jump and its path will change. That path may not now lead to your lily pad. So it is with the channels a multi-channel consumer chooses to cross in their journey. That path may cross social, mobile web, email and phone and each of those touch points need to provide a great experience and a clear path to your pad.

High score

A player with no clear strategy is at a real disadvantage. In order to break the high score you need more than reflexes, you need a plan which considers all the channels the consumer may choose to interact with you on.

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