At the Argyle Executive Forum 2014 CMO/Customer Experience Think Tank: Omnichannel Engagement, Madison Riley, head of Kurt Salmon’s North American Retail and Consumer Products Group, presented and led a panel discussion on how retailers can build an effective omnichannel strategy to drive value.

What insights did you share?

A successful and effective omnichannel strategy boils down to one core principle: creating meaningful consumer engagement. Meaningful engagement requires a singular view of the consumer and, therefore, a singular view of the organization with no departmental silos. It also requires defining omnichannel in a way that’s specific to your own customers, as we’re seeing with industry leaders including Macy’s, Nordstrom, Gap and Walmart, retailers who are illustrating the best practices of successful omnichannel strategy, including having one omnichannel owner, delivering one brand experience across all channels, embracing mobile to its fullest extent and investing in customer analytics and customer care.

What resonated most with the audience?

In terms of the high investment cost of new technologies in the retail and consumer goods space, companies need to think through what technologies are truly applicable to a company’s value proposition and long-term omnichannel strategy and not just invest in technology “for the sake of technology.” Additionally, omnichannel is being seen by marketing executives as an exercise in behavior and change management. As omnichannel becomes more of a priority within companies, marketing leaders must ask themselves, “How does my behavior need to change in order to achieve these new goals?”

What new thinking emerged?

Marketing leaders now sit at the center of crucial, strategic decisions on omnichannel initiatives and technology investments. Increasingly, this means marketing leaders are serving as catalysts for collaboration with operational leaders across business silos and driving entire enterprises to implement omnichannel initiatives.