Today’s customers use different channels and devices, both online and offline, to interact with brands and form their buying decision.
On average, they interact with six to eight touchpoints before they reach the top of the funnel.
Hence, personalized and consistent messaging are essential to meet and nurture buyers through the sales funnel and influence their preference for your brand. After all, 90% of customers expect consistent brand interactions across different channels.
This is where omnichannel marketing comes into the picture – and, when done right, is very beneficial for businesses.
This article looks into the benefits of omnichannel marketing and discusses essential steps to creating an omnichannel strategy that provides an effective, consistent messaging that nurtures your prospects at all stages of their buyer’s journey.
But before we get into the finer points of creating a strategy, let us first address what omnichannel really means.
Omnichannel marketing is seamless advertising messaging across different online and offline touchpoints directed at a consumer across the sales funnel. It can be adjusted to the said consumer's behavior to provide a more impactful and personalized customer experience.
This customer-centric marketing approach allows customers to interact with a brand on various channels, from social media to customer service calls, for a consistent buyer experience.
Some examples of omnichannel marketing are:
Omnichannel and multichannel are non-interchangeable terms for engaging users across various communication platforms.
While omnichannel is a term used for a user journey that spans across all available channels and devices, multichannel denotes only specific channels and user transition between them.
Omnichannel makes your brand accessible across online and offline platforms and ensures a seamless and integrated UX across all of them.
As your customers move from one platform to another – say, from social media profiles to viewing billboards outside – their transition is seamless and messaging is consistent. It is a customer-centric approach whose priority is an extensive user journey.
Multichannel distributes advertising messaging and makes your brand available to consumers on various channels. The content on each of these channels is siloed and stands for itself, with very little overlap or continuity on other channels. Customers get to choose where they prefer to interact with your business.
Omnichannel marketing ensures a consistent, identifiable brand voice and personalized messaging based on specific interests through content informed by customer’s past interactions and their current stage of the buyer’s journey.
Personalization based on shopping history and interests makes customers likely to interact with branded content across different channels.
Implementing an omnichannel strategy into your marketing efforts provides numerous benefits, such as:
Omnichannel marketing can also boost your ROI, owing to:
If you are getting started with your omnichannel marketing efforts and looking for ways to formulate a full-blown omnichannel strategy, begin by following these 5 steps.
To start implementing a methodical omnichannel strategy, you need to know as much as you can about your target audience. Start by gathering and analyzing their data.
Assess your customers’ user experience: Replicate their buying journey on your website and other channels. Reach out to your own customer service to evaluate the kind of service they are getting. Also, consider getting someone from outside of your company to evaluate this entire experience.
Collect direct feedback: Require feedback from your customers at different stages of their customer journey through surveys, quizzes and incentives. Listen to their feedback to provide more value to them.
Collecting and analyzing customer data should allow you to understand their needs, preferences and objectives and formulate buyer personas to identify your ideal customers.
After identifying your exact target audience, decide on the tools that you will use to connect with them. These may include:
At this step, you lay the foundations for the implementation of an omnichannel strategy by onboarding your team members with the customer data you collected.
Since an omnichannel strategy is essentially customer-centric, all members of your team will be using customer data to improve customer operations and experience.
In practice, this means data will be used to:
Placing customer data at the center of your omnichannel strategy and sharing it across your organization will enable your teams to provide excellent service and improve interaction with your customers.
At this stage, it is advisable to break down any organizational divisions that do not share information with each other. In omnichannel marketing, your teams and divisions should be working together and communicating openly.
Making customer data available at any time via Customer Relationship Management tools and encouraging cooperation between different departments are two foolproof ways to achieve this.
Targeting your audience with highly personalized messaging is the essence of omnichannel marketing. The best way to deliver highly targeted marketing campaigns is through target audience segmentation.
Your audience’s segments can be based on their:
After segmenting the audiences to target on different channels, set up automated marketing messages that trigger when a customer carries out a specific action. This will allow them to receive the appropriate message at any stage of their journey.
Delivering personalized content across all channels creates brand consistency and improves your customer’s user experience and promotes loyalty.
Responsiveness in web and mobile app design is imperative in this day and age. More people are using smartphones and tablets to consume content and engage with brands, so the experiences need to be seamless and engaging.
People don't want to interact with websites that take too long to load or don't display well on their phones. And once they do, customers already bounced and found another place to shop.
Therefore, it's up to you and your UX design team to create web and app designs that amaze, inspire and enlighten.
The more engaging, the better. The more digestible information, the better. The brighter the colors, the cooler the typography and the easier to navigate? You guessed it, it's better.
Responsive designs have been a growing trend for years now with online usage moving to mobile devices. And when it comes to creating an omnichannel marketing strategy, this is even more important.
All platforms and mediums need designs that flow effortlessly. Consumers don't have time to figure out an app's navigation or pick up on their desktop where they left off on their device.
Creating responsive designs can make this process smoother.
It's important to remember the importance of good content. Don't skimp out on messaging in favor of fluid designs or quality customer service. You still need to inform your readers with valuable information.
Keep track of how audiences are interacting, what questions they're asking and what drives them to your organization to promote the areas of content that solve their pain points.
Give your audience a reason to come back. Create case studies and use cases. Include customer feedback and reviews. Send out updates and notifications about changes and exciting plans.
You want to keep your audience engaged and excited about your brand.
You also want to be consistent - you don't want consumers reading your website in a certain tone, but seeing something completely different when using your app. Stay consistent with your brand, your voice and your message to ensure your audience doesn't feel like they are getting a different experience depending on how they interact with you.
A winning omni-channel marketing experience consists of these five key factors:
The vital step in creating an ideal omnichannel experience is understanding your target audience. This means knowing their:
Understanding the above will help you identify the most common issues your customers face, provide a viable solution and establish the best touchpoints for connecting with your audience to create a seamless, tailored experience for them.
Omnichannel marketing puts the customer at the center by offering a personalized and seamless user experience across all platforms and devices and at all stages of the user journey.
When today’s customers consider making a purchase, they move between different online and offline channels (your website, social media pages, online ads, billboards, brochures...) and different devices (laptops, smartphones...). That’s why it is important to create a consistent omnichannel messaging to target them with.
To create an efficient omnichannel strategy, follow these steps: