In this technologically advanced era, consumers expect highly integrated and diverse customer experiences. For businesses, this means that failure to do so may result in them switching to another brand. Here is where omnichannel marketing can help. In this article we explore the benefits of having an omni-channel marketing strategy and a guide on how you can use it in your own business.
You may have heard about the term omnichannel marketing but may not know what it means exactly. It is the integration of various channels that organisations use to interact with customers to provide them a convenient and seamless experience.
Through an omnichannel marketing strategy, customers are given the chance to communicate with a brand on different channels with marketing tactics that are consumer-centric. This allows them to easily move across devices and offline and online platforms while retaining the same brand experience.
Omni focused marketing is all about providing a holistic start-to-finish experience to consumers where they can easily switch across devices and digital platforms in the most efficient manner and through a journey that is customised for them. From a consumer’s point of view, they should get the same customer journey regardless of the platform or medium through which they wish to interact. In short, omnichannel marketing is about marketing, selling, and serving the customers on all channels through an integrated and cohesive approach.
Unlike a multichannel approach which only allows consumers to interact with a variety of communication channels which are not synchronised or connected with each other, an omnichannel strategy can be a lot more wholesome.
Omnichannel marketing is essential for businesses these days if they want to stay ahead in the competitive market as consumers will easily switch to a competitor brand if they do not have a positive and seamless experience with yours. Through omnichannel marketing automation, you as a business owner, can promote your products and services across all channels, devices, and platforms online. It allows you to reach the perfect target audience through relevant and on-brand offers at just the right time and hence increase the chances of converting them into a lead.
There are several advantages to adopting an omnichannel campaign for your business. First of all, it provides you with a greater opportunity of reaching your customers regardless of where they are. Instead of them trying to find different avenues to reach you, you will be just a message, chat, email, click, or phone call away. This will translate to a boost in sales. When consumers find you on various platforms and channels, it is much easier for them to make a purchase, or renew their subscription. This will help secure recurring revenues and an increase in profits.
The main idea behind an omnichannel marketing strategy is to increase customer satisfaction by providing them several methods where they can reach you. Increased customer satisfaction means they will continue to return to you for your needs which translates to a better ROI.
Given the far-reaching benefits of omnichannel marketing, small businesses who successfully adopt this strategy are able to better penetrate the market and emerge as a strong brand.
Since the rise of cross platform consumer experiences, many businesses around the world have also jumped onboard this bandwagon to offer the same.
Starbucks adopts an omnichannel marketing strategy by integrating the customer’s mobile experience with the in-store one. They can order in advance through the app and skip the waiting lines in store. They can use their app to pay for their orders in the store on which they will get reward points that can be redeemed for further discounts and free coffees.
Disney created its omnichannel approach where users can plan their whole trips on their mobile and see close-by attractions on the app when they are physically navigating through the amusement park. They can check real-time waiting lines for each ride from their mobile and then decide which way to go.
This beauty giant also offers a multi-purpose experience by integrating the shopper’s online purchases to their in-store visits. Shoppers can try on different products virtually through the app and get access passes to workshops and complimentary makeovers. Customers can also use their in-store tablets to access various features and purchase products through the app.
Timberland uses the omnichannel approach to integrate the online and in-store customer experiences by installing the near field communication technology (NFC) and through the Touchwalls in their stores where any kind of information related to products can be found. Based on user preferences, customers are given product recommendations which they can purchase online or in stores.
If you want to invest in omnichannel marketing solutions for your business, here is a step-by-step guide on how to create one:
The first step is to accurately collect data in a timely fashion so you can have an idea about your target audience’s needs and preferences.
Once the data has been collected, the next step is to analyse it through an analytics platform so that actionable insights can be made. This will become the driving force behind the omnichannel marketing strategy.
Then comes the step of engaging all platforms and channels to create brand touchpoints. This allows businesses to create targeted campaigns based on consumer interests, user experiences and interfaces, as well as economic factors.
Businesses need to set clear guidelines for cohesive messages and services that will be spread across all the channels.
The last but most important step is to test the approach by using media planning tools that can run various scenarios to give results that will help you shape future decision-making as well as give you opportunities for optimisation where required.
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