The goal of smart marketers is to target prospects and customers with the right message in the right place at the right time to maximize brand awareness, positive perception and ultimately, sales. With the proliferation of smartphones, tablets, laptops, and social media platforms, it is becoming increasingly challenging for brands to craft and digitally syndicate a message that will achieve the goal. One solution to the challenge is omnichannel (aka omni-channel) marketing, defined as a multichannel approach to sales (and marketing) that seeks to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience, whether they’re shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone, or in a brick-and-mortar store. This podcast covers the fundamentals of an effective omnichannel marketing program.
Before we go too far down the rabbit hole of omnichannel marketing, we first need to differentiate the term from a related, but distinctly different phrase, multichannel marketing. If you know your Latin, the phrase “omni” means all, whereas “multi” means many. Consider multichannel is an umbrella term relating to the distribution of marketing messages across multiple channels, which commonly include, but are not limited to: website, email, social media, direct response (mail or email), advertising, public relations, and events. Omnichannel, by comparison, focuses on creating a seamless experience across those channels, particularly digitally, where you can more readily identify the recipient by a unique identifier to personalize the message or action.
For those newer to the concept of omnichannel marketing, it may be helpful to provide a bit of background. According to the latest omnichannel marketing automation statistics from Omnisend’s Annual Report for 2019, there are distinct and powerful advantages to omnichannel, as compared to single channel marketing:
- Engagement rate: 18.96% on omnichannel vs 5.4% on single-channel
- Purchase frequency: 250% higher on omnichannel vs single-channel
- Average order value: 13% more per order on omnichannel vs single-channel
- Customer retention rates: 90% higher for omnichannel vs single-channel
Omnichannel marketing relies heavily on technology to accurately target recipients with personalized messaging. Key omnichannel marketing program components typically consist of a single sign-in (which may be powered by an email, phone number, loyalty program # or app), a robust customer relationship management (CRM) platform, personalization, location data, and integrated customer service.
Despite the need for an extensive investment in a marketing technology (martech) stack, the end goal is to create a seamless experience for the end user. According to the Simplicity Index, 64 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for a simplified experience. In other words, reduce the friction and increase your sales. For example, don’t offer up a sales pitch disguised as help. If a customer or prospect asks for help, provide it in the most convenient way possible, whether it be via phone, email, website, social platform or text. A Zendesk study found 50 percent of customers want to be able to fix their own problems, so be sure to build out an extensive frequently asked questions (FAQ) database.
With the fundamental framework in place, the next step is to develop an overarching omnichannel marketing plan, complete with key strategies and supporting tactics. Here are a few best practices to consider when developing your omnichannel marketing program:
- Take the customer journey. Walk a mile in your customer (and prospects) shoes. Gain insights into major milestones, roadblocks and messaging opportunities to reduce friction and maximize engagement.
- Measure twice, cut once. Every step of the customer journey creates an opportunity to generate insightful data, whether by end user, message or channel. Ensure all data is being captured for future analysis.
- Segment your end users. Utilize the data you’ve collected to create and refine buyer personas that can then be messaged to by channel, seamlessly.
- Create compelling content. This is perhaps the most challenging step in any marketing program. To target recipients based on behavior, you must create messages that elicit behaviors and actions that can be measured and analyzed.
- Listen, learn and act. Monitor all primary channels for insights and quickly answer questions to reduce friction. Prioritize channels based on preference and usage to maximize efficiency.
- Expand beyond sales and marketing. Leverage the data to create insights across the organization, including market research, product development, customer service and merchandising.
We hope you enjoy our podcast on omnichannel marketing. Be sure to subscribe and listen to our podcast archives. If you liked the podcast, be sure to leave us a review.
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