Marketing approaches are changing, and consumers are becoming more and more connected. Above all, consumers expect convenience and a seamless experience across each channel, and smart brands know how to build experiences that match the customer’s needs.
This is where omnichannel marketing steps in. It’s an all-round customer experience executed through various communication channels and devices. In this guide, we will discuss what omnichannel marketing is, its benefits, and how can you create better experiences for your customers.
What Is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing is the usage of digital and traditional marketing channels to send relevant messages to customers regardless of the channels that they’re using. It replaces multichannel marketing, and it’s comprised of channels such as social media, physical locations, eCommerce, and mobile apps.
This marketing method creates an integrated customer experience throughout the buyer’s journey, taking advantage of the different ways customers engage with your brand. Your website and social media accounts should also convey a similar aesthetic, tone, and overall message as that of your company.
Omnichannel marketing works because it provides customers with a unified brand experience that will inspire brand loyalty and trust. A company that can develop an integrated experience for their customers is one that can be trusted.
Omnichannel marketing also helps you facilitate your marketing messages. If you streamline your strategy across channels, people will be less confused when they respond to your posts and messages.
Implementing an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
Developing and implementing an omnichannel marketing strategy can be challenging. It requires commitment, lots of research, insights, and work. The following tips will help you create and implement an omnichannel strategy that will grow your business.
Segment Your Audience
Understanding your target audience will help you develop a proper omnichannel strategy. The traditional method of audience segmentation includes the following categories:
- Demographic: Information like age, gender, education, family size, and occupation.
- Psychographic: Details such as social class, lifestyle choices, attitudes, and more.
- Geographical: Where your customers reside.
- Behavioral: Stats on user behavior, website usage, device usage, and shopping practices.
Segmenting your audience allows you to create precisely-targeted marketing and content efforts. For example, if you’re a media publishing company, you could create one campaign for people into sports and a separate one for people that are interested in finance. You can also reach out to different segments based on the channel that they use most often.
Have Everyone on the Same Page
Having everyone on the team on the same page is crucial. And for a smoother transition to the omnichannel model, you must communicate the strategy to all your employees.
When you’re creating a uniformed strategy, keep in mind the following:
- Stay Data-Centric: Analyze your customers’ preferences, their shopping patterns, demographics, etc. Develop a strategy from these audience insights.
- Focus on the Customer Journey: Examine each stage of the buyer’s journey. Personalize the messages for each stage with your customers’ preferences in mind.
It’s all about creating a symbiosis. Although many businesses arrange their marketing around siloed channels, one section may be responsible for email marketing, another for social media, and yet another for customer service. If they don’t work together, it’s going to be challenging to implement an omnichannel marketing strategy.
You might even have to reorganize the entire structure of your marketing department’s structure so that everyone is on the same page with your new strategy.
Your employees need to look for new ways to interact with customers across each company channel. Having a holistic point of view is the key to success in omnichannel marketing.
Examine the Customer Experience
It is crucial to understand how customers perceive your brand. Start by conducting an internal assessment to evaluate the following criteria:
- SEO: Search for your products, categories, and check your search engine rankings. Make sure that customers can find your company quickly.
- Subscription: Assess the entire subscription process. See if you have too many mandatory fields in your forms that customers might find questionable. Figure out the roadblocks that users face when subscribing to your newsletters. Make everything less complicated and more efficient.
- Social Media Interactions: Interact with customers on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Word of mouth marketing boosts social media engagement and promote your brand.
Continue by asking for customer feedback. It is perhaps the best way to improve your customer experience. Ask about the purchasing process, product quality, and customer service. Conduct surveys to discover more ways to improve the customer experience. You can also analyze user behavior using data analytics tools.
Ensure a Flawlessly Responsive Experience
Responsive design and omnichannel marketing work perfectly together. If your customers switch devices, you should tailor your approach to that. There are several things you can do to ensure a responsive omnichannel experience:
- Avoid Silos: Ensure that each of your employees is learning and working across channels to improve your UX.
- Fill the Gaps: Make sure that your channels are connected.
- Build Responsively: Because 98% of Americans switch between devices every day, don’t focus on just one channel or device.
57% of customers will not recommend a business that doesn’t have a mobile responsive site. On small screens, the most important content must be front-and-center and the secondary underneath.
Align Your Content with the Customer Journey
Personalize different stages of your customer’s journey. Aligning your content is a good way to understand consumer engagement, increase your conversion rate, and is the benchmark to successful marketing.
If you focus only on the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey, you won’t connect with customers throughout the entire sales funnel. When it comes to aligning your content with the buyer’s journey, you should leave no stone unturned.
Start by analyzing the three stages of the buyer’s journey. Then, list the most frequently asked questions that customers have, and the type of content needed to answer them.
The Awareness Stage is when the customer acknowledges that they have a problem that needs solving. During this stage, your customers go on Google to learn more about their options. There, they’ll find helpful content such as articles, videos, and ebooks.
To create content for this stage, you should consider the following:
- What are the pain points of my target personas?
- How do they learn? Do they prefer visual or written content?
- What information will make people trust your brand?
The Consideration Stage is where customers consider the options they have when solving their problems. They watch videos, listen to podcasts, and read expert guides that include the solutions. To develop better content for the consideration stage, ask yourself:
- How can I provide solutions to the problems my prospects are experiencing?
- What other things are they researching?
- Why is my solution better than the competitors?
Take a look at your current content. Some of your content can be recycled during the different stages of the buyer’s journey. Other content may need to be further developed so you can turn potential customers into sales.
Examples of Omnichannel Marketing
Because omnichannel marketing is still a relatively new concept, you might need some ideas to get things going.
Below are examples of companies that have already invested in extraordinary omnichannel experiences.
Starbucks is an excellent example. They allow customers to pre-order to avoid long lines and use their rewards program.
People can get a free rewards card that they can use when they want to make a purchase. Starbucks allows customers to check and reload their cards via phone, website, in-store, or on their app. Any change to the card or their profile will be updated across all channels.
Timberland creates an integrated customer experience in stores by using near-field communication technology. It allows customers to tap their mobile devices against a unique chip that transfers information between devices.
When a device is pressed against the chip, product information and offers are presented on it. People don’t have to look for help from clerks, and they can see all the product deals straight on their devices.
The beauty brand Sephora links online purchases to in-store visits. Along with free workshops and makeovers, customers can use devices to open their “Beauty Bag” account while shopping.
With its Beauty Bag feature, Sephora helps customers narrow down their choices and track the products that they’re interested in.
When actor Ryan Reynolds purchased Aviation Gin, the brand immediately took off. Funny videos, “accidental” emails from Reynolds, planes with banners of Reynolds’ face on events and festivals, and social posts immediately started to get traction.
Their omnichannel marketing strategy is so good that they beat Nike, Google, Coke, and Spotify in Adweek’s 2019 March Adness Tournament.
From its Nike+ app to its bespoke NIKEiD line, Nike is always at the top of omnichannel retail. The brand attracts customers with its brick-and-mortar locations that boost the customer experience.
Their New York 55,000-square-foot space store also has a basketball court, soccer area, and running simulations. There’s also staff on-site to analyze performance, suggest the right apparel for each customer, and assist people that want to check out by using Nike’s app.
One of the biggest airline companies in the world partnered with AOE airports and shopping malls to merge online and offline experiences. The customers can now shop, pre-book flights, optimize their in-flight options in real-time.
Omnichannel marketing is the new route to long-term business success and a clear indication of how the market has advanced in the recent decade. When you successfully integrate omnichannel marketing into your brand’s customer experiences, your customer retention will skyrocket. When done right, this can make the difference between a highly successful brand and one nobody has heard about.
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Stay focused on the customer. As you move forward, you can add new strands and channels to your strategy.