Why Businesses Must Embrace Omni-Channel Marketing or Risk Falling Behind
Consumers today are connected up to their eyeballs -- with smartphones, tablets, social media, email, location based services, and so much more. To capture the attention of potential customers, you need to reach out to them every way you can.
That’s where omni-channel marketing comes in.
Omni-channel marketing provides a seamless experience for your audience across a multitude of platforms. It’s more than a hot industry buzz phrase. It's a cohesive, all-encompassing approach with measurable benefits.
Multi-Channel Marketing vs. Omni-Channel Marketing
If you've heard the term multichannel marketing before, it's important to note that multi-channel marketing and omnichannel marketing are different. While the terms are similar, the two strategies are distinctly different.
Multi-channel marketing refers to the ability to reach current and potential customers through a variety of channels, such as print ads, retail location, promotional event, word of mouth, online, etc. Multi-channel marketing is about casting a wide net to attract possible customers.
Omni-channel marketing focuses on creating a holistic customer experience by delivering the same reliable, on-target, consistent messaging through every channel, leading to a much stronger relationship between consumers and your brand.
With omni-channel marketing, every time a customer interacts with your brand -- via your website, Facebook, Pinterest, your mobile app, Twitter, or your brick and mortar store -- the experience is consistent and integrated.
The Benefits of Omni-channel Marketing
Savvy business owners know that consumers want on-demand, one-on-one, personalized attention from the brands they support.
Omni-channel marketing is a customer-focused strategy creates this in-demand, unifying brand experience.
This is the transformation of marketing away from its passive-aggressive past. There are constant innovations in technology, and omni-channel initiatives utilize a growing variety of platforms to deliver a synchronized message. Omni-channel marketing helps businesses by offering the following benefits:
Improved Brand Recognition
One of the main advantages of omni-channel is to increase brand recognition and foster longer-term loyalty. Companies with an organized omni-channel plan can achieve a 91% higher customer retention rate than brands using conventional marketing methods.
Increase In Sales
Another benefit is increased sales. Research shows omni-channel shoppers can spend up to 300% more than traditional shoppers. Customers will be more likely to support a company that provides exclusive discounts and ease of shopping, whether online at home, on the go with their phone, or in person.
Data Collection Opportunities
Another benefit to omni-channel marketing is data collection and lead generation capabilities. Customer data can be gleaned from social media profiles, online shopping carts, surveys, membership programs, and even smartwatches and wearable fitness trackers. Brands can then utilize this incredibly valuable marketing data for remarketing and to develop a customer-centered viewpoint, managing those relationships across all channels, and offering your sales team an entirely new spectrum of tools.
Tracking your audience across every platform and having that data readily available to your representatives will dramatically increase the quality of customer service and lead to solid increases in revenue.
How to Start Omni-Channel Marketing
Your company’s omni-channel marketing strategy should strive to create a heightened sense of comfort with your brand. It should help customers know that when they log on to your smartphone app, check your Instagram feed, or place an order via text, the experience will be easy and free of hassle.
Successful brands must embrace mobile optimization, glitch-free payment systems, and customer profiles to make the client experience effortless and enjoyable.
To create harmony for consumers, your company’s PR, marketing, and customer success teams need to present a united front and ensure each channel is fully optimized. Omni-channel communication enables integrated customer service, sales, operations, strategic planning, and all parts of your business to work together to provide the highest quality experience and product.
To begin omni-channel marketing, you will need to:
1. Review your existing customer experience. The first step to planning a successful omni-channel marketing plan is to review the customer experience inside and out thoroughly. How many steps are taken by the consumer to research and purchase your product? How easy is it really to find the perfect item and place an order? The goal is to identify and remove any extra steps or unnecessary barriers.
2. Plan for channel switching. 67% of consumers start shopping on one channel and finish in another. For example, seeing a brand’s social media stream on a tablet, then checking out the brand’s smartphone app, and then completing the purchase at a brick and mortar location. Consumers can use up to 10 sources of information to make a purchasing decision. Can your company provide the seamless experience customers now expect?
3. Pick the right tools. To utilize new technology to the fullest extent and get your organization’s marketing technology stack in tip-top shape, here are some of the tools you’ll need:
- Customer relations management software
- Data analytics
- Email marketing/ automation
- Print campaign
- Social media
- Content creation & management
- Graphics/ art direction
Omni-channel marketing is necessary to become and stay an industry leader. But there are so many facets to consider when planning your strategy that it can seem like an overwhelming challenge.
Luckily there are talented teams like MyArea Network that can help plan and implement your omni-channel approach.
Don’t be afraid to take your business to the new frontier of the cross-technology customer experience -- reach out to us to start today!