Omnichannel Marketing! It sounds like another buzzword in this modern marketing era!
Wait! It's 2020, and out of our realization, omnichannel marketing is all around us as another customer-centric approach to marketing.
As a marketer, are we really one step behind our customers? Let’s rewind and check.
At first, people started googling everything so, to rank first on google search engine page, we figured out the paid search. Then they started spending their time on all the social media apps like- Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat so, we started to spot on social pages, and now they are on all types of devices, so we have to practically guesstimate how to reach them through multiple channels giving them more personalized experience in their buying journey.
That’s essentially what Omnichannel Marketing is: a complex, customer-centric approach to marketing. It's all about thinking holistically in terms of customer experience, interactions, and messaging.
“Omni-channel, however, is viewing the experience through the eyes of your customer, orchestrating the customer experience across all channels so that it is seamless, integrated, and consistent.” John Bowden, Senior VP of Customer Care at Time Warner Cable.
With the evolution of technology, marketing is also undergoing major and rapid changes. As technology continues to change, the same way it's important to change the business practices and strategies. Today, a purchase can start or end at any time, in any location, on any device. With this, it’s more important for businesses to provide a seamless user experience across them all. So, what does it take for marketers to maintain a unified approach in their marketing strategy and customer experience? The answer is only and only omnichannel marketing.
Multichannel marketing is pretty much what it sounds like – marketing activities that cover more than one channel. The multi-channel approach is what most businesses invest in today. They have a website, Facebook, blog, Twitter, Instagram. They use all these channels to engage with customers. But the customers still lack highly relevant and personalized experience, when they interact with brands on multiple devices. Now is the time to look inward and understand the difference between an omnichannel experience and a multi-channel experience.
What Exactly Is the Difference Between Multichannel and Omnichannel Marketing?
According to Latin lesson - multi” means “many” and “Omni” means “all. Omnichannel has already been crowned as multichannel successor in all aspects of the business.
The difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing can be a little fuzzy. John Bowden, Senior VP of Customer Care at Time Warner Cable, says that Multi-channel is the operational view of how customers complete transactions with each channel, while omnichannel marketing is multi-channel marketing done right. It makes the entire customer process fluid and anticipates the needs of your customers.
Take it from Jared Rosenbloom, Director of Media Strategy and Operations at Centro, “In multichannel marketing, the goal is to have as many touchpoints as you can – you want to push your message out as many times as possible. It’s cheaper because your efforts don’t have to be coordinated. Omnichannel marketing is different: It’s about understanding the path to purchase that an individual take and how can we speak to them at different points on that path.”
The major difference between multichannel and omnichannel is how well the customer experience is joined together across each of the touchpoints. Today’s consumer will script their own journeys across the multiple channels and touchpoints, and that’s where Omnichannel joins these touchpoints together so that, whatever journey the customer chooses to take, the experience is consistent and unified.
How to Connect with Consumers in an Omnichannel World?
Look at an example showing positive omnichannel marketing experience for a user:
Omnichannel Marketing in the Customer Journey
Everyone agrees to be customer-centric and doing what is best for them. Omnichannel marketing requires marketing team to break down the silos and create a better user experience for the consumers.
“Stop thinking of your customers in terms of “X” number of leads down the funnel. Treat them as real people and focus on personalizing each of their interactions and experiences with your brand.” Daniel Newman, President of Broadsuite.
To start with, you need to anticipate what customers want and need to make a sale, gather a deep understanding of their daily activities, goals, challenges, buying behavior, and communication channels. Secondly, you need to map out the interactions between the buyer and your brand, including the type of content they will encounter, when and where they will engage with it. This will help you create standard procedures to flow naturally between all the channels. These cross-channel interactions will ingrain your brand into your customer’s everyday life, and they’ll have more opportunities to make a hit with all you have to offer.
Content with Context Must Be the Priority
It is understood that content is king, but when combined with the omnichannel approach, delivering contextually relevant messages and content should be our priority.
The correct flow of informative content with an understanding of the customer context will enable marketers to deliver a personalized experience and communication that is tailored to the needs of individual customers at a specific stage in their buying journey with your firm. This not only creates applicability and increases engagement, but also saves you from distressing mistakes.
Lisa Gevelber expands: With empowered consumers now connecting across an array of devices in a variety of situations, the way a marketer wins is by offering information people value in those moments. It’s not that being relevant is a new concept. But being relevant to the moment is where marketing power — and consumer expectations — now lie.
What type of content are your customers consuming? Are the marketing tools you’re using adequately converting customers? Are your marketing efforts optimized for the device your customer is using? Are you trying to upsell and cross-sell them other offers? Are you offering your prospects suggestions based on their browsing history?
Only when you have learned everything about your customers, you can perfect your omnichannel B2B marketing strategy.
Team up to Create Ultimate Customer Experience
Working independently is fine, but when it comes to working on the same goal, each individual of a department will be responsible for contributing their expertise to support the rest of the team.
Your sales, marketing, product development, PR, customer service, and IT teams need to work together to create a singular customer experience and increase engagement. To provide a unified customer experience you need to break down the silos to create a culture and process that ensures internal collaboration and free flow of information. When everyone is focused on the same goal, communication will become swift and teams will operate fluidly. And that is when the results become remarkable.
Tap into the Right Technology
The omnichannel hypothesis is stoke up with dependable data and insights. To truly take advantage of this approach, and to evolve with your goals and needs of your customers, you must have the technical infrastructure to sync all your channels. Marketing technology is more necessary now than it has ever been to improve all facets of your marketing efforts.
“Making the most of your campaign by utilizing omnichannel strategies allows you to take your creative ideas and deliver them to an audience. Through research and data analytics, you can target the right people rather than all of the people. Because at the end of the day, that specifically targeted group is the one you really want to influence.” Yoni Ben-Yehuda, Chief Marketing Officer at Blue Fountain Media
The features of omnichannel interfaces differ from company to company, but research from Aberdeen indicates the most used are:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the heart of every productive marketing technology that allows you to record, in detail, each buyer’s journey from prospect to customer.
And if CRM is the heart then analytics tool is the brain that allows you to make any informed decisions about your overall strategy. Without the ability to measure the performance of your marketing efforts, you’ll have no idea if your campaigns are producing positive ROI. And this is the biggest challenge faced by businesses today.
Every market is crowded. When the investor wants to invest their hard-earned cash in your products or services instead of your competitor’s, they expect the process and experience to be really smooth, truly Omni. Knowing how you can execute an omnichannel approach, will lead to better customer experiences, greater revenue, and higher brand loyalty.