The Internet is rapidly changing, and today it is a very different place than it was a few years ago. As the capabilities and features on the Internet have increased, so have customer expectations. It’s important that businesses meet these increased expectations and provide customers with the opportunity to connect with them on a range of platforms.
Times are arguably becoming more difficult for the modern marketer. In order to run successful marketing campaigns, we now have to effectively predict where the customer is in the sales cycle and target them with relevant information and incentives that address their stage of buyer readiness. This type of customer experience is being referred to as “omnichannel” marketing.
Omnichannel marketing is a result of the ever-expanding range of marketing techniques that today’s marketers need to use to reach today’s consumers across multiple channels. While this concept may seem overwhelming for many, the change has been coming for a while, and techniques that are already widely used will be applicable to an omnichannel marketing strategy.
For a long time, marketers have known that customers will look for and engage with a business through multiple channels. From online channels such as search, social media and digital advertising to offline channels like print advertising and events. If your business doesn’t understand the full range of sources that their customers use, you can’t effectively implement marketing campaigns and may be missing out on potential opportunities to build customer relationships.
While smart businesses have had multichannel marketing campaigns running for years, recently the number of available channels available has dramatically increased with the rising use of social networks and mobile devices. This has made multichannel marketing more complex.
Technical developments have also given today’s marketers greater access to analytical data on consumer behaviour, which has revealed that the more channels consumers find and connect with your business on, the more they become familiar with your products and services and develop brand loyalty. As such, companies that use multichannel marketing experience 3x higher effectiveness rates than those that use non-integrated campaigns.
Cross-channel marketing means that you are marketing with a consistent brand identity across every channel. Your website should look the same when it’s viewed from any device or mobile app and your message should be consistent across social media, in-store, on promotions and at events so that your brand is easily recognized. Today’s customers expect a rich customer experience across channels; they want to be able to start shopping on one device, such as their mobile and pick up where they left off if they switch to another device such as a laptop or desktop. This more personal, customised experience is becoming the norm for customers today, so it’s important to get your cross-channel strategy right.
It is critical that your company’s message, branding, graphics, pricing and details of your product or service should be consistent no matter how, or where, a customer is interacting with the brand.
Omnichannel marketing is the next step in customer experience, after cross-channel marketing. Omnichannel marketing has come around as a result of the in-depth analytics that marketers have access to today. Every action that a consumer takes online leaves traces of data that marketers can put together to better understand the customer experience.
Analytical marketers can now collect and analyse the specific motivations and drivers of customers at each stage of the buyer journey. Combining these stages, they get a deeper understanding of how prospects and customers interact with the brand through to sale. This allows them to tailor communications to move customers through the buying funnel, and also identify areas where there are potential bottlenecks.
As such, marketers using an omnichannel strategy can improve the relationship that the business has with their customers and motivate them through to conversion. That’s why customers on the receiving end of omnichannel marketing campaigns spend 10% more than those who aren’t.
Creating a successful and dynamic omnichannel marketing experience can be driven by the marketing department, but requires the input of other divisions of the business; from online and in-store teams to product developers, merchandisers and customer service teams. The following are some of the first steps marketers can take to start implementing an omnichannel strategy.
- Get a Full Understanding of your Customers: Carry out in-depth research to fully understand your customers’ drivers, motivations and needs. Identify the channels they are most likely to be on in order to work out where and what to advertise that will attract them to your company.
- Set Up Analytics: Ensure you have comprehensive data analytics in place so that you are recording all the important elements of your online campaigns. Choose the metrics to track that are most important for your business and objectives.
- Segment your Lists: To target your customers with relevant communications, you have to group them in a way that makes sense. Understand the different target audiences you have so that you know how to best target them.
- Build Content: Start creating content for each of your target segments that will really resonate with them and encourage them to take action.
- Update Your Social Media Channels: Ensure the social media channels you want to use are set up, being updated regularly, and have a consistent brand feel.
- Set Up A CRM: You want to make sure that everyone in your business knows exactly how to interact with a certain customer. Creating a CRM system can help you provide an exceptional customer service experience while tracking data.
Moving your marketing towards an omnichannel experience can change your entire business for the better by helping you create a dynamic and holistic customer experience. At Digital Squad, we specialise in online marketing, working across a range of online channels. Contact us today to find out how we can apply our expertise to boost your business. Whether it is SEO services, Facebook marketing Auckland, LinkedIn marketing, or AdWords management agency Auckland, we are here to help.