In the world of marketing, new trends, methods, and strategies pop up every day. Though some fade away after, others cement their presence and become a force to reckon with in the system. One of those forces today is omnichannel marketing.
Omnichannel marketing as a concept on its own began in 2010, though traces of its basic idea were discovered way back 2003, omnichannel marketing as a whole though picked up a lot of speed in 2018. Once known as Customer Centricity, cross-platform marketing, and much more, the name omnichannel marketing has become the tag that encompasses all it entails.
So what does omnichannel marketing entail or rather what does omnichannel marketing mean?
Omnichannel marketing refers to the use of multiple channels to market goods and services while providing the client with a seamless, integrated experience. All the channels utilized work together to create one strong voice, passing the same message and all the while giving the customer the same experience from platform to platform. So, what is the difference between omnichannel marketing and multi-channel marketing?
The difference is in the general driving force. Omnichannel marketing works with its clients at the center of everything, creating a unified and personalized experience for the customer. Each platform used is linked to the other and they all work to provide a singularly spectacular experience. While multi-channel marketing utilizes different platforms to play up different strengths and sometimes even portray different sides of the company, with the client at the receiving end.
Omnichannel marketing is a powerful tool when utilized properly. It often leads to an increased purchase rate while spending less on strategy once the right method is found. A little confused on how to go about it?
Here are 4 Tips For Omnichannel Marketing that are sure to give your business a boost.
- Put Customer At The Center
- Focus on Targeting and Personalization
- Evaluate Your Channels
- Create a single voice and brand presence
1. Put Customer At The Center
As mentioned earlier, the major component that led to the discovery of omnichannel marketing was a little concept called customer-centricity. Customer centricity was discovered way back in 2003 by a story on how Best Buy struggled to keep up with Walmart. They realized they couldn’t beat Walmarts prices so they looked for something that wasn’t being done and voila, customer centricity was born.
The human being is always on the look for ‘what’s best for me?’ and ‘what’s in it for me’, it isn’t selfishness, it is simply the reflex that reacts to things pertaining to self. When implementing omnichannel marketing, you are working on giving your client a personalized experience and telling them this is all for you, not buy from us.
Every master of good copywriting would tell you that when creating an ad, there should be 3 yous to every I/we/us. The entire experience projected on all utilized platforms is to be drafted with the aim of telling the client that ‘you are important which is why we made this product just for you’ not ‘our product is guaranteed to make you happy, we are the best’. So what are a few ways to check if your marketing strategy is customer-centric?
Test your customer experience before launch.
Once you feel you have put the right pieces in place to provide your clients with the ultimate customer-centric experience, run trough your platforms from the position of the client, not from the position of the marketer.
Be honest with yourself. Ask:
- Is the experience smooth and seamless?
- Am I placed in a position of importance in this process?
- How easy is it for me to get from point A to point B across these different platforms and through my check out process?
- Do this site and its message move me to trust them?
- What’s in it for me?
When you put yourself in the shoes of a customer, you gain a fresher perspective and will be able to tackle any possible problems with a customer-centered mindset.
After you have run this test, ask friends and colleagues whom you know will be honest with you to run through the process, and tell you what they think. Then give them a checklist to see what your marketing strategy accomplished. You can even hire test-runners to do this for you. And once you are done with internal testing, you can then release it to your target audience.
This brings us to the next step: source for customers feedback.
Customers are brutally honest, they convey dissatisfaction with an almost cruel flare but it is the truth. Sourcing for customer’s feedback is also a way to show your customers that you care about their opinion and that it is all for and about them.
Set up review sheets, polls, emoji graders, and comment boxes as often as possible.
2. Focus on Targeting and Personalization
One of the most powerful tools in marketing generally is personalization. It is a tool being implemented in every aspect of marketing from email marketing to web UI/UX. Here is a guide to personalization in marketing, but for this article, I will be telling why personalization is important in omnichannel marketing.
As stated several throughout this article, omnichannel marketing is customer-centric, and what speaks customer-centricity more than the ability to communicate directly with your client by name, know their interests, and what they want to see. In as much as you are building on customer centricity, remember hat you have a business to run.
The aim of using multiple platforms is to see the different sides of your client and gather data on their interests, their dislikes, and non intrusively gather personal information. You as a marketer then convert this information and relate it to what you have to offer.
For example, you sell clothes, a group of clients you advertise to on LinkedIn is actively searching for jobs, you get this information, and strategically advertise smart office wears that are perfect for job interviews to these clients. Strategy and tactics. This doesn’t guarantee that all of them would purchase the wears but there will be some purchases.
When we talk about targeting in omnichannel marketing, we mean the control you have over what is released on your platforms. Utilizing several platforms does not necessitate throwing out every ad form and detail but it is easy to do so. You have to take a look at your clientele and their spheres of life, then you look at the platforms that you plan to use.
For your clientele you ask:
- What type of life does my prospective clientele live?
- At what times are they most likely to be active on so, so and so platform?
- What platforms are they likely to use?
Then in sourcing platforms, you ask:
- What tools do these platforms possess that can boost your ad campaigns?
- What age range of people are active on this platform?
- What type of content is dominant on these platforms?
- What type of content is not allowed on these platforms?
Answers to these questions will all shape your omnichannel marketing strategy and ultimately boost your purchase rate.
Evaluate Your Channels
Sometimes more means less. You do not necessarily have to have an account on every media platform that comes out. You just need to have on the media platforms that are functional for you. In the previous segment, there is a list of questions to ask pertaining to the platforms you choose to utilize.
This is where market research comes in, when growing your business and evaluating marketing strategies, it is important that you streamline such activities. While your target audience may be spread across an array of channels or platforms, they will be concentrated in some.
As a marketing strategist, you have to know the importance of engagement and the impact of your ad campaigns. Rather than squander resources on every platform that passes by, make a concentrated effort to create a strong presence on a select number of platforms that best reach your clientele.
Create a single voice and brand presence
One of your omnichannel marketing goals is to project a strong and unified voice that boosts your brand. You do not want a situation whereby a client receives emails from you and then sources for your company site on Facebook and becomes confused as to whether it is the same brand/service provider.
If your emails preach quality products and top-notch customer service., then your Facebook profile should preach quality products and top-notch customer service, your text messages, twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn should all convey the same message.
To make you understand what we mean, let’s say your brand colors are blue and red with a purple streak, when a client opens your website, that is what they see. If they should search for your brand on other platforms, the pictures and logo should be identical. In this manner, if your website has an upbeat, informal manner of speech then your other platforms have to adopt the same manner of speech.
The key to a seamless experience and transition from platform to platform is integration. Your clients and prospective customers should feel the same energy and presence however they communicate with you. This creates a sense of trust and homeliness, the pattern will be recognized automatically wherever and lead to a single experience.
This, however, doesn’t mean that only one person should write your content, you can have multiple writers and content developers, you just need to intimate them on the voice and presence you want your brand to convey.
In omnichannel marketing, there are a lot of wrong turns, but with adequate planning and the right team, omnichannel marketing would be the strongest weapon in your arsenal. Evaluate each decision severally before implementation and apply these 4 Tips for omnichannel marketing then sit back and smile as you garner positive results.