An Omnichannel Approach Can Improve
Help customers connect with your brand wherever, whenever they want
AMY ROSS, MANAGER — BRAND AND PRODUCT MARKETING
Your brand is your calling card. And that’s why you must present it in a consistent manner in all communication channels, including direct mail, marketing collateral, signage and more. But your brand and corporate identity must also help you improve customer experience, which is critical to your success. For that reason, you might want to consider pursuing an omnichannel marketing approach.
As its name suggests, omnichannel marketing puts your brand across multiple channels —email, text, print and online. The idea behind this approach is to present a cohesive image and voice in your digital and physical presence, so customers have a seamless experience whenever and however they interact with your brand.
When you employ an omnichannel strategy, you can collect customer data from many different avenues: social media, mailing lists, point-of-sale systems, loyalty programs and even technology tracking tools such as device IDs. This data can help you analyze your customers’ actions and interests, helping inform your marketing campaigns. Analyzing omnichannel data allows you to identify and focus on the most profitable channels as well.
Omnichannel: Case in point
Companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain 89% of their customers on average, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel engagement — Aberdeen Group
Multichannel vs. omnichannel
You may be wondering if there’s a difference between multichannel and omnichannel marketing. Actually, there is a difference. If you’re following a multichannel approach, you’re putting your own brand at the center of your marketing efforts and moving out from there to connect with customers. Using a multichannel approach, you might run your marketing campaigns simultaneously through your display advertising, email channels and social media.
But if you’re an omnichannel marketer, you’re driving customers toward your brand rather than the other way around. Consequently, you’ll want to create the same experience across all channels, with each channel collecting data about the customer. Ultimately the goal is to create a pathway that begins when a customer discovers your business and starts looking at your products. It might continue through email campaigns and targeted ads on social media and end with a purchase where you may have sweetened the deal with a discount or free shipping. Once the purchase is made, that transaction could trigger another chain of events, including an upsell offer or recommendation for the next likely purchase.
Your omnichannel marketing efforts should build a unique experience based on each customer’s preferences, supported by your channels working together to gather and update information based on these preferences.
Does omnichannel marketing work?
How effective is omnichannel marketing? Consider these two facts: The opportunity cost of not being omnichannel is 10% in lost revenue, and more than half of your customers won’t return if you don’t have an omnichannel strategy.
Clearly, omnichannel marketing can generate some big benefits. Plus, it’s cost-effective. With the insights and knowledge gained from the data you collect, you can power your marketing campaigns and deploy your resources more efficiently. And by analyzing omnichannel data carefully, you can learn where and when to concentrate on a particular channel to produce more profitable returns.
Use your channels wisely
Increasingly, today’s customers connect with brands however and whenever they want. And they’re quite aware that these businesses are gathering information about them, such as their preferences and buying habits. In exchange, they expect a personalized experience, so you need to give it to them — which means you need to put omnichannel marketing to work soon.