Table of contents
- What is Omnichannel?
- What is Omnichannel Marketing?
- What is Omnichannel Customer Experience and How to Improve it
- Omnichannel Marketing vs Multichannel Marketing
- What is Multichannel Marketing?
- What are the Advantages of Omnichannel Marketing?
- What is an Omnichannel Strategy?
- Quick Tips for Building Your Omnichannel Strategy
- Quick Tips for Improving Your Omnichannel Strategy
The marketing of yesteryear is gone, and with it many outdated outreach practices that failed to keep modern customers happy. Today’s consumer wants to be completely engaged by your company and its offerings, drawn together by holistic, integrated communication that makes them feel valued. This has led to the creation of two-way rather than one-way business communication, namely omnichannel marketing.
Consumers have come to expect more from their brands of choice: more content, more branding, and more valuable information that reaches them at their point of need. Being ever present in the lives of customers is no longer a nice-to-have function, but a requirement for success. If you don’t already have an omnichannel marketing strategy in place, you’ll need to establish one or risk getting drowned out by louder, stronger, more omnipotent voices.
Let’s explore what it actually means to execute omnichannel marketing, as well as some strategies you can take to make your next efforts successful. We’ll cover each consideration in depth, starting with:
- What is omnichannel?
- What is omnichannel marketing?
- What is the omnichannel customer experience?
- Omnichannel marketing vs multichannel marketing
- What is an omnichannel strategy?
What is Omnichannel?
Broken down, omnichannel – ‘omni’ (all) and ‘channel’ (platforms) – simply means that multiple tools and approaches are used to satisfy an audience, incorporating all aspects of the buyer’s journey. Both traditional and digital channels are included under this definition, as well as in-person or online experiences that customers could have with your brand.
What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing involves the integration of all brand channels to create the perfect customer experience. Its primary goal is to understand customer needs before they’re asked and deliver a flawless consumer experience, which caters to every phase of the buyer’s journey by being present, relevant, and accessible.
Instead of relying solely on email marketing, or Facebook ads, omnichannel marketing combines strategies like retargeting ads, abandonment emails, and SMS sale messages to reach the audience with tailored messaging at specific times.
What is Omnichannel Customer Experience and How to Improve it
Omnichannel marketing provides customers with the highest amount of customization and control over their purchasing decisions. By providing multiple touchpoints that fine tune experiences at any given point, omnichannel marketing allows customers to move to any point in the buyer’s journey.
Customers are given the personalization necessary to make decisions at every stage of the buyer’s journey, all while remaining in constant communication with your brand. For example, retargeting ads allow you to show items of interest to your site visitors, increasing the likelihood of a new sale. An SMS is likely to be read sooner than an email, and can have different messaging.
Because omnichannel marketing is presented to customers as a frictionless entity, they are better equipped to move at a sustainable pace than those under multichannel marketing.
Omnichannel Marketing vs Multichannel Marketing
Despite their similar sounding names, omnichannel marketing and multichannel marketing are different concepts. While omnichannel marketing focuses on integrating customers across multiple touchpoints with the same level of consistency, multichannel marketing is interested in creating as many customer channels as possible.
What is Multichannel Marketing?
Multichannel marketing attempts to engage customers using as many channels as possible. Platforms like social media, email, and websites are good examples of digital platforms, while print ads, packaging, or even store locations are examples of in-person channels.
This tactic aims to give customers as many interactions with a brand as possible, keeping awareness and consideration at top of mind. Unlike omnichannel marketing, the multichannel approach isn’t necessarily seamless, and each platform can operate entirely independently of the others.
What are the Advantages of Omnichannel Marketing?
Multichannel marketing certainly has its benefits, but it’s not necessarily the most effective method of interacting with consumers.
- Multichannel strategies cast wide nets to attract the greatest number of potential leads, which may or may not lead to a final sale.
- Because of their siloed nature, multichannel strategies are best for creating small brand ‘ecosystems’ within individual channels.
- Multichannel strategies create more platforms for customers to interact with, although they don’t always offer the same level of consistency.
While multichannel marketing creates the groundwork for better customer engagement, omnichannel marketing provides the greatest amount of holistic utility.
- Omnichannel marketing sees greater customer retention. Some estimates suggest that businesses could see a 91% increase in retention year over year.
- Businesses that integrate similar messaging, tone, and writing styles across all marketing channels could develop a more cohesive brand image.
- Omnichannel approaches are up to 30% more valuable than other types of marketing strategies. By building greater loyalty patterns, increasing repeat purchases, and personalizing customer integrations, omnichannel marketing creates engagement touchpoints across all channels.
To summarize, multichannel marketing refers to the creation of many platforms, while omnichannel marketing refers to the integration of all adopted platforms for the sake of the customer.
What is an Omnichannel Strategy?
Omnichannel strategies are living, constantly evolving marketing tactics that drive engagement and integration across all platforms. A culmination of personal insights, collected data, and functional cloud tools, omnichannel strategies help to specify the next steps in executing a marketing plan across multiple channels.
As you build upon or improve your current omnichannel strategy, it will be imperative to move forward with sustainability as the focus. Marketing strategies are inherently better when designed with longevity in mind, provided they can handle slight pivoting to accommodate changing customer needs.
Quick Tips for Building Your Omnichannel Strategy
Every omnichannel strategy must be created with a minimum of three steps: data, customers, and tools.
- Gather some first-party data to identify your end user. Examples include in-app or website behaviors, purchase decisions, or email and text interactions. First party data is considered to have the highest ROI of any data type, and should be used to its fullest extent.
- Map out a typical customer journey for your brand or industry type. You may want to visually represent this as a pyramid, flowchart, or step-by-step process to better understand how consumers interact with your brand.
- Use the right tools to quantify and qualify your findings. Cloud-based ERP software is an excellent way to gather and analyze collected data, particularly for ecommerce retailers. By connecting online and offline channels with holistic data points, platforms like Xentral can help to streamline the initial building blocks of an omnichannel marketing strategy.
Quick Tips for Improving Your Omnichannel Strategy
You can optimize existing omnichannel processes by simply refining your current strategies. For example:
- Continue to perform social listening. If you don’t have time to perform it yourself, consider outsourcing to a team, or use content moderation software to track changing consumer sentiments. Start by tracking base metrics such as likes or shares, then branch into more complex data such as keyword monitoring.
- Roughly 75% of customers say fast response times are the most important part of their brand experience. Do what you can to prioritize rapid response and consistency for customers, offering immediate connections on every channel. Streamline communications with live chat or built-in automations to satisfy customers quickly.
- Complete a content analysis of your current omnichannel strategy, looking for metrics that define successful and unsuccessful initiatives. Which strategies worked, and why? Be willing to pivot to new ideas according to the results of your data.
Developing a great omnichannel marketing strategy isn’t a one-off project – it’s an ongoing journey. If you’re willing to continuously adapt your approach to meet the needs of modern consumers, your brand could remain a powerful voice in an otherwise competitive marketplace.
No omnichannel marketing program is complete without partners. When you’re ready to scale your business with powerful ERP software, consider Xentral to fasttrack your success. Schedule a demo today at your convenience, or start your free trial now.