Omnichannel marketing is the combination of the various means organizations use to interact with consumers, with the goal of creating a consistent brand experience. This includes physical stores and digital or online stores. The aim of omnichannel marketing strategy is to create a convenient user experience for consumers that may offer various opportunities for fulfillment.
Omnichannel marketing allows consumers engage with brands on their own terms, leading to a better customer experience overall. Today, organizations across industries are leveraging omnichannel strategies in various sectors including healthcare, retail, technology and others. An omnichannel approach ensures that the consumer has a positive, consistent experience on each channel, by offering these key elements:
• Consistent, identifiable brand tone and visions.
• Personalized messaging based on specific interests.
• Content that is informed by past interactions and current stage of the buyer’s journey.
Difference between Omnichannel and Multichannel Marketing
Omnichannel and Multi-channel marketing are both strategies based on the idea of engaging consumers across multiple platforms. The Multichannel strategy looks more at a specific channel and how the transaction will be completed there. The Omnichannel strategy on the other hand takes into account that the customer journey may occur between multiple channels and looks at how to create the best experience as consumers move between them.
The Multichannel approach is to distribute content and advertisements across various channels. This strategy makes an organization available to consumers online, in print, in-store, etc. The consumer can choose where they want to interact with the brand, however, content and engagements within these channels are often very limited. The Multichannel is more reflective of operations reaching as many channels as appropriate, while considering the overall customer experience. Omnichannel also goes a step further to ensure an integrated, convenient experience across each medium. As consumers move across devices and online and offline platforms transitions are seamless and messages are informed by prior encounters. An omnichannel approach enables organizations to truly take a consumer-centric approach that keeps the comprehensive customer journey top of mind.
Essential steps when creating an Omnichannel experience.
Collecting accurate, timely data about your consumers is vital to implementing your omnichannel strategy. Brands need to make sure they have the tools in place to effectively collect this data across online and offline channels. This data will allow you to understand when your target audience prefers to interact with brands and on what devices, what products and features they are looking for, etc. This data will be the driving force behind an omnichannel strategy.
Collecting relevant data is the first step but without a team and platform that can translate all the data into actionable insights, it is useless. Brands need to deploy an analytics team that can interprete the data in real-time so that the brand can make intelligent and informed decisions to meet consumer needs in the moment.
Customer Journey Mapping.
Before launching an omnichannel campaign, organizations should be sure to create customer journey maps for each of their audience segments. The customer journey map evaluates the steps taken between the customer discovering the brand and purchasing from the brand. Outlining these maps allows brands to create more targeted campaigns by considering individual interests, the user experience and interface, and factors outside of the brand’s control that may impact the path to purchase, such as economic factors.
It’s important for organizations to develop a brand identity with clear guidelines for messaging and creative. These guidelines should be adhered to across each channels to help facilitate brand awareness and recognition through a cohesive message. Another way that organizations can help facilitate an omnichannel experience is by leveraging brand tracking tools that can help measure and predict their brand’s health in the mind of the consumer.
One of the most important components of an omnichannel marketing strategy is to continuously test the efficacy of your omnichannel approach. This enables the marketing team to determine ways to optimize campaign spend, messaging, creative, and more. Today’s organizations should utilize media planning tools that can run “what if” scenarios that take budget, target audience, multiple KPIs and media mix into consideration and in turn provide a highly granular media plan that can maximize ROI and inform future decision-making.
Implementing the Omnichannel approach is far from simple but is definitely worth it for any brand. Most brands today will agree that the omnichannel approach yields the best results like providing a better user experience, increased revenue, cohesive brand strategy & Identity, Better Attribution data to mention but a few.