Part of a successful marketing strategy is being able to reach and meet the needs of your customers. There are a plethora of ways to connect and communicate thanks to the internet, and companies leverage tools like email marketing and social media to facilitate direct interaction with audiences.
Creating a positive user experience, or UX is fast becoming the primary focus, especially with recent algorithm updates. Along with impacting search rankings, UX can affect profitability. Meaning, you can benefit in many ways by using an omni-channel marketing strategy for your brand.
This customer-centric form of marketing shifts the focus of your brand message and places the customer firmly at the center of all operations and interactions.
As a marketing strategy, it is proving successful. Statistics show omni-channel marketing is yielding a 66% higher retention rate for marketers that use 3 or more channels, and the average order value (AOV) is 13% higher than single-channel campaigns.
What Exactly Is an Omni-Channel Marketing Strategy?
A unified message that responds to customer needs is the heartbeat of omni-channel marketing. No matter which channel the customer uses to interact with your brand or company, the message and, more importantly, the relevancy of that message needs to be customer-focused.
Omni-channel marketing works with any channel, online or traditional. The vast majority of buyers will not buy on their first visit to a website or store. They connect, research, and jump across various platforms to build confidence and trust before committing to a purchase.
Having a customer-driven marketing strategy that responds to the buyer’s needs and interactions is proving highly effective.
Omni-channel marketing supplies consistent unification of brand, voice, and message that is specific to each customer and changes to accommodate their needs. Different channels update with each new customer interaction. As the customer travels through various channels and purchasing stages, the communication adjusts to deliver a message at key points that are relevant to their journey.
Omni-channel marketing vs Multi-channel marketing
This might all sound a bit familiar and not completely different from the multi-channel marketing strategy that you already use. But there are some key differences. omni-channel marketing may share some similarities with multi-channel marketing but they are separate concepts.
Omni-channel marketing creates a customer shopping experience that is seamless and integrated. Regardless of where a transaction is being performed, at an online store, website, brick-and-mortar building, or from a handheld device.
With multi-channel marketing, customer interactions can take place across social media, email, SMS, and other communication, but it does not provide the same level of detailed personalization as omni-channel methods.
Multi-channel marketing is designed to quickly reach the largest possible audience and may not always adhere to the same goals or concepts across all channels simultaneously. Some channels may be used to convey different content to a segmented customer base.
While each one conveys a message, they are regarded as individual entities and will not provide the same relevancy or attain the detailed personalization that omni-channel marketing is able to attain.
Why do you Need to Implement an Omni-channel Marketing Strategy?
So what are the benefits of incorporating Omni-channel marketing into your sales strategy? As people shop in an increasingly fragmented manner, hopping from website to social media and other channels, Omni-channel marketing allows you to be everywhere at all times.
Brand interaction is on the rise and customers are as concerned about the company that they are buying from as the product they are buying. Most consumers may need several ‘touches’ or brand interactions before committing to a sale.
This means buyers may explore your website, read your blog, investigate social media channels, examine reviews, and view ads or YouTube videos. Having a unified presence across all channels will enable you to provide your customer with an enhanced, personalized user experience, increase brand awareness and ROI.
Better Customer Experience and Increased Customer Loyalty
Engaging your customers brings many benefits, along with improvement in sales numbers the integrated customer experience yields many other advantages.
- Better Engagement
Engagement rates improve with Omni-channel marketing. Research shows that campaign engagement from Omni-channel marketing reaches 18.96% compared to single-channel campaigns at 5.4%
- Improved purchase rates
Campaigns that use 3 channels or more have seen purchase rates up to 250% than from single-channel campaigns.
- Higher loyalty and retention rates
Marketers have experienced retention rates as high as 90% when using 3 or more channels.
Apart from the gains made in customer loyalty and retention rates, Omni-channel marketing is successful in improving revenue growth for eCommerce and businesses, both large and small.
- Increased customer value
Omni-channel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel.
- Improved annual revenue
Companies with strong Omni-channel customer engagement see a 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue
Managing marketing channels into one message lends itself to consistency and ease of operation. Tailoring communications as a unified message allows for easier management of different channels.
- Better customer direction
Omni-channel marketing allows for quick handover between service teams reducing time spent dealing with issues.
- Reduces staffing needs
Better customer focus and improved handling mean that less service staff may be required. This is helpful for larger organizations or call-center based operations.
How to Create an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy?
When converting to an Omni-channel marketing strategy there are some things to consider. Omni-marketing already acknowledges that your customers have access to multiple information channels and information, so now you need to deliver the right content.
Nurturing your customers in this way inspires loyalty, and loyal customers make happy customers. Fostering this level of goodwill means that you are more likely to receive word of mouth recognition, testimonials, or referrals, and your personalized, consistent marketing messages help to drive that relationship.
Gather and use Use Customer Data
Analytics is the lynchpin of your Omni-marketing strategy. Using the data you already have will help you to determine key points in the purchasing process and design a strategy around them. Observing the entire user experience from the viewpoint of your customer will define the buyer’s journey and highlight key points in the process.
From this data, you can develop rich buyer personas and use tools like audience segmentation to create messages at a highly personalized level for different buyers. Aligning content with specific personas and journeys will improve overall ROI.
Individual channels and devices can be prioritized depending on performance, allowing you to provide a seamless, frictionless experience for each customer.
Invest in a robust Martech stack
To create an efficient Omni-channel marketing experience you will need the correct tools for the job. Investing in a good Martech stack will smooth the process and allow you to access the software, services, and other items to successfully design, implement, and manage your Omni-channel strategy.
Martech stack will help you keep up with the changing needs of a multi-fragmented buyer marketplace and include tools like-
- Customer Data Platforms
- Journey Orchestration Engines
- Content Platforms
- Omni-channel Operations Hubs
Implement a Customer-centric approach
‘Customer-first’ is perhaps an antiquated slogan in the current marketplace. ‘Customer-centric’ is a much more adequate description of Omni-channel marketing. It provides a more accurate representation of what is needed to design and implement the strategy.
Data insights gathered from buyer journeys and personas can be leveraged to place your customer at the very core of your business. Analyzing and comparing results across channels will allow you to keep the user experience at the forefront and design content accordingly.
Align your organization’s departments
Having your consistent messages delivered to the customer is not enough on its own. For your Omni-channel strategy to be successful all departments of your organization will need to be on board. This means everyone from the janitor to the CEO should be delivering the same message as one consistent and unified voice.
Feedback and insights should be shared across teams and departments to drive improvements and enhancements. It is worth taking time to make assessments of how each marketing channel interacts and corresponds with another.
Does our social strategy and content support our company website?
Does our mobile and web strategies support each other?
Does our email strategy support our social media strategy?
Make the payment process seamless
Over 75% of people cite ‘valuing my time’ as the single most important thing a company can do, therefore a smooth payment process is critical. Each buyer’s purchasing journey may be different, but desiring an easy and uncomplicated process to complete a transaction is universal.
- 54% of millennials will stop doing business because of poor service
- 67% of customers have quit a brand due to bad service
There are several Omni-channel payment processors available that help with transaction integration and facilitation. Providing payment services between each channel should have a level of synergy and cohesiveness. Meaning that no matter what channel your customer purchases from, they should find it a similar ‘ease-of-use’ experience that is free from stark and unsettling differences.
Omnichannel Marketing Examples
A growing number of companies have adopted an Omni-channel strategy as part of their overall marketing growth. Many of these organizations are recognizable, global brands that are leaders in marketing, and customer loyalty.
Amazon is a great example of Omni-channel marketing done right. What started as an online ordering service has expanded into mobile devices, Amazon lockers, smartwatches, and in-store purchasing. All offer the same user experience to their customers.
In addition to their easy purchasing process, all orders can be tracked via a multitude of different platforms from a laptop to Alexa, giving customers complete visibility to transactions and delivery tracking.
Starbucks offers a seamless experience to customers using its mobile apps, loyalty programs, and purchasing cards. Customers can access Starbucks services across various platforms, place their drinks order, save favorite beverages, and manage their accounts. Updates to their profile and preferences roll out to every other platform with smooth and uninterrupted integration.
Company executives and CEOs of large organizations have indicated that Omni-channel marketing is very much on their radar for future business strategy planning. As the customer-centric business model continues to take hold Omni-marketing will feature more and more in the marketplace. Processes will reach new levels of sophistication and greater gains will be realized as technology enhances to manage this emerging business protocol.
Currently, Omni-channel marketing is being hailed as the future of business. What makes it so appealing is that the benefits gained are visible no matter the size of the business. From giant corporations to small eCommerce stores, all companies can adopt Omni-channel marketing and apply its principles to enhance customer experience and achieve revenue goals.