Omnichannel Marketing

This is a guest post, written by InterExcel.

Marketing, especially Digital Marketing, is undergoing rapid and major changes.  We’re moving away from mass, “push” based marketing towards more personalised, one-on-one communication with consumers through the many channels and on the many devices they use.  The effectiveness and ROAS (Return On Ad Spend) of print media, television ads and ‘batch and blast’ email campaigns are on the decline.

Unfortunately, when it comes to Omnichannel and multi-device marketing, consumers today are way ahead of most marketers.

What Is Omnichannel Marketing?

First of all, what is omnichannel?  The term “Omnichannel” may be a marketing buzzword, but it refers to a significant shift: marketers now need to provide a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device.  Consumers can now engage with a company in a physical store, on an online website or mobile app, through a catalogue or through social media.  They can access products and services by calling a company on the phone, by using an app on their mobile smartphone or with a tablet, a laptop, or a desktop computer.  Each piece of the consumer’s experience should be consistent and complementary.

My 5 tips:

Here are my five tips for any website or business owner looking to implement a more omnichannel, multi-device perspective for their business:

1. Walk in Your Customer’s’ Shoes

Regularly review the experience your customers go through in order to research, purchase and connect with your products.  Test the experience by placing orders, interacting via all available channels, submitting a support case and more.  If possible, these tests should be performed by external as well as internal testers.  Ask yourself: Does everyone have a delightful experience?  Are there any unnecessary barriers?

2. Measure Everything!

Data is everywhere and very very very “big” these days.  Businesses need to become increasingly savvy about the best ways to leverage it without becoming invasive.  Measure how many people visit your online store, how many people visit your physical store, how many phone you, email you, everything. In today’s world, if you’re not measuring, you’re not going to succeed.

3. Segment Your Audience

One of my favourite things to do for companies is to understand which data points are useful to them, and then segment their audience accordingly.  Which data points actually help them understand their audience better?  Using marketing automation tools, you can capture this information to build very rich profiles about your customers and the customer journey.

This kind of rich data can be translated into customer use cases and can also be used to build buyer personas.  For example, male iOS users who work in the tech industry and are between the ages of 25 and 35 are more likely to buy based on technical specifications.  If you discover you are marketing to that audience for instance, you might highlight technical specs on your landing pages and in your nurturing strategy.  The more you can segment your different audiences, the more you can personalise each one with a specific tailored marketing message.

4. Develop Content That Matches Your Various Audiences

Content and messaging is key.  If a customer has previously engaged or purchased your product, you probably want to consider that in your marketing. If a customer has put something into a cart, but hasn’t yet purchased, use your content to reference that intent.

I often receive emails from Clicks and Takealot referencing previous purchases and recommending complementary products.  This type of content marketing and messaging makes me feel personally spoken to and helps drive much higher engagement, loyalty and purchases.

5. Don’t Limit Use Cases to Marketing/Sales

Consider how listening and responding can help your support team, product team, merchandising teams and even your customer service efforts.  At the end of the day a lot of what you do as a business is about being able to provide a better service for your customers.  If you can plug social media use into all the other CRM [Customer Relationship Management] data you have, then you are able to have a full portfolio on the customer.  If you know their email address, if you know their name, if you know their Twitter handle and you know whether they like to purchase online or they don’t like to purchase online, this can help you treat them in the way they want to treated.

Certainly, omnichannel user experiences still have a long ways to go, and the scale of some of the integrations described above may make the entire endeavour feel out of reach for smaller companies, but personally, I don’t think we’re that far away from a world where omnichannel is accessible to brands of all sizes.  Technology has come a long way over the past decade and there’s no doubt in my mind that future changes will make it possible for even the smallest of companies to engage directly with customers no matter where they are, what they’re doing, or what device they’re using.

So what do you think your company can do to get started with developing an omnichannel user experience?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Contact me on jarad@iedm.co.za