According to Gartner, 50% of organizations failed to unify engagement channels in 2022, which led to them functioning in silos and resulted in a disconnected customer experience. The reason was the unfamiliarity with omnichannel marketing strategies, which have the potential to create a connected and engaged customer experience. So what is omnichannel marketing? And how can you leverage it into a lucrative career? This is a common question that every marketer should know about. This guide will help you find out everything you need to know here.
What is Omnichannel Marketing
Omnichannel marketing seamlessly integrates branding, messaging, and online and offline touchpoints as customers move down the sales funnel. Today, customers communicate with brands through several platforms, such as social media channels and websites, apart from in-store visits. Omnichannel marketing ensures that brands reach customers across all platforms and provide them with exceptional and consistent experiences. By placing customers at the heart, this effective strategy creates:
- A recognizable and consistent brand voice and vision
- Individualized communication based on individual preferences
- Exceptional brand experience based on information gleaned from previous purchase history
What Does Omnichannel Mean?
According to TechTarget, omnichannel refers to a marketing approach that enhances the customer experience and fosters better relationships across all online and offline channels and touchpoints, such as desktop or mobile devices, telephones, or physical stores.
Omnichannel Marketing Examples
Let’s get a better understanding of what is omnichannel marketing with the following examples.
Starbucks has implemented a mobile rewards program to benefit its customers. Customers can recharge their Starbucks cards using a desktop or mobile device. They receive points when they pay for their Starbucks purchase using the app. These accrued points can be redeemed and used by customers to buy a free coffee in any Starbucks physical store. This is how the company leverages omnichannel marketing strategies to engage with customers and deliver an exceptional customer experience across all channels, both online and physical.
Pharmacy store chain Walgreens has developed a specialized mobile app for clients to conveniently refill their prescriptions by scanning the original prescription barcode or entering the prescription number before picking them in a store. Customers planning a visit can see what each store has to offer before deciding where to go. That way, Walgreens ensures to deliver a satisfactory customer experience all across channels.
Benefits of Omnichannel Marketing
Omnichannel marketing is customer-centric. It allows customers to engage with brands at their own convenience, creating positive customer experiences and offering multiple benefits to an organization.
Enhances Customer Loyalty
Personalized content, interactions across all channels (online and offline), and relatable social media posts are some ways in which brands can work toward achieving customer loyalty. Omnichannel marketing helps companies to meet customers’ requirements, provide a seamless experience, and improve customer loyalty.
Improves Brand Recall
Focusing on creating consistent engagement across all platforms is a pivotal part of omnichannel marketing. This ensures that customers of a particular brand will have the same experience on all platforms and devices. Moreover, customers will remember the brand and are more likely to buy from that brand if they have unique experiences.
Omnichannel strategies create customer loyalty, help with brand recall, and encourage customers to buy from that brand. This effective technique attracts new customers and retains existing ones, which leads to growth in business revenue.
Role of Interaction in Omnichannel Marketing
In omnichannel marketing, the interaction involves responding to customer requests, actions, preferences, and expectations immediately. Contests, quizzes, polls, surveys, video, and email marketing, interactive infographics, and messaging bots are all examples of interaction in omnichannel marketing. Interaction plays a pivotal role as it helps to:
- Create interactive engagement
- Boost the conversion rate
- Produce qualified leads
- Enhance personalization
How to Construct the Best Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
The customer journey has become more complicated as the number of marketing channels has grown. You therefore need to carefully consider the steps to take to ensure the success of any omnichannel marketing strategy you implement.
1. Think Consumer First
Centering customers is the prime criteria for designing an effective omnichannel marketing strategy. Marketers should understand what customers want and their pain points and take action accordingly.
2. Leverage Customer Data
The next step is to employ customer data. Customer data tells you everything about customers, such as their behavior, purchasing patterns, and transaction history. Leverage this data to create a unified customers’ profile, respond to customers on a real-time basis, and create a proven omnichannel tactic.
3. Leverage Customer Segmentation
Once you have a unified profile across channels for your customers, the next step is to leverage customer segmentation. This is the process of segmenting profiles based on buyer persona, past purchases, and demographics. Then create personalized content for each group of customers available on different channels. That way, you can leverage personalized omnichannel marketing campaigns to deliver personalized experiences to customers. This is achieved through content (blogs, video, podcasts, infographics, and case studies) across all channels.
How to Improve ROI Through Omnichannel Marketing?
Here are some of the proven methods through which a company can boost its return on investment (ROI) using omnichannel marketing tactics.
Brands should ensure that the process of sending relevant messages to customers should be consistent across the customer lifecycle. For that, brands should train their marketing, sales, and customer support workers.
Focus on providing a consistent experience across all customer touchpoints to boost Lifetime Value (LTV). Because customers will have varying interactions with the brand, it’s important to equip your team with the knowledge and skills they’ll need to provide a satisfying experience.
Data-driven marketing can help you learn more about customers and allow you to develop strategies that engage them better.
Multichannel vs. Omnichannel Marketing
While both omnichannel and multichannel marketing are based on the idea of connecting and engaging with customers, they are not the same thing. Multichannel looks at each channel and focuses on how a transaction (selling of products and services) can be done on those channels. However, omnichannel marketing methods take into account the fact that a customer’s journey may involve more than one channel and ensure an optimum experience as they move from one channel to another.
Multichannel marketing is much easier to understand because its goal is to spread content and ads across many channels. With a multichannel strategy, a business can reach customers online, in print, and in person. Customers can choose their preferred channel to interact with the brand. In this way, multichannel is more about reaching customers using as many channels as possible.
Omnichannel marketing, on the other hand, while making brands available through both online and offline channels, takes things further. It ensures that the experience is the same across all channels. The omnichannel approach makes sure that customers can easily switch between online and offline channels and between different devices. It also makes sure that all messages are based on previous interactions, no matter where they took place.
Omnichannel Marketing Best Practices
With the in-depth understanding of what is omnichannel marketing, its benefits, and how it is different from multichannel strategies, let’s explore some of its best practices.
1. Understand Your Buyers and Their Journey
Every customer is unique, from the way they shop and their preferences to the motivations behind their purchasing decisions. Take the time to learn about your customers, map out their journeys, and then make a plan based on what you’ve learned.
2. Select the Right Channels
While there is a plethora of options, not all of them will serve the needs of a company. Determine which channels customers most often use to communicate with them and optimize your responses accordingly.
3. Use the Right Tools
Here’s the list of different omnichannel marketing tools that can help you to implement a successful and seamless omnichannel marketing strategy.
- Callbell manages messages across social media platforms
- B2Chat offers chat center services for quick customer support
- Salesgear is a sales engagement tool that prepares a list of target prospects and helps you to engage with them across social media, emails, and phone calls
- Zendesk helps the customer support team to connect with customers via Whatsapp
4. Measure Your Marketing Strategies Performance
Always check how well your campaign is doing so you can find its strengths and the problems you need to fix.
Industries Applying Omnichannel Tactics
As customers have gained greater purchasing power, omnichannel strategies have gained popularity across all business sectors. They have been especially prevalent in the following verticals:
The retail industry has been particularly impacted by the expansion of customer engagement channels, including social networking, online review sites, and online shopping, making it a strong sector for omnichannel innovation. Additionally, by focusing on the entire customer journey, omnichannel strategies enhance retail results at every stage, including conversion and sales rates, fulfillment and customer retention rates, as well as flexibility in responding to shifts in technology usage.
Customers of healthcare services typically engage in several touchpoint interactions with a variety of providers, ranging from hospitals and primary care clinics to pharmaceutical companies. By evaluating data pertaining to the customer journey and engagements, healthcare providers can effectively cater to individual needs. They supply the most relevant information to customers while simultaneously reducing the risk of potential adverse health effects.
Cars are a long-term investment, so it’s important for dealerships and manufacturers to stay top of mind for customers and inspire loyalty. Any advertising and marketing strategies implemented today may not show results right away, but if they succeed in catching the attention of current customers and hooking new ones, they will positively impact sales in the long run. A study in 2020 by Kantar TNS showed that 90% of automobile buyers conduct preliminary research online before setting foot in a dealership. It is now more important than ever to have an integrated advertising strategy that actively involves purchasers at every opportunity.
Learning, the Emeritus Way
Using omnichannel marketing strategies can help you provide customers a more unified and customized experience. Moreover, omnichannel marketing can increase the customer base and boost business growth and revenue. If you want to delve deeper into the question of what is omnichannel marketing, enroll in Emeritus’ online sales and marketing courses for further insight into it, along with other marketing tactics, and pursue the path to a lucrative career.
By Riku Ghosh
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