What is Omni-Channel Marketing?
‘Omni-channel’ may be a trending marketing phrase, but it depicts a significant transformation: marketers now need to provide a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device. Consumers can now communicate with a company in a physical store, on an online website or a mobile app, through a catalog, or via social media platforms. They can get access to the products and services by calling a company over 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.
So how does Omni-channel experience actually look like?
Multi-channel is an extended operational view – how one provides the customer to occur transactions in each channel. Omni-channel, however, is viewing the experience through the eyes of your customer, orchestrating the customer experience across all channels so that it is seamless, integrated, and consistent. Omni-channel assumes that customers may start in one channel and move to another as they progress to a resolution. Making these complex ‘hand-offs’ between channels must be fluid for the customer. Simply put, omni-channel is multi-channel done right!”
Below are the seven recommendations for any marketer who is looking for implementation of a more Omni-channel, multi-device perspective:
1. Walk in Your Customers’ Shoes
Review regularly the experience of your customers, go through in order to research purchase, and connect with your products. Check the experience by placing orders, communicating via all available channels, submitting a support case, and more. These tests should be performed by external and internal testers, if possible. Did you have a delightful experience in every part? Do you experience any unnecessary barriers?
2. Measure Everything!
Data is everywhere (and apparently very “big” these days), and marketers are becoming increasingly savvy about the best ways to leverage it without becoming invasive. The marketers can now measure success in terms of the response of real people over time, in addition to measuring individual campaigns. They have enough data at the customer level to see how the customer interacts both online and in the store, so they can plan messaging and offers appropriately through the channel. We strive to balance the use of customer data to inform content relevancy with the use of consumer insights to ensure that the relevancy is coupled with a sense of discovery and inspiration.
3. Segment Your Audience
Try to segment your audience according to Understanding of which data points are useful to you. Which data points actually help you more in evaluating your audience?
This kind of rich data can be translated into customer use cases, and also used to build buyer personas. For example, male android 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, you might highlight technical specs in your landing pages and nurturing strategy.
4. Try to craft Content/Messaging according to Use Cases and Behaviors
The key is Content and messaging. If a customer has previously engaged or purchased any product, you possibly 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.
This type of content and messaging makes consumers feel personally contacted, 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. It is informative in being able to provide a better service for the customers. If we can plug social into all the other CRM [Customer Relationship Management] data we have, then we have a full portfolio on the customer.
6. “Listen and Respond” on Preferred Channels/Devices
Gradually, people are using multiple devices in just a single transactional process. Make sure that you are able to actively listen and respond to these interactions. For example, an e-commerce retailer website should be able to preserve items in a cart across devices – if you add an item to your shopping cart on mobile site, it should reflect in your shopping cart when you log in to the website on your desktop computer.
Recently, we added a pair of shoes from Flipkart to my shopping cart, using the mobile phone. Later, we viewed the same shoes on my laptop at home, but didn’t purchase. Finally, on a weekend afternoon, we got an email from Flipkart with the subject line “You snooze, You Lose”. Inside the email, the big bold header said “Don’t miss out!” There was an image of our shopping cart, the shoes, and a bright orange tag that said “Only 1 LEFT!” Needless to say, we bought the last pair of shoes. Flipkart had just made us buying experience as easy as taking candy from a baby.
Google’s VP of Display Advertising, speak at a recent conference. Neil said, “If you’re just focusing on mobile, you’re solving yesterday’s problems.” Throughout the day, consumers are flitting back and forth among many devices, from smartphones to desktops, and from laptops to tablets to TVs. “90% of consumers start a task on one device and finish it on another,” Neil explained, “Consumers are way ahead of where advertisers and publishers are.”
7. Start Today!
Many Companies make these approaches accessible to companies of all sizes. There’s too much at stake in your business to delay taking that first step any longer. Consumers may be ahead of many marketers now, but this soon won’t be the case. Those marketers who thrive will be the ones who can deliver on the promise of a personal, omni-channel experience.