What is Omni Channel Marketing and Why You Need it in your Business

Data is becoming more and more important in our dream client’s buyer journey. In a recent study by the Harvard Business Review (HBR), stats showed that 7% of buyers are online only shoppers, 20% were brick and mortar shoppers, and an incredible 73% used multiple platforms before making their buying decision.

When you provide multiple touch points on 4+ channels, you can increase the time your dream clients spend in your “store” by up to 9%. The longer you can keep them in your store, the more you increase the likelihood of them making a purchase of your product or service.

If you want to scale your business in this new age of marketing, you can no longer rely on just one platform to get your message out. You need to create multiple touchpoints in your buyer’s journey to create a positive brand experience.

So, you may be wondering what omnichannel marketing is. Simply put it is utilizing different online mediums to reach your potential clients:

  • Website
  • Social Media
  • Aps
  • Email
  • SMS
  • WhatsApp

Creating a positive experience on all channels is crucial. The HVR’s study shows that 67% of potential buyers will jump ship if they have a negative experience. Once a customer has a bad experience it is really tough to win them back.

The Omnichannel marketing approach reduces friction in the buyer’s journey because you are showing up where your potential customers are looking for you. They feel comfortable with you and your brand because you have visibility and consistency on multiple platforms.

As an example, Starbucks recently added a pre-order ap to reduce the need to stand in line for a cup of coffee. Now their mobile app comprises 29% of their payment transactions. Not only did the ap make the customer experience seamless, it also increased revenue. 

In order to create a positive omnichannel experience for your buyer, you need to know them intimately. That’s why taking the time to build out a comprehensive profile for your dream customer is essential to success. This is where data can help you enhance your understanding of your customer’s pain points and buying habits.

You need to know which social platforms your clients visit regularly to shop, their purchasing habits, the obstacles they have to overcome in the buyer’s journey, what devices they use when they shop, and how they interact with your brand. This data will help you determine how you create your customized shopping experience and solutions to their problems.

Disney is a perfect example. They are known for high touch experiences for their guests. They have built their brand on doing things better than anyone in their industry. Over the years they have been committed to improving the customer experience at their theme parks. By using their website, mobile apps, Magicbrands, and cards, Disney has simplified the process to book their reservations, tickets, and confirm ride times without having to stand in long lines. Their strategy has proven beneficial because they looked at their processes through the eyes of their guests.

You too, can create a streamlined process to take the struggle out of making a purchase or getting customer support by:

  • Plan your buyer’s journey – Customize the experience you want your customers to have with your brand/company. What touchpoints do you need to include? What are your customer’s buying behaviors on all platforms? How can you simplify the process?
  • Use data to guide the process – Data is the most powerful tool in your marketing tool box. Audientum’s Connect™ precision curated audience can help you pinpoint your customer’s behaviors and save you time collecting data via your CRM, social listening, and online research. Audientum can provide more data points and allow you a deeper level of precision when it comes to understanding your customers buying patterns.
  • Segment your audience – Use multiple categories based on common behavior patterns to customize the buyer’s journey for each type of customer in your audience. Understanding where they are in the journey and nurturing them to the finish line will create higher revenue and loyal customers. 
  • Messaging is crucial –  Sending the right message at the right time to the right customer is essential for success. Again, the importance of understanding who your dream customer is, what their buying habits are, and how they engage on each channel will increase your engagement and revenue.
  • Automate for success – There are so many tools to help automate the posting process. See which one works for you to cut down on time needed to maintain visibility on the channels your customers use most.
  • Build your systems around your customers – This is the most important aspect of your strategy. Implement systems that make it easy to do business with you by simplifying processes and using their language.

Let’s cut through some confusion surrounding omnichannel marketing. I hear terms like multichannel and cross-channel marketing used interchangeably in the digital marketing space. While it’s true all three have the same goal in mind, using multiple platforms to reach your customers, there are some slight differences that are worth addressing.

In multichannel marketing all channels work independently to reach your customer. There is no connection between platforms. Cross-channel marketing connects selected platforms to share your messaging. Omnichannel strategy is more sophisticated in its approach to harmonize your interactions with your dream customer.

Like any strategy, there are advantages and disadvantages, so you may be asking which one is right for you. Let’s examine the pros and cons of each approach:

Multichannel approach:

  • Uses multiple channel independently
  • It helps raise visibility and grows your reach
  • No cohesiveness or transparency between platforms, can create an inconsistent buyer’s experience – delivers different messaging on each channel
  • Channels work in competition with each other
  • Company centric messaging
  • Incoherent customer experience

Cross-channel approach

  • Uses selected connected channels
  • Communications are recorded and communicated dependently between channels
  • Company/Customer centric based on needs
  • Delivers consistent message across chosen platforms
  • Accessibility and transparency based on channels used
  • Improves engagement
  • Selected channels with in sync with each other synthesizing the customer experience

Omnichannel approach:

  • Uses all channels that are interactively connected
  • Creates harmony and consistency between touchpoints by creating transparency between all channels
  • Customer centric
  • Delivers a consistent and unified message to the customer
  • Easily accessible on all channels
  • Transparent one-on-one personalized communication
  • Creates and easy flow for the customers buying experience

I bet you’re thinking that omnichannel marketing takes a lot of time and cash to implement.  And, you are right, it is an investment. Investing money in the right strategies and tactics in your business is always a smart move. You can guarantee an ROI on your investment by creating consistent messaging through each stage of your buyer’s journey, improving the customer experience by incorporating multiple touchpoints, and delivering continuation in your communications on all channels. And, most importantly, using data to understand your customers needs will allow you to engage with them in the right place, at the right time, with the right message. 

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