Due to technological advancements and the proliferation of new communication channels, digital marketing has evolved, with many of the most innovative brands focusing on providing their leads and customers with a unified and cohesive user experience.
Two recent terminologies that have entered the digital marketing lexicon are omnichannel marketing and multichannel marketing. First introduced to the marketing world in 2010, omnichannel marketing aims to guide the consumer’s shopping experience across multiple channels.
Omnichannel marketing also integrates all available channels to provide a seamless shopping experience, boosting engagement and convenience throughout the buyer’s journey. This journey is continuous and seamless because the various consumer touch-points are fully optimized and synchronized with the brand’s other channels, both online and offline.
Providing a Consistent Brand Experience
According to Google, 90% of multiple device owners switch their devices an average of three times per day to complete a task. In the world of sales, this is reflected through a non-linear path to purchase. Modern-day consumers go through the same stages when procuring a product or service, though they may not necessarily follow the traditional order of the process as described by the marketing funnel.
To accommodate this change in consumer behavior, omnichannel marketing integrates multiple platforms to attract and maintain the attention of its target audience. This means social media sites, virtual catalogs, mobile apps, physical channels, and other forms of engagement need to display consistent messaging, promotions, and language so that buyers can continue their interactions with the brand as they switch devices or forms of communication.
Omnichannel Marketing vs. Multichannel Marketing
Despite sharing a handful of similarities, omnichannel and multichannel marketing are two very different strategies. Companies that engage in multichannel marketing interact with their customers through a variety of channels, both direct and indirect, in order to sell them products and services.
In other words, multichannel marketing is the simultaneous utilization of multiple engagement channels—such as print ads, websites, mobile apps, and social media—to drive engagement and sales. On the surface, multichannel marketing hardly seems to differ from omnichannel marketing. However, when their individual goals are examined, the distinctions become more apparent.
Whereas omnichannel marketing prioritizes giving users a holistic shopping experience, multichannel marketing is focused simply on getting as many customer engagements as possible across different channels. For this reason, it doesn’t necessarily concern itself with how its different promotional materials work in relation to each other, often resulting in disjointed user experiences.
On the other hand, omnichannel marketing meticulously tailors all of its avenues to give consumers an organic path to purchase. From virtual platforms to physical setups, every element in an omnichannel system works together to ensure that customers are seamlessly directed to fulfill their transactions.
How Does Omnichannel Work?
The main thing to remember about omnichannel marketing is that it requires all of its mediums to be integrated and responsive to the demands of the consumer. To do this, both digital and live interactions are optimized to react to consumers at the appropriate time.
Consider the following scenario: A customer browsed through your website using his laptop and added items to his cart. Unfortunately, he forgot to fill out his payment details as he rushed to get to work. Later that day, he gets an email notification on his phone about his unfinished purchase with a link to the mobile site. Upon clicking the link, the customer is directed to the checkout menu to review his cart and choose his preferred mode of payment.
Since he is already out of the house, he decides to avail of an in-store pick-up method and pay in cash. Inside the physical shop, he presents a screenshot on his phone to a sales clerk and is swiftly guided to pay and claim his purchases.
The above example illustrates how an effective omnichannel marketing strategy is carried out: Every mode of engagement is interconnected and designed with the convenience of users in mind. In turn, customers get to interact with the brand effortlessly and are fed a consistent, unified message across all promotional platforms.
What are Omnichannel’s Advantages?
If implemented correctly, omnichannel marketing gives your business a myriad of benefits, including a higher customer retention rate. This trend may be attributed to the fact that the majority of millennials are looking for a consistent brand experience regardless of the channel they’re using. An increase in revenue is also expected as shoppers tend to spend 4% more in-store and 10% more online when they’re able to seamlessly interact with a brand through multiple channels
Apart from establishing loyalty, the nature of omnichannel marketing gives you access to a vast amount of data. As such, you get to ground succeeding business decisions on a comprehensive set of information about your consumers’ behaviors and motivations. This gives you an opportunity to craft personalized offers and more targeted approaches to increase appeal and long-term profit.
Tips to Launching a Successful Omnichannel Campaign
1. Be consumer-centric
Your omnichannel marketing campaign needs to take into account your consumer’s circumstances and should always be optimized to ensure their convenience. Gather as much data as you can about your target demographic and constantly work to make their interactions with your brand as effortless as possible.
Moreover, be quick to adapt to their preferences and adjust your tone and messaging so that it resonates with them. This includes being open to revising your content, redesigning your web properties, and even overhauling your brand.
2. Choose the right marketing channels
Merely making your presence felt on multiple channels is not enough. Integration is essential to a seamless user experience and is what sets omnichannel marketing apart from other digital marketing strategies. This is why it’s important for you to choose your channels carefully and avoid expanding into the wrong ones.
Not only does utilizing too many platforms make brand management difficult, but non-optimized routes can be distracting and lead to attrition. A useful tip would be to assess the appropriateness of a channel based on what type of product or service you offer, as well as your target market.
3. Ensure that you’re working with a coordinated team
In order to successfully provide a consistent and coherent message, it is imperative that everyone in your team is on the same page. Train your employees to work in accordance with your vision and ensure that you have a robust organizational structure before employing an omnichannel strategy.
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