Business practices and marketing strategies evolve in parallel with the advancements in technology. Now, everything is just one click away.
That is the essence of omnichannel marketing, and whether you realize it or not, omnichannel marketing is all around you.
Omnichannel marketing has the potential to cultivate two-fold success. First, it can be utilized to expand your online reach to grow your customer base. Second, when done properly, it will nurture current clientele, to boost sales and customer retention. Omnichannel marketing increases purchase frequency by 250% and has also shown a 90% increase in overall customer retention.
What is omnichannel marketing?
Omnichannel marketing is the process of establishing your brand’s presence across many online (social media, mobile advertising, e-commerce websites) and offline (print-based advertisements, mails, storefront, billboards, physical interactions) channels. It is important that the brand maintains consistent messaging across all platforms, as well as a favorable, seamless customer experience.
Omnichannel business strategies allow those with brick-and-mortar locations to combine and enrich both digital and traditional marketing efforts. When brands create an omnichannel approach, they also open themselves to new avenues for customer service and advertising.
The difference between omnichannel marketing and multichannel marketing
While both omnichannel and multichannel are based on the idea of engaging customers across multiple platforms, they are not interchangeable. A multichannel approach looks at the specific medium and how the transaction will be completed there. Alternatively, omnichannel strategies deliver a customer journey that spans multiple avenues and examines how to provide the best experience as consumers move between them.
Multichannel marketing is a strategy that employs multiple methods to communicate with your target audience in a variety of ways and can include the following:
- Text messages (SMS)
- Email marketing
- App for Android or iOS phones/tablets
- Social media
- Search engine marketing
- Paid search advertising
In multichannel marketing, these platforms are all used independently from one another. All channels are simply a means of communication, and they’re treated as separate entities altogether.
Omnichannel marketing also utilizes multiple marketing channels; however, what distinguishes omnichannel marketing is that each of the channels employed in this strategy is linked together in a holistic user-centric structure. Omnichannel marketing strategies place the customer journey at the center of marketing practices, with the goal of providing the same experience across multiple channels.
7 Steps to Create a Winning Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
The consumer journey has become more intricate as the number of marketing tools available has increased. “Building an omnichannel marketing plan that will engage customers at all touchpoints, will create a seamless flow between all channels in your arsenal,” says I Putu Arka, Co-founder and lead software engineer at Geonet. “Failing to plan means planning to fail.”
1. Accept a Customer-Centric Marketing Culture
Begin by creating a journey map and evaluating all of the touchpoints that a buyer meets before becoming a customer to verify that all points deliver a consistent customer experience.
Lily Jean, a Geonet client, is a slow fashion women’s wear label based in Bali. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the elegant resort wear brand flourished solely through the retail stores and a luxury shopping experience for the island tourists. The pandemic forced the closure of stores, and for survival, Lily Jean launched their online store. As a luxury brand, it was imperative that Lily Jean recreate a fluid, stress-free and trustworthy shopping experience.
Along the customer online journey, seasonal ad campaigns and fresh content engage new and loyal customers, through social media, email newsletters, and website updates. Additionally, the absence of in-store associates elevates the need for stellar online customer service, to build consumer confidence and trust. As a result, the brand allowed for free returns and free shipping, and secure online transactions.
Integrating these experiences together helps to provide a full picture of a customer’s journey while also adding value and simplicity to their interactions. After building and launching ad campaigns, and monitoring steady growth and success, Lily Jean reached an ROI for online sales of 1:8 ($ ad spend : $ sales).
2. Understand Your Customers
Marketing teams must have a thorough understanding of their clients. This entails creating buyer personas and identifying target audiences based on their desires, needs, behaviors, demographics, interests, and goals.
Brands can evaluate and uncover trends in buyer preferences using accessible first-party data. Using the appropriate tools to collect, evaluate, and store this data will be beneficial. It becomes much easier to offer relevant marketing if you know who your consumers are.
Facebook business pages can be used to target high-potential consumers among the site’s 2.74 billion members. The targeting functionalities are elevated by allowing businesses to display their ads exactly where potential buyers are.
Geotargeting is the practice of delivering content to a consumer, via mobile or web, using geographic location. At a basic level, a business can restrict its reach to consumers only located in a defined geographic area such as a state or a city. But taken a step further, geotargeting to a specific building location provides much deeper, more meaningful, and identifiable traits of the target audience.
Geonet used geotargeting to help Fresh Faces Cosmetic Medicine in Perth attract new clients for their body contouring treatments. Geonet created geo-zones on gyms, yoga studios, and health clubs, knowing these locations are frequented by individuals who are interested in personal health and fitness, and potentially body contouring. When walking into those geo-zones, the individuals then received the ads from Fresh Faces Cosmetic Medicine. With geotargeting, you can create highly effective campaigns for precision-targeted audiences.
3. Implement the Right Tools in Your Marketing Technology Stack
A marketing technology (MarTech) stack is the collection of technologies that marketers use to optimize and augment their marketing processes throughout the customer lifecycle. Marketing technologies are used to streamline internal collaboration, analyze the performance of marketing campaigns, and conduct personalized and proactive communication with customers.
After you have collected the essential customer characteristics, you need to identify the right tools and applications to connect with them. “The tools and software should be able to support the whole buyer’s experience,” says Arka. MarTech that Arka recommends and the Geonet utilizes are as follows:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software (Pipedrive, HubSpot, Salesforce)
- Fully Integrated Customer Engagement Platform (Zendesk, Freshdesk, Helpscout)
- Marketing Automation Tools (Zapier, Adzooma, Marketo)
- Social Media Management Solutions (Later, Hootsuite, Mailchimp)
- Data Analytics Tools (Google Analytics, Ahrefs, Tableau, Whatagraph)
4. Segment Your Target Audience
Customer segmentation is at the heart of effective marketing. If not carried out with enough detail, companies run the risk of becoming too broad in their targeting and turning potential customers away. The most commonly used customer segments are as follows:
- Demographic: These describe the outward-facing attributes of a person. For example, their age, gender, or marital status.
- Behavioral: These tell you the actions they take. This could be their online shopping habits, the social media sites they visit, or what devices they use.
- Psychographic: These give you clues into their wider perceptions, interests, and mindsets. Psychographic segmentation factors are slightly more difficult to identify than demographics because they are subjective. They are not data-focused and require research to uncover and understand.
- Geographics: These explain where your target market is located. This can be as expansive or narrow as you like, from continent to zip code.
This is when you start putting your plans into action after building the groundwork in the previous four phases. Personalization plays a vital role in developing an omnichannel marketing strategy since it is what makes customers feel valued.
- Macro – The scope of macro personalization is wide, identifying outlying factors that affect customer needs and wants. It is a vital step in identifying market segments, developing new products, and choosing your target market. This can include items such as current events, seasons, and population or demographic changes. For example, real estate agents recognize shifts in specific age ranges will dictate the property types. An increasing population of 25-to-34-year olds will demand luxury apartments with modern amenities, while areas with a growing retired population will see a heightened need for assisted living facilities. Brands can personalize for target audiences by studying data and trends, such as keyword research and search volume, market research and relevant news articles, the “trending” subjects and hashtags on social media, as well as regular competitor analysis. Macro personalization and understanding your audience eliminates the assumptions and guesswork for predicting behaviors and needs.
- Micro – Micro personalization is understanding your customer on a 1-on-1 level, which builds loyalty and client retention. Businesses that excel in personalization are able to anticipate, or even schedule, when a client will need to purchase or services. A very clear example of this is beauty salons, reaching out to regular clients for booking touch-ups or services on a timely basis. Consumer brands are also consistently promoting new features and products to their loyal fan bases, knowing what they have purchased in the past. Facebook uses micro personalization to build a Look-alike audience that helps you find clients who behave like your best converting customers. First, Facebook algorithms analyze the profiles of people who previously purchased your product or engaged with your paid ads, and then the platform searches other databases for new audience groups (look-alikes) that have a set of characteristics with your current clientele.
6. Develop That Personalized Experience Throughout All Platforms
This is where the “Omni” in omnichannel comes in. You must be present on the channels where your consumers spend the majority of their time and develop touchpoints that will better serve your buyers to deliver a consistent customer experience.
For example, Vision Body Australia launched an omnichannel marketing strategy to market their wireless EMS power bodysuit, first creating relatable content for market demands for maximizing at-home workouts during the Covid-19 pandemic. The power bodysuits carry a price tag of AUD 2,800, so not only must the content engage interest with buyers, but the entire customer journey must be tailored for personal goals, as well as a seamless experience from interest to purchase.
Their omnichannel marketing strategy continues to the “cart” phase. This is where a customer shows intent to purchase by adding an item to their cart. At this stage, employing an omnichannel marketing strategy entails completing the entire buying process as well as expanding customer options. If a customer ends up with an abandoned cart, the retargeting ads will bring them back to the website and complete the purchase.
But, omnichannel marketing does not stop there. After the purchase, Vision Body engages in continued customer support as well as updated information on trends and fitness. Their clients are loyal followers and brand ambassadors.
7. Measure and Optimize
Finally, after your framework has been set up and your omnichannel marketing campaign is underway, you must continuously monitor, measure, and optimize. This phase enables the marketing team to determine ways to enhance campaign spend, hone in on key messaging, improve creative ads, advance your targeting. Your omnichannel marketing strategy will improve and evolve over time as you collect and analyze more customer data. Regular monitoring will allow you to know where you’re succeeding, as well as how to forecast and plan your marketing spend. A finely tuned omnichannel marketing strategy builds ROI and delivers by growing your customer database and cultivating sales through client retention.
Connecting all customer experiences in a seamless, consistent, and effortless way is no easy undertaking. Omnichannel makes this possible by letting multiple channels that already exist work with each other to help the customer improve their own experience. And when customer satisfaction improves, word spreads rapidly among friends, family, and social media, encouraging people who were previously unaware of these opportunities to contact your business.