What is Omni-Channel Marketing?
Omni-Channel marketing, simply stated, is a marketing method that uses multiple marketing channels to communicate a customer-focused integrated marketing experience with coordinated messaging across multiple marketing channels.
The goal is to connect with the consumer, whether they receive a direct mailer, are online, or visit a brick and mortar retail store location with a consistent message or promotion. Everything should compliment each other.
However, it goes even deeper – to your products and services, your staff, and how you present your business to the market. A true omni-channel marketing campaign has the consumer’s entire experience in consideration, delivering a cohesive journey from initial search to post-purchase.
An example of a omni-channel campaign would be launching an promotional event or a sale that features a consistent message on a direct mail piece, signage, online advertising channels and even other media. You would then staff your event appropriately to prepare for the influx of additional traffic and train them appropriately. You’ll want to ensure everyone in the organization that deals with the customer’s buying journey is on the same page. That’s omni-channel marketing.
Getting started with omni-channel marketing
How do customers find your products and services? Do you they purchase online or go to your store? If they purchase online, do they purchase on mobile or desktop? These are just some of the factors to be considered when putting together an omni-channel marketing campaign. Organization-wide, everyone should be on the same page regarding the consumer’s buying experience. An omni-channel marketing experience comes by putting the consumer first and examining the entire journey of the customer.
However, the key to successful omni-channel marketing is using good data and understanding your custom audience- their wants, their needs and how they want to do business. The deeper you can understand your customer and prospects, the more likely they are to interact with your brand. Collecting data about your customers is only one small part of omni-channel marketing – you must also analyze the data and use it to connect with your customers in a meaningful and effective way. Using the data you’ve collected, you can reach them across multiple devices and platforms with a cohesive message that they will almost certain respond to.
Additionally, as omni-channel marketing uses multiple marketing channels, you’ll want to make sure that all of them are integrated and that the customer experience is seamless when the user switches devices or platforms. According to Instapage, 90% of multiple device owners switch between an average of three per day to complete a task. Consistency in the messaging improves awareness and engagement. Landing pages and websites must be responsive and load quickly to accommodate the growing mobile device trend, especially when users leave their desktop.
What’s the difference between omni-channel marketing and multi-channel marketing?
Multi-channel marketing is the ability to market toward consumers through multiple marketing channels: printed media, digital and social media, word-of-mouth and more. The biggest difference between the multi-channel and omni-channel is that omni-channel marketing provides a seamless, integrated experience throughout multiple channels while multi-channel marketing distributes to as many channels as possible, usually with a message specific to that marketing channel.
Multi-channel marketing, which most businesses currently use, is not as effective as omni-channel marketing, largely due to the fact that the customer isn’t the focus, the channel is. With consumers spanning multiple devices when making purchases these days, it pays to be customer focused with an integrated shopping experience.
Finally, it takes more effort and is more time consuming to manage multi-channel marketing as opposed to omni-channel marketing. Why? Think about it – with multi-channel marketing, you’re actually managing the campaigns on all the different channels your business utilizes – print, web, social, brick-and-mortar – that’s a lot. With omni-channel, you’re managing one campaign over the different channels your business uses, ultimately occupying less of your time and communicating a unified message.
How can an omni-channel marketing strategy benefit your business?
The answer is increased campaign control, personalization, impressions, and ROI!
It’s actually pretty clear – omni-channel marketing offers a more personalized marketing experience for your customers with less effort, less waste and more ROI. This is particularly powerful when launching a time-sensitive promotion, sale, or weekend event. You’re able to boost the marketing effort while specifically targeting your audience across multiple channels without interfering with your typical marketing programs.
If you’re currently using a multi-channel approach, however, don’t feel bad. You’re not alone. In fact, utilizing all of your marketing channels is better than shorting yourself and your business by only using some of them. It takes an average of seven touches before a consumer will make a purchase or try a new product. Hitting them with the same marketing message, multiple times can only increase the likelihood that that consumer will purchase your product or service.
So now you know that there’s a better, smarter way to market across all of your marketing channels and it all begins with a deep understanding of your customers.
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