Gone are the days when the customer journey involved people simply walking into a shop, them seeing something they like and purchasing it on the spot. Nowadays, the customer journey is more of a mountain bike trail ride rather than a road race, and there are a whole lot more ups, downs and gravel than there are straight stretches and smooth riding. This is because customers generally use a multitude of different channels in their buying cycle, with more and more channels being added all the time.
The seemingly endless options for customers to take advantage of when it comes to buying your products has made it necessary for businesses to evolve and adapt their strategies in order to create a complete and consistent customer experience across all of these channels. This is what we call “omni-channel marketing”.
What is the difference between single, multi, cross and omni-channel marketing?
First things first you have to understand the difference between the various marketing channels to start implementing your own successful omni-channel marketing campaign for your business.
- Single channel marketing: Marketing that incorporates only a single touch point for both customer and retailer, such as a physical store.
- Multi-channel marketing: Multi-channel marketing sees the customer experiencing a number of different platforms and touchpoints that act independently of each other. Retailers are aware of the different channels and touchpoints but don’t incorporate them into one unit.
- Cross-channel marketing: The customer experiences different touchpoints and sees them as part of the same company/brand. Retails operate all channels and touchpoints collectively but in their own funnels.
- Omni-channel marketing: Customers experience the brand as a whole rather than a channel/touchpoint within the brand. Retailers have a ‘single view’ of the customer and use all channel collectively and consistently within their brand to unify and improve the customer’s experience.
Why you need to and how you can implement omni-channel marketing in your company
In order to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing and to provide a high quality, consistent user experience across all channels and platforms – you will have to start implementing omni-channel marketing into your business.
Here’s how to begin implementing the process into your company:
Regularly review customer experience first-hand
The only way to truly know what your customers’ experience is, is to test it out first-hand. Use internal and external testers to browse, select and purchase your products from different channels – use support, ask questions and make changes – just to get the real feel on what your customers are going through. If your experience is anything less than enjoyable then you need to work on it.
Data is your best friend
Marketing strategies nowadays are largely reliant on data, and without a proper data capturing strategy, your marketing is simply not going to be effective. Data is necessary not just to track what and how your customers are going about purchasing your products, but the results also allow you to deliver personalized messages through the correct channels to get the best outcome. Customer data can be combined with the customer insights to send messages that are not just relevant but that also offer value to your clients.
A hugely important aspect of omni-channel marketing is to get a single view of the customer, it is also one of the most difficult things to get completely right. Use the data that you collected previously to complete comprehensive person profiles for your customers that allows you to target the right people, with the right information, at the right time and through the most relevant channels in order to maximize their enjoyment of the customer journey.
Personalized messages and content based on past behavior
The whole theory behind an inbound marketing approach is to use personalised content to create messages that are relevant and add value to a client’s journey. Omni-channel marketing gives you the opportunity to use data and insights to create content and messages that will inspire and delight your customers. If you own a tech company and a customer purchases an Ipad in store, follow up this sale with an email giving them the best options on Ipad covers and other accessories that will compliment their purchase.
Use the customer’s preferred channel
The buyer’s journey incorporates a number of different channels and devices and thus it’s important to keep a consistent journey throughout all the various options. Something that has been put in a shopping cart on a smartphone, should still be there when the customer changes to a laptop or computer. Communication should also be done through whichever channel your customer prefers, from social media and email to video chats or phone calls.
If you need more inspiration and ideas to get you going full steam ahead with your company’s omni-channel marketing strategy, have a look at these 7 inspiring examples from Hubspot.
At Rise + Shine we work with a variety of companies to get the best out of their inbound marketing campaigns by creating and implementing effective lead nurturing and generation strategies. If you would like to know more about inbound marketing and lead generation,