What Is Omnichannel Marketing?
This article was contributed by Evaldas of Omnisend.
Omnichannel is one of the hottest trends in digital marketing, and it has shown that it’s not going away anytime soon. Omnichannel strategies allow marketers to create more cohesive experiences and put the customer at the center of their marketing practices.
On the other hand, omnichannel marketing can be confusing, especially if you’re currently using a single-channel or multichannel approach. This article will cover everything you need to know about omnichannel marketing and what makes it so effective.
How Does Omnichannel Marketing Work?
While both multichannel and omnichannel marketing take advantage of more than one platform, only omnichannel marketing leverages information sharing and other solutions to provide touchpoints that respond to customer needs.
In multichannel marketing, each channel is essentially used to communicate the same message to a different audience. Companies with multichannel tactics come up with a campaign strategy and then use their target platforms to distribute content.
In contrast, omnichannel marketing pushes updates on one channel across the others and maintains a profile for each customer. Every interaction is automatically recorded and stored for future reference, and customers can be segmented based on this information.
With omnichannel marketing, your support team will have access to a given customer’s entire history with your brand. A purchase made on your web store will be used to identify cross-selling opportunities the next time they see an ad on Facebook. Everything is built to work together, helping you provide relevant content to the right customers.
Omnichannel marketing gives marketers more tools than ever to craft personalized experiences, so it’s no surprise that it achieves better results than the alternatives. In fact, marketers who use three or more channels see engagement rates of just under 19%, nearly four times higher than single-channel campaigns.
Similarly, omnichannel campaigns result in 250% more purchases than those that use only a single channel. In short, the statistics say that nearly every business should consider implementing omnichannel strategies into their marketing practices.
The most important advantage of omnichannel marketing might be the ability to develop long-term, personalized relationships with each customer. This helps businesses achieve much higher retention rates and build a strong corps audience of loyal customers.
Omnichannel vs. Integrated Marketing
Integrated marketing is another common term that has become more popular over the last few years. The difference between these terms might seem marginal or irrelevant if you’re new to omnichannel approaches, but they actually refer to two distinct ideas that marketers need to separate.
While omnichannel goes beyond multichannel by sharing information across platforms and saving customer data, integrated marketing takes this idea even further. Rather than simply making each channel respond to the others, integrated marketing uses them to create a comprehensive story.
Just as omnichannel marketing is distinguished from multichannel by its focus on the customer, integrated marketing is different from omnichannel because of its more effective use of each platform.
Marketers are just beginning to explore the potential of integrated marketing approaches, so there’s no way to predict how things will change over the next few years. Rather than thinking of it as omnichannel marketing vs. integrated marketing, consider them complementary options that are best applied together.
Getting Started with Omnichannel Marketing
Now that you understand what makes omnichannel marketing so effective, the next step is looking for ways to use these strategies in your own campaigns. While moving to omnichannel might feel overwhelming, you can use these tips for a more seamless transition and to achieve your goals more quickly.
Gather Customer Data
Collecting information about your customers allows you to market to them more effectively, and robust customer profiles are one of the foundations of a strong omnichannel campaign. You should know enough about your customers to understand their shopping experience and write targeted ads.
First, visit your own website and see what it’s like to make a purchase. Look for pain points throughout the process and identify ways to fix them. Searching for products and going through checkout should be simple for customers on both computers and mobile devices.
You can also get more information simply by asking your customers directly. Many businesses increase completion rates on surveys and feedback forms by offering discounts and other incentives.
For example, reach out on social media to get feedback easily. In fact, there are free social media tools that make the process of gathering data from your customers engaging and easy.
Once you have enough customer data, you can start utilizing it for deeper personalization. Audience groups could be based on anything from gender and age to purchase history and channel preferences. Experiment with different combinations and see what leads to the most conversions.
A/B testing is almost always a good idea in digital marketing, and it can be even more valuable for omnichannel. Since messaging is created for each segment of your audience, you have that many more opportunities for A/B testing.
Example of A/B testing an element of an email campaign
Over time, you’ll identify the strategies that resonate most effectively with different audience groups. Remember that there’s always room for growth in digital marketing, even if you think you’re already achieving satisfactory results.
Focus on Cooperation
Omnichannel marketing is all about a cohesive experience, so it’s important that everyone in your business buys into the approach. Companies that don’t have strong communication at all levels typically struggle more with omnichannel strategies.
If each team is working on its own, your campaign will likely end up feeling less like omnichannel and more like the more conventional multichannel. More open cooperation across teams and departments allows for more efficient information sharing and leads to a better customer experience.
Businesses are using more channels than ever before, and customers have come to expect a seamless shopping experience from their favorite brands. If you’re not already using omnichannel tactics in your marketing campaigns, you’re falling behind the competition.
These tips will help you get started with omnichannel marketing, but optimizing your strategies isn’t an overnight process. You should constantly evaluate and analyze your marketing results to figure out what’s working and what you need to improve. With a little time, you’ll be building omnichannel marketing campaigns that drive more sales and connect more personally with your customers.
This article was contributed by Evaldas of Omnisend.