Marketing is nothing new; it has been around for as long as man has been selling goods and services. Umbricius Scauras, for example, was a fish sauce (also known as garum) producer in Pompeii around 35 B.C. Images of amphora displaying his personal brand and quality promises were incorporated into mosaic patterns in his house's atrium.
What is new is how we market today. It is a mistake to think, however, that the realm of marketing has transferred entirely to the digital world. Rather, experts in marketing have been striving to combine the best of digital advertising with consistent in-store service in a process known as omnichannel marketing. The idea is that one physical or the digital realm will be as seamless as shopping in another and can be integrated together.
Omnichannel marketing aims to bring together and collaborate the various channels that organizations use to connect with clients in order to create a consistent brand experience. This encompasses both physical (such as stores) and digital (such as websites). An omnichannel marketing approach aims to provide consumers with a pleasant, seamless user experience that includes a variety of fulfillment options. An omnichannel approach may allow customers to shop online, in-store, or a combination of the two, such as "buy online and pick up in store." The client experience is more than simply one channel. It exists in more than one gadget. It even survives past one stage of the customer's purchase funnel. Customers switch between their smartphones, laptops, tablets, and now large-screen devices. They might only spend one minute on Google and an hour on Facebook. They might then go to a third-party website like The New York Times to read a news piece.
Omnichannel marketing is a consumer-centric approach to marketing that understands this. From social media to customer care hotlines, consumers may now communicate and interact with brands in a variety of ways, and an omnichannel approach guarantees that the consumer has a positive, consistent experience across all channels by offering a few key elements, which include the following.
A Consistent and Recognizable Brand
Interest Focused Messages Based on Your Industry
Content Focused n Previous Connection with the Buyer and Their Stage of the Consumer Journey
At first glance, it can be easy to confuse omnichannel marketing with multichannel marketing, but they are not, in fact, one and the same. Omnichannel focuses on the finer points of your digital channels to bring them together. Customers enjoy and acknowledge this oneness. Multichannel marketing, on the other hand, focuses on running campaigns across several channels, although those channels don't necessarily communicate with one another. The creative for one channel does not match the creative for another channel. For example, you only create Google AdWords campaigns that allow you to contact people, but you don't retarget those same people on Facebook, Instagram, or even YouTube.
Remember what we said earlier about users switching back and forth between platforms? Consumers today begin their shopping journey on one device and end it on another or begin online and complete the transaction in-store and vice versa. Products are merely a few taps, steps, or miles away, thanks to an expanding assortment of current technology forms and retail accessibility. Purchase behavior is no longer dictated by the digital channel, device, or distance. The modern shopper is at ease searching and purchasing in a multitude of media and locations.
The customer is at the center of all omnichannel marketing strategies, as they should be. The concentration is on the customer's demands, sending them a personalized experience in a cohesive, seamless manner not seen in multichannel marketing. This enables brands to reach out to customers several times without causing ad fatigue.
What Omnichannel Marketing Can Do for Your Business
Improve User Experience
The customer experience (CX) is improved because an omnichannel approach focuses on the individual experience across multiple devices rather than a single channel. Focusing on the customer rather than the platform might help businesses enhance sales and retention rates.
Maximize Your Revenue
Customers are encouraged to interact with a brand across numerous touchpoints and channels when using an omnichannel strategy. Customers that interact with many touchpoints offer up to 30% more value to your business. This more focused messaging also fosters loyalty, increasing the likelihood that a customer will return to your brand. Despite making up a smaller fraction of your customer base, repeat customers account for up to 40% of a company's revenue on average.
Cohesive Brand Identity and Culture
Developing a consistent strategy across channels entails creating a unique brand image and tone. This image should be based on the target audience's demands and ideals. If you focus on the entire experience and work within your brand rules to target each channel, you'll have a more holistic brand strategy that converts to stronger loyalty and more focused messages.
Data collection and analysis are improved with omnichannel marketing. When you focus on one channel, you have fewer opportunities to acquire information and data about your consumers' journey before they make a purchase. Finally, once they make a purchase, you will be given further information about their journey. You may gain a 360 perspective across numerous channels and use that insight to inform and convey data to your employees instead of dealing with customer data across different channels.
Mitigate Risks and Make Changes on the Dime
When you start with a few channels, you may spread your marketing spending around a little further and then reallocate based on whatever channels are generating the most conversions and revenue for your company. You won't start a campaign with only five keywords, as you wouldn't with Google AdWords. Because you don't know which ones will yield results, you target several more. Omnichannel marketing follows the same logic. When you're solely focused on one channel, pivoting your marketing spending is difficult. You're in a horrible position if Facebook is your sole solution for advertising and your ads do not perform. When you start with many channels, though, you can use the data from all of them to pivot much faster and scale to the channels that are most profitable for your company.
Getting Started with Omnichannel Marketing
Now that you have a basic understanding of what omnichannel marketing is, you may be wondering the best way to get started. At 7Social Agency, we’re here to help you.
Data is King
This is a rule of thumb when it comes to marketing and drives everything you do to market your business from start to finish, so it should be no surprise that omnichannel marketing starts the same way. Start by collecting data from your customers.
The adoption of an omnichannel strategy requires accurate and timely data about your customers. This information can help you figure out when and on what devices your target audience wants to interact with businesses, what type of messaging they prefer to engage with, what items and features they want, and so on. An omnichannel approach will be driven by this information. Brands must have the tools in place to successfully acquire this data across online and offline channels. A good strategy is to use Unified Marketing Measurement (UMM), an attribution model that combines multi-touch attribution's person-level data with media mix modeling's previous aggregate measures.
Unified Marketing Measurement entails combining two of the most crucial aspects of marketing research. This refers to Multi-Touch Attribution and Media or Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) (MTA). In case you didn't know, UMM stands for Unified Marketing Impact Analytics (UMIA). The purpose of UMM is not to use MMM and MTA at the same time. Rather, the goal is to develop a standardized strategy for assessing the marketing performance. Even better, it's about providing marketers with a comprehensive picture based on consistent data so that they can get closer to the so-called marketing truth. In practice, this means that the aggregated data from Marketing Mix Modeling must be blended with the user-level data from Multi-Touch Attribution when using UMM.
Marketers must devise a plan for implementing UMM using a single analytics platform.
This will necessitate the following actions to be performed.
● Performing a data audit
● Getting your team certified in the UMM software
● Increasing the frequency with which you examine metrics for in-campaign improvements
● Choosing appropriate models and data to feed into the UMM platform
● Using "test and learn" to help with continuous learning
Keep in mind that gathering data is merely the first step. It is pointless to gather data without staff and a platform that can turn all of this huge data into useful insights. Brands must implement an analytics platform that can distill all of this data in near real-time, allowing teams to course-correct campaigns in real-time to suit customer expectations. This entails using a strategy like Unified Marketing Measurement consistently throughout your marketing campaign.
Map Out Your Customer’s Shopping Journey
Your business should construct customer journey maps for each of their audience segments before starting an omnichannel campaign. A customer journey map is a basic concept: it's a graphic that depicts the stages your customers take when they interact with your organization, whether it's through a product, an online experience, a retail experience, a service, or any combination of these. A map becomes more sophisticated — but important — as the number of touchpoints increases. Customer journey maps are sometimes "cradle to grave," looking at the complete engagement arc. The customer journey map assesses the actions taken by a customer, from discovering the business to purchasing from it. While designing these maps, individual preferences, user experience, interface, and factors beyond the brand's control that may influence the path to buy, such as economic factors, are all considered.
Branding is Key
Your brand is your identity. Consistently branding keeps your brand at the forefront of the customer’s thoughts. It's critical for businesses to have a brand identity that includes defined messaging and creative standards. To help enhance brand exposure and recognition through a consistent message, these rules should be followed across all mediums. Brand tracking technologies that may assist, measure, and anticipate their brand's health in the consumer's mind are another method that businesses can help enable an omnichannel experience.
Consumers today do not regard their contact with a brand across several platforms as separate experiences. Instead, each interaction is just one step in a single journey, whether on the web, in an app, or in a store. As a result, businesses that approach each channel as if it were their own entity are missing the mark with their customers.
Customers frequently start their journey on one device and complete it on another. Many businesses, however, are having difficulty addressing this aspect of the consumer experience because it is impossible to account for all cross-device interactions. Failure to account for this shift in trends could have a significant impact on your bottom line and efforts to optimize media spending. No matter what device or channel is used, the experience should feel as if it is on brand, flowing seamlessly from one form to another. Retailers must guarantee that information and resources are consistent across digital and physical touchpoints or risk losing customers to competitors that do."
This is important to remember because clients who visit your site on numerous devices tend to be better customers who spend three to four times more than customers who interact with only one singular channel. Regardless of platform, brands must maintain a consistent identity across channels with messaging that resonates with customers or risk losing that edge.
A brand tracker is an internet application that examines your brand's success and assists you in determining what interests your target audience. A brand tracker provides information that can help you improve your ROI and brand perception.
Choose Your Channels
Now comes the exciting part. Choose the digital channels where you want your advertising to appear. As you construct your media plan, consider the low, mid, and high cost online and offline marketing channels and start to apply your intuition to determine which ones will yield the most results. Most of these channels are familiar to companies and businesses trying to create an omnichannel marketing strategy but knowing where they fit into the marketing funnel (top – awareness, middle – consideration, bottom – decision) will help you decide how to allocate your first expenditure levels effectively.
Below you will find some examples of channels you may choose from.
● Email Marketing
● Paid Search Engine Promotions
● Programmatic Display
● YouTube Videos
You must not overlook the traditional offline channels, which can also help with top-of-funnel awareness building. These methods are frequently used by brands to move individuals through the purchasing funnel. The goal is to use data and audience intelligence to target the correct clients who are more likely to buy from you. Knowing where your audience hangs out, having excellent creativity and messaging, timing, and money allocation are all important factors in offline media buying. As long as those principles are followed, your offline purchasing can support the omnichannel approach you intend to implement and link to your online marketing activities. You will find some examples of offline channels below.
● Direct Mail Campaigns
● Print (Newspaper, Magazines)
Integrate Brick and Mortar with the Digital
Many people shop online and then pick up their products in a store. This could be to prevent having to look for things in stores or to avoid having to pay for delivery. Shoppers today want their online experience to be seamlessly connected with their in-store experience. Almost 70% of online consumers in the United States expect a notification that their item is ready within two hours of placing it. Retailers such as Kohl's offer designated parking spaces for customers picking up online items. This trend became even more popular at the start of the pandemic and is used by both retailers and restaurants with increasing frequency.
The process of omnichannel will never truly end if done effectively. It examines your strategy, your creativity, your budgeting, your campaign setup, your conversion and website tracking/tagging, and your dashboard/reporting. This will allow you to optimize and monitor performance across all of your channels while also reallocating the budget on a monthly basis. Just because your bottom-of-funnel strategies are generating the most conversions, this does not indicate that you should stop or pull back on your middle-to-top-of-funnel efforts indefinitely. Brand memory and effect are equally as important.
An omnichannel marketing approach allows teams to meet their customers where they are with the correct message at the right time. Organizations can provide a unified customer experience with omnichannel marketing by acknowledging earlier touch points along the consumer journey. This not only increases consumer brand recognition, but also increases engagement, ROI, and sales, as well as customer retention and loyalty.