Just when you thought you were getting a handle on social media, an all-new, holistic marketing trend is about to rock your world. Say hello to omni-channel marketing.
You probably already understand the basic concept of multi-channel marketing. Now, just think of omni-channel marketing as upgrading your multi-channel customer experience so that the channels blur from one to each other. Add in an element of customization and you’re on your way to changing the way you think about marketing.
When you think about it, it was only a matter of time. Our ability to acquire data and understand our customers down to a highly personal level affords us the power to understand how each of our customers likes to shop, how they want to interact with brands and where the most likely places are that we can engage them. Knowing all that, the line between channels has to blur and the overall customer experience becomes paramount. Omni-channel is about not only being in all the right places and channels, but it takes this position to the next level and requires that your integrated touchpoints become customized, optimized and ultimately—super smart.
For many marketers, multi-channel marketing alone continues to be a challenge. After all, ensuring that your brand reaches potential and existing customers on every channel takes some work. Doing so in a way that’s customized and optimized for each medium takes significant planning, a smart digital strategy, and strong execution.
Become BFFs With Your IT Department
Go ahead and profile a typical customer for a minute. Say, our girl Jane first stopped in one of your retail stores, then she saw a direct mail piece, then repinned one of your photos on Pinterest, which led her to adding one of your social apps. That’s quite a handful of touchpoints. Now how are you supposed to link all of them together? The answer lies in how you collect and report the data. Consumer awareness and seamlessness among channels are only made possible by having an infrastructure that can build a sophisticated consumer profile. Then you have the daunting task of nurturing that data at every step of a consumer’s engagement with your brand.
Realize That Loyalty Is Part of the Equation
When looking through an omni-channel lens, you begin to realize that it is not about a response rate — it’s about customer experience. It is the sum of all of those experiences that results in purchases, loyalty and long-term advocacy. It’s the furthest thing from old-school advertising when you would send a direct mail piece, get X percent return rate and call your job was done. Technology and social mediachannels have made it possible for us to craft a far more individualized experience for our customers with timely, relevant content pushed out at the right time through the right channel.