Of all the current buzzwords, the ones gaining notable traction currently are omni channel marketing and omnichannel experiences.
This is sometimes brushed off as an invention by consultants, giving them something to validate their existence, but it’s worth considering there might be more to it.
Recent statistics by the Nielsen Total Audience Report, indicate that an increasing amount of adults from the US are actively engaging content, simultaneously, on multiple platforms and devices.
Of those that responded to the survey, 45% stated they often have a second device that they are on whilst watching TV. Shrewd marketers would know they can use this to their advantage.
What is Omini channel Marketing?
Simply put, omni channel marketing means that your brand has a presence across multiple online (social media, email, website, APP, SMS, WhatsApp) & offline (retail store, events, call-center) channels and you offer a seamless user experience across these channels.
According to Forbes, the value of mobile commerce is expected to grow by 37% by the year 2018. Google suggests that 90% of users switch between screens to complete tasks, using an average of three different combinations every day.
All of these indicate that omni channel marketing is not a luxury, but a necessity for brands in today’s digitally connected world.
Brands must break down online and offline silos to meet customer expectations.
A durable and compelling campaign has the power to amplify the impact of other marketing activities, ranging from boosting website traffic to heightening social media engagement and buzz surrounding public relations.
Shrewd marketers have, for years, applied multimedia strategies in order to reap the benefits from this.
But it’s worth noting that merely aligning your content across various channels does not suffice, it is now necessary to accept the highly personal and fast-paced market place that functions across devices With this, the evolution of omnichannel arises.
Anytime, anywhere, any device engagement
In the US, most of the people still flock to the TV, only now it’s with the remote control in one hand and a smartphone or laptop in the other.
We tweet, text, post, search, follow, chat and shop simultaneously with our favorite shows.
The same scenarios exist in real-world activities when consumers visit a retailer, restaurant or service provider.
Consumer behaviors have changed significantly over the last decade; brands must evolve as well.
Experiences now flow across channels, locations, and devices, with the expectation that brands will not only recognize us but allow us to move seamlessly back and forth, from a TV ad to website, from online chat to store, from app to call center, all with the same caliber of personalization and service.
Omnichannel customers deliver more value
It’s a monumental task, especially under the circumstances where industry disruptors set the established standard quite high for innovation, yet rewards can be substantial.
Recent research undertaken by Harvard Business Review, composed of close to 50,000 retail consumers who discovered that customers who engaged through both offline and online channels (omnichannel customers) were much more valuable to the brand.
These customers were found to spend more both online and in-store, were more often also found to visit the retailer’s brick-and-mortar stores far more frequently and were ultimately more loyal, and inclined to recommend the brand.
Omni channel Engagement: Follow These Steps Below To Improve It
Design a channel-agnostic experience
Instead of thinking about your mobile experience, your in-store experience and your desktop experience separately, reorient your perspective.
Identify what the ideal touchpoints and messages should be, regardless of where a customer reaches out to you.
Everything you design should address this simple question: How can you make your consumer’s life as easy as possible?
Break down organizational silos
Leading omnichannel experiences focus on simplicity. Channels are encouraged to work in complete harmony: a consumer views a TV spot proceeds to text a code via SMS to commence an online chat, which ultimately moves to an in-store order.
In actuality, the task of coordinating across different departments can be mammoth. A strong omnichannel experience arises from collaboration and cooperation between creative, systems, data and leadership in conjunction.
It is encouraged to move beyond unreasoned in-house boundaries, and place the customer experience as a priority; this can be achieved when digital teams, brand teams, service teams, and store teams collaborate.
Get serious about your data
There’s no way around it. It takes rich data to power omnichannel engagement. And just like your leadership structure, your data must integrate beyond organizational boundaries.
That means databases and systems that can support a 360-degree view of your customers and share consumer interactions, in near real time, regardless of device or channel.
Questions to consider that put it simply: is your consumer able to request a coupon via SMS featured on your TV spot, and fill up their shopping cart via their smartphone?
The following day, is your digital team likely to act quickly and deliver a targeted email or online ad? And when the consumer utilizes a laptop and proceeds to add their cart to purchase, will their brand experience be continuous and consistent?
While it may take time to propel your company culture to represent that of an omni channel organization, every forward movement helps to answer yes to the above questions.
A powerful omni channel campaign employs a wholesome approach: allowing creative, media and conversion to work in conjunction with one another, seamlessly.