According to Google, 90% of users who have multiple devices swap between them on average 3 times per day. Marketers have already picked up on this, with some businesses already undertaking multi-channel marketing approaches. However, many businesses have been ignoring growing a more customer tailored strategy known as omni-channel marketing.
Multi-channel vs Omni-channel
All omni-channel strategies are multi-channel, but not all multi-channel strategies are omni-channel. So what is the difference between the two strategies?
Multi-channel marketing involves presenting an identical marketing message across multiple platforms. For instance, a car dealer may be promoting a 20% off sale and will advertise this message across its various platforms, like social media, email marketing and Google Ads. This strategy is aimed at providing as much awareness as possible to customers, in the hopes of getting them to convert (visit their website or dealership).
Omni-channel strategies on the other hand are a more consumer oriented effort which involves businesses creating a cohesive and integrated experience for a customer. While this sounds exciting, many businesses don’t understand what this actually entails:
John decides to make a purchase of a new shirt from his favourite men’s clothing store. He gets to the checkout with the item, but he abandons it. A day later, he receives an email reminding him that the shirt is still in the basket, while offering a 10% discount on his purchase. He then proceeds to look up if the shirt he is after online is available in a store nearby instead. He is able to find the shirt and order it online for pickup (with his discount code applied). John is able to easily carry out the transaction across his computer, phone and in-store, allowing for an overall positive customer experience, as well as aiding in customer retention by pushing John back to his original transaction.
While this strategy is fairly new for small to medium enterprises, many large well-known organisations have been undertaking this process for years. For example Disney have their magic band program, which allows the user to store photos taken with characters, make purchases, check into fast lanes and even unlock their hotel rooms. Meaning that the majority of customer transactions can all be run through one band (convenience at its finest).
Planning your Omni-Channel Marketing Strategy
1. Understand your customers most used channels
All omni-channel strategies are multi-channel, but this doesn’t mean that all channels should be used. Make sure to do research into which channels are being utilised by your customers, so that you are able to optimize your omni-channel approach to these areas.
2. Focus on CRM
Omni-channel marketing is about personalisation, which involves organisations collecting as much data as possible on customers. For small to medium enterprises this high amount of personal data is harder to collect therefore, other options need to be explored.
Segmentation of customers based on analytics can allow for businesses to distinguish customers based on their behaviour. This can be done through a simple CRM system or even by checking analytics and the creation of custom audiences, allowing for more personalised messages to be sent to customers.
3. Know your customer touchpoints
By gaining an understanding of these touchpoints, businesses are able to see how each can be integrated into their omni-channel approach. One example of this is with email follow-ups, if a customer has not provided an email address then you obviously can’t send them email reminders.
4. Integration of channels
An effective omni-channel strategy involves seamless usage across a multitude of channels/mediums. Make sure that each touchpoint is linked to your data collection (CRM) and your remarketing strategy, so it all connects and communicates correctly.
Through effective implementation of automation businesses can still provide customers with the experience of easy integration across multiple platforms, while feeling like they are being personally looked after throughout the entire process.
An effective omni-channel strategy is no easy feat to achieve. It involves a number of online marketing activities working together to deliver an overall positive customer experience. To learn more about omni-channel marketing and how your business can benefit, don’t hesitate to contact Redline Digital today.