Omnichannel marketing was one of 2018’s key buzzwords in the marketing world, and 2019 should prove no different. In an age where new channels are being created every day, it’s no wonder why consumers are drawn to a seamless customer experience when engaging with a brand.
Picture this: it’s 7:30am, and you’re yawning while in line at your local Starbucks. You remain in your sleepy haze until—suddenly—the woman in front of you purchases coffee with her phone. When you ask her how she did it, she shows you the Starbucks rewards app.
While you’re waiting for your Americano to be made, you sign up for the app. You verify your email address and receive an email notifying that Starbucks is running a 25% special on breakfast sandwiches this week.
When you link a credit card to the app, you notice that you have the option to add money to your Starbucks account. You can also see your current balance and are given the option to reload your card if you’re running low. You’re also now integrated into the Starbucks rewards program where you collect stars that you can eventually use for free food and beverages. You’re also given the option to tip Eric, your favorite barista. The app even allows you to identify songs playing stores and can save them on a Spotify playlist.
After earning 25 stars, you receive a Starbucks Gold Card in the mail, notifying you of your elite status and the benefits that come with it! At this point, you’re hooked, watch your stars grow and take full advantage of the loyalty program you never knew existed before.
The Starbucks rewards app is just one of the many successful examples of omnichannel marketing. It aligns digital interactions, such as e-commerce purchases and social media platforms, with interpersonal communication. The brand conveys a unified message across all marketing channels, simplifying the overall customer experience and encouraging loyalty.
Why Omnichannel Marketing Is Necessary
Omnichannel marketing places a focus on customer-centric needs. Too often, brands try to sell products without attempting to understand why a customer would want to buy them.
20 years ago, if you wanted to buy a new TV, you would drive to your local electronics store and buy one. That store didn’t have to worry about online retailers, price matching, online customer reviews, social media, etc. Customers have many more options than they had before. Without taking action on an integrated online marketing strategy today, that electronics store could easily find themselves out of business.
As of 2018:
- 89% of customers are retained by companies with omnichannel engagement strategies
- 87% of retailers agree that an omnichannel marketing strategy is critical or very important to their success
- 62% of consumers who engage their favorite brands on 10+ channels make weekly purchases
- 49% of consumers buy from their favorite omnichannel brands at least once per week
Technological advancements equate to increased competition. Omnichannel marketing helps you cut through the noise by offering a clear, cohesive message that your customers will relate to your brand. Making the consumer experience simpler supports customer retention efforts, motives buying behavior, and helps your brand become more trustworthy.
Omnichannel vs. Multichannel
It’s important to note that omnichannel marketing and multichannel marketing are different. While both refer to the ability to interact with potential customers on various platforms, their intent varies.
Multichannel marketers aim to spread the word via as many channels as they can, trying to touch on as many potential leads as possible. Every business practices multichannel marketing to an extent. Merely having a website, a Facebook page and a Twitter account provide you with three channels to engage with customers. This is important because 73% of buyers will explore
multiple channels when making a purchasing decision.
While multichannel marketing focuses on getting the message out as many times as possible to as many people as possible, these efforts aren’t necessarily coordinated. Multichannel marketing can sometimes feel linear, taking consumers from Point A to Point B in an attempt to guide them through the marketing funnel.
Omnichannel marketing is a little more effortless. Companies that use omnichannel marketing know their consumers and understand their paths to purchase. They know how to communicate with consumers at different points of the path. They know that, while the customer journey is connected, it’s also fluid and non-linear.
Omnichannel businesses focus on ensuring that their customers receive the same experience and messaging through all of their channels. While multichannel marketing puts an emphasize on the general, omnichannel marketing fixates on a more personal and consistent customer experience.
How to Prepare an Omnichannel Strategy
While omnichannel marketing is seamless for the consumer, it’s not an easy feat for a business. To assist with the process, here are a few tips to help get you started:
Interact with your customers.
Listen to your customers and understand their needs. Scroll through customer reviews and figure out what they liked/didn’t like about their experience. Create a list of consistent remarks and then reach out to customers and ask what would help improve their overall experience in the future. Customers appreciate hearing from the brand they buy from and are more likely to buy from that brand in the future—especially if their needs are met.
Be your own customer.
If you’re unsure of your marketing strategy, try it out for yourself. Engage with your brand and see what happens. If you add items to your cart on your tablet, are they there when you turn on your laptop? Reach out to your company through various social media channels posing as a customer. Interact with customer service through online chat or over the phone. You will learn a lot by being the audience you’re trying to reach.
Create customer-centric content.
Get to know your buyers. What social media platforms do they use? What are their demographics? Describe an average day in their lives. By understanding your customer, you can create content that better speaks to them. Your audience will appreciate it because you’ll be providing them with the exact information they are looking for in the channels they use. This is a surefire way to encourage brand loyalty!
Reach out to Lead to Conversion.
One of our primary purposes is to help businesses achieve the highest possible level of success through effective online marketing. With Lead to Conversion’s help, omnichannel marketing can soon become as seamless for your business as it is for your customers. We design tailor-made plans that will help with your efforts and give you the advantage you need to rise above your competitors. For more information,request a quote today.