Omni-Channel Marketing: An Overview on Channelizing Your Business Effectively

By Sreedev Sharma | Marketing

Jun 04

The world of technology is under construction forever, and however, hard we try there is no pushing it into a static state. And, of course, we don’t want this impossible to happen because all that we crave for is to enjoy the awesomeness of this impeccably unchangeable trance of one of those significant wonders of the “digital world”.

Almost every business owner has a website today that is perfectly optimized to meet the customer needs. But, what do you do when your customer is way smarter than any of us can imagine? Yes, it is the fact! Either we are ignorant or we are trying to coax our minds to believe that our customers can never think of better but, dear business owner, it is high time you woke up from your state of dream and embraced the truth- your customer is outsmarting you.

How do you win your customer who is much smarter than you expected?

Provide them with the best!

Absolutely, this is what we have been doing all this time. Striving hard to provide them with the bestest of online solutions. Then, where are we losing it out?

Have you thought of reaching out to them from everywhere? Yeah! Obviously, you have a physical store that is well set up in one of the posh locations of the city or maybe it’s just a start up something more of an affiliate store where you do not need any actual physical store because you are being a mediator to exhibit the products of other businesses where customers will come to choose the one that pleases them and in a way you earn a profit.

Regardless of how big or small your organization is your reach to your customers is all that matters! Have you sought out to reach them via all the channels- Websites, blogs, social media, mobile devices, laptops, etc. etc.? Figure out whether you have missed anything!

Yes, now we arrive at our main point which is Omni-Channel Marketing.

There is a proliferation of all the channels through which you can reach out your people and fortunately or unfortunately for a business, your dear customers are active across all these places.

Let us focus on creating a business that is ubiquitous!
Omni-Channel Marketing for a seamlessly integrated shopping experience:

Omni-Channel Marketing is a marketing terminology used to define an experience that is bound by unconditional seamlessness irrespective of the channel or device that the customer is using to access or shop while on your website.

It allows the customers to start from any device and move through another device towards another device without any interruption finally accomplishing their mission successfully. The fluidification of the customer movement across these devices is easy and uninterrupted!

Multi-channel v/s Omni-channel Marketing:

Multi-channel v/s Omni-channel Marketing

Before we discuss further what distinguishes the two, there is one important thing that you need to understand about technology! Perhaps, you might be aware of the fact that in the digitized world out there, you would come across a new terminology every now and then. Maybe the terminologies might differ when the functionality or features that these signify might vary slightly.

Omni-channel Marketing is Multi-channel Marketing implemented appropriately! But, wait, it can’t be that! Let us find out:

Multi-channel can be defined as a marketing terminology where-in a company introduces customer engagement methodologies via more than one channels such as website, social media or E-mail. There is no effort to maintain a seamless and consistent flow of message via multiple touch points and this is what is upsetting your people.

The same applies to Multi-Channel Marketing and Omni-Channel Marketing. Not until recently, has Omni-Channel become quite a buzzword in the digital marketing dictionary. It’s a bet that most of the readers out there are familiar with Multi-Channel when compared to Omni though there might be few who have come across the latter at least once.

So, what makes them different!

Channel and customers are two different entities:

Multi-Channel is focusing on increasing the number of channels to communicate with the customers. They do not care about the communication that is happening. All that seems effective is the response they receive rather than providing an easy and efficient manner of communication through all the channels.

They have this social media, Email, website, etc. etc. that they are implementing to engage their customers which is not what matters to the customers anymore.

It is the experience of consistency and seamlessness that overwhelms them which matters to them and creates an emotional bond and Omni-channel marketing focuses on achieving this consistency of creating seamless communication through multiple-touch points.

It helps in cementing the bond between a brand and the customer because they consider all the communications as arriving from the same source.

If reports are to be believed, Omni-channel marketing helps in customer retention by 91% on an average when compared to Multi-channel marketing.

Lessen the customer’s effort:

When it comes to multi-channel marketing, businesses focus on reaching out more number of people. They do not care much about the means or methodologies that are being implemented and how far are the customers finding it approachable or easy to use.

But, with Omni-channel marketing, data is being tracked and monitored to find out where exactly the customer is experiencing effort and how to remove it.

Customer is King:

From the day one of the web, this has been the slogan of all businesses that come online. But, what exactly are you doing to ensure that your customer is the king?

As far as Multi-channel Marketing is concerned, the business focus is on increasing engagement via more than one channel and hence, the name Multi-channel.

But, when it comes to Omni-Channel Marketing, what matters is offering consistency through any channel or device that the customer is using.

The aim is to reach out the people with similar message and experience no matter the device or channel they are using to shop. This can be achieved only when there is a consistency across all the internal departments and they sync in to send out the same message whenever a customer knocks.

While still there are arguments that Omni-channel and Multi-channel Marketing are the same as pointed out by some experts that it is the old tradition decked up in new bottle the truth is both vary in their approach and also, the output that they produce.

How do you implement an Omni-Channel experience across multiple devices?

How are Marketers Using Omnichannel Marketing?

Here, are 6 tips that are tried-and-proven as many marketers have reached the peak of success by implementing these:

1. Step into your customer’s shoes:

In fact, we all do this before we start out with our business venture. It helps us to find out what our customers are actually like and what they are expecting from us.

You can start by reviewing your bandwagon of customers. Check out the phases they go through when they make a purchase or go for shopping.

The research, the social media engagement, placing an order and what kind of solutions they might need when they are using your product (for example: live demos, FAQ, user guidelines or user manuals, etc.)

Once you are through the research phase, the next thing you can do is testing!

Test the interaction flow for yourself and ensure there is no mistake whenever a communication is being made between the user and you.

Leave no stones unturned when you are testing!

Test it via all channels! Don’t limit the testing phase to yourself. Get some external testers too, maybe the group of people you are expecting to use the product or app. It will help you to know what they are expecting which can differ from your expectation of them. When real people test it you will find out where and what you missed out!

Check how delightful they find your product and ask them whether it has been helpful or did they struggle a lot to find what they were looking for?

2. Build your buyer personas:

Not all the people in the world are your customers.

There is a particular set of people that matters to your business and it is necessary to monitor their needs and how their brain works when they make a shopping decision and only data can provide you all the related information.

You can implement data intelligence to find all the things your customers like to do when they are on your website.

Or, you can get assistance from some of the leading data intelligence companies such as Acxiom or DSP’s to gloss up your data with backup from intelligence.

You can implement marketing automation to gather information related to your customer and their buyer journey that will help you to provide them with information that they need.

3. Data, big data:

It is necessary that you measure everything.

As you know we are living in a technology world driven by Data that is big!

It is said that each and every bit of things that are available across the world of web is measurable including your success.

So, how do you measure success in the virtual world?

Your success is directly proportional to the response of real people that happens over time. You can also track down the individual campaigns that you have set up to harness customer support.

So, when you have data that directs you to how your customer is interacting with you both online and offline, you can reach them out with messages and offers that are customized to fit in to their needs approximately.

You can blend in this customer data to give your customer an insight into content that is driven by relevancy and a source of inspiration to perform the desired action.

4. Listen and then, talk across various channels:

Omni-channel Marketing is about promoting your business across a variety of channels and how to do it.

Did you know that people use multiple channels before putting a transactional decision finally in place?

But, the smartness of a business owner lies in when you can respond to all their queries that come via all the different channels.

For instance, if you received a request for an order via desktop shopping cart and then, they leave without completing the request but, come back at a later time through mobile shopping cart, imagine their happiness when they find the request still there in the cart?

How happy they would be?

Being omnipresent is the key to your customer’s heart!

You must be ready for fluidification as and when a transaction is happening irrespective of the devices that the customer is moving in and out of as we need to be equipped to address all their needs that reach us from various devices.

5. Content is key:

So, where is the key to your customer’s heart? Content and messaging is the key to your customer’s needs!

For instance, a customer has come to your site frequently but never made a purchase, you can consider this person. Or if a person has visited your site and added items to the cart but hasn’t made a purchase can also be considered.

Based on these you can make a future recommendation to this specific customer, which creates a personalized attachment with them and they are ready to make a deal with you.

See that is how the psychology of a customer works.

6. Go for it:

If you have not started yet then, you are missing it for sure.

Your peers are already there and serving your customers. Why don’t you join the race?

All you need is to modify your marketing process into Omni-channels of marketing and you are there.

Conclusion:

Still doubtful on how it can contribute to your revenue? It might not bring about a direct impact on the revenue but of course, there is an increase on the bottom line that you cannot ignore which happens because you are successful at pleasing your customers and they owe you gratitude in return for the favors you have been doing to them.

Omni-channel marketing is the only way you can enhance the performance of your business and offer your customers with all that they need in a way tweaking your services and solutions as per their needs.

This article was originally published in Business2Community.