Marketing continues to undergo rapid and major changes. Consumers are turned off by mass selling, and expect personalized, 1:1 communication across the many channels and devices they use. Unfortunately, when it comes to omnichannel marketing, many marketers are still behind. The impetus is on marketing to provide a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device.
In this blog, we’ll explain five ways that you can improve your omnichannel marketing. We’ll show you how to align your content with your buyer journey, how to improve consistency, and how to put the customer at the heart of everything that you do.
1. Consider Content
Like with any campaign, content will be the lifeblood of your omnichannel efforts. Start by surveying your existing content to collect assets that align with the needs and interests of your personas at different phases of the buyer’s journey. Remember that the best content attracts, informs, and engages your audience, while also promoting your brand.
Next, adjust the format and presentation of your content to fit the context of each channel that you are working in. Not only must every piece of content be relevant to the channel it appears in, but there needs to be a consistent experience between channels. This helps smooth the experience for users across channels and devices, making them more likely to get them where they need to be. Lastly, get more value out of your core content by repurposing it across channels. It doesn’t take too much effort to condense an ebook into a whitepaper or extract an infographic from a webinar, so there’s a good ROI in doing so.
2. Embrace Customer-Centricity
In the engagement era, it’s essential that your omnichannel experience is centered around the customer. Start by figuring out your customers’ most preferred channels. If you don’t know where they are, how can you expect to serve them? You need to understand their online presence, including where they do their research, their pre-sales questions, and the type of personalized interactions they expect. Once you’ve laid that foundation, turn your attention to improving response times across the board. Not only do faster responses improve engagement with potential customers, but they reduce churn from existing ones.
Lastly, remember to integrate your customer support channels with your record keeping systems. Having clean records of customer inquiries and concerns—whether they be through email, social media, chat or other—makes it much easier for your customer success team to keep track of and address issues quickly. Not only that, but you can further refine your omnichannel experience based on what you learn about your audience’s preferences.
3. Provide a Consistent Experience
Imagine you send a branded email to a prospect who recently signed up for your newsletter. After reading the email, they click through to your Facebook page, only to be confronted with a profile picture featuring a different logo. At best, they will be confused by the discrepancy, at worst, they will doubt whether the page they’re looking at is legitimate. Not only is visual consistency a priority, but you also need your messaging and language to be aligned across channels. Doing this prevents your communications from sending conflicting messages and keeps campaigns from unwittingly competing against each other.
Remember that familiarity breeds trust, so providing a singular experience across touchpoints is essential. If customers can’t count on you to guide them through a smooth pre-purchase journey, they certainly won’t trust your product or service to meet their needs. If you’re struggling to maintain consistency across brand materials and time zones, consider switching to a centralized model for asset production. When everything you create is in one place, it’s much easier to ensure that you’re telling the same story to your customers, wherever they are.
4. Leverage In-Store Experiences
Optimizing across digital channels is important, but for those with brick-and-mortar stores, the work doesn’t stop there. Customers crave a seamless shopping experience—maintaining consistency in brand and messaging between the digital and physical worlds is vital. Integrating technology into the in-store experience presents an excellent opportunity to maintain the momentum established pre-purchase.
Consider the case of REI, where 75% of their customers visit their website or app to look at items before buying in-store. REI capitalized on that trend by arming their sales associates with mobile devices guide customers through their purchasing decisions and answer any last-minute questions they might have. They also provide free Wi-Fi for customers to access more information on what they’re interested in as they shop. These are small touches, but they can go a long way. REI aren’t the only ones who figured this out—according to eMarketer, 60% of brick-and-mortar stores have introduced tablets into their in-store experience. By continuing the brand story you started online into physical stores, you help create an experience that your customers will appreciate.
5. Integrate Systems
To put it all together and track the success of your various omnichannel campaigns, you need to be able to measure and act on the right metrics. However, this won’t be possible unless all your relevant marketing tools are integrated. Doing this also decreases ambiguity and cleans up your data. Some engagement platforms make this process accessible to companies of all sizes. There’s too much at stake in your business to delay taking the first step any longer. The only way to thrive is to deliver on the promise of a personal, omni-channel experience.
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