Doing Omnichannel Marketing Right: How to Get Started or Take the Next Step
Omnichannel marketing is fast becoming a requirement for success, and smart CMOs know it.
But as with almost everything in marketing and sales, the devil is in the details. it’s tough to know how to get started if you’re new to omnichannel marketing, and it can be difficult to take the next step if you’ve already started.
The Payoff for Getting Omnichannel Marketing Right
Consumers are more empowered than ever before, and you need to make adjustments if you want to stay competitive. Statistics that reveal the importance of omnichannel marketing to achieving business goals are plentiful. According to Harvard Business Review, for example, omnichannel shoppers spend “an average of 4% more on every shopping occasion in the store and 10% more online than single-channel customers.”
Connected Shoppers Challenge Omnichannel Marketers
Armed with multiple devices from desktop computers and laptops to tablets, smartphones, and IoT-connected vehicles and appliances, consumers are using every method at their disposal to get things they want as conveniently as possible.
Connected shoppers, for example, have cars that tell them when to get service. And their refrigerators tell them when to get milk. Almost everyone uses smartphones to research products and read reviews in-store before deciding what to buy. They order items online and pick them up at their local stores, or check online to see if items are in stock before making a trip. If a consumer isn’t quite ready to make a purchase, a perfectly timed promotional email, text, or web banner might just push them to choose one product over another.
What Is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing can help. It’s an integrated, systematic approach designed to create a seamless experience for shoppers, who expect the convenience of communicating with your business whenever they want and on whatever channel they want.
Omnichannel marketing isn’t the same as multichannel marketing.
Unlike multichannel marketing, which just means using more than one tactic — a website, print ads, emails, promotional events, social media, etc. — to reach consumers, omnichannel marketing demands a more sophisticated, contextual understanding of a customer’s transactional history, current behavior, and future intent.
Omnichannel marketing relies on data aggregation and analysis.
Gaining a holistic understanding of customer engagement requires the real-time aggregation and analysis of data across marketing, sales, and service. Without the customer even knowing it, you’re using data to forge a deeper relationship by providing consistent, personalized brand experiences through every possible channel.
Omnichannel marketing shows customers that you’re always thinking about them.
Crafting positive consumer experiences is your chance to get creative, using the universe of possible ways your customers can interact with you. You can show that you’re keeping your customers top of mind by sending them relevant content at just the right moment, by making thoughtful recommendations based on previous browsing or purchase history, by offering special treats via location-based promotions, by generating responsive abandoned-cart emails, by serving up targeted website content, and more.
Sample use cases that show the power of omnichannel marketing
Your customers can start, stop, and resume interactions with you from many different ways, and if you’re right there to meet them when they need you, you’re definitely creating a positive customer experience. The following examples demonstrate how omnichannel marketing can lead to increased sales and increased lifetime value:
Turning abandoned shopping carts into sales
A customer browses your website and puts an item into her shopping cart before leaving the site. If you have an omnichannel marketing strategy, you can email or text her with a special offer on the item if it’s still in her cart the next day. Or, if the shopper goes to one of your physical stores and checks your loyalty app, you can give her a special deal for buying the item in the store. Once the consumer buys the item, you can then provide personalized information on related products through different channels.
Providing exceptional in-store service that brings customers back.
A customer buys something online and brings the item to a store location a week later. Good omnichannel marketing strategy and technology helps you see the customer record and make the return without a problem. The customer may even stay in the store and buy something else. If you don’t have visibility into the online ordering system and accidentally turn the customer away, there’s a good chance he won’t be coming back on any channel in the future.
Present customers with the offers they want, and don’t annoy them with those they don’t.
There’s often a fine line between marketing that’s effective and marketing that’s annoying. A big part of not irritating your customers is to make sure that your view of the customer takes into account information on all channels (the “omni” in omnichannel marketing). For example, nobody wants ads for dog food stalking them everywhere they go online, when they don’t even have a dog. And everybody hates it when they’ve already bought an item and they’re haunted by ads for the car they bought three months ago. By quickly consolidating information from all channels, you’ll know when your customers make a purchase, and can then shift to a cross-selling or upselling strategy.
How Can You Take Advantage of Omnichannel Marketing?
The key to reaching consumers in the right moment in the right channel begins with the unification of customer data from disparate systems. Most companies collect valuable customer information — from cookies, device IDs, checkout baskets, mailing lists, loyalty programs, social media, point-of-sale (PoS) systems, etc. But it can be difficult to pull it all together and marshal it when it counts to get customers to buy — or buy again, if increasing repeat sales is an important goal.
With an enterprise customer data platform (CDP), however, you can unify all this data securely, with little involvement from IT, and make sure it’s updated automatically. A good CDP can take information from many different popular applications — Marketo, Facebook, Salesforce, POS systems, IoT, and many more — and piece them together to get a full understanding of what your customer wants, buys, reads, visits, and watches.
With the right solution, you can maintain a 360-degree view of each consumer who engages with your brand. You can access new data within minutes of capture, and you can keep valuable historical data on each individual and account. Using advanced machine learning tools your data can be analyzed automatically based on the unique business rules you establish for audience segmentation, personalization, campaign optimization, push-pull notifications, syndication, and more.
Once your data is in the system, you can use it to answer key questions, such as:
- What products are most popular with different audience segments?
- What products are most often purchased together?
- Why are certain customers likely to churn?
- Which of your customers have the highest customer lifetime value (CLV or CLTV)?
With answers to data-driven questions like these, you can improve results across channels with omnichannel marketing strategies like these:
- Identify and increase the number of high-CLTV customers, who contribute the most to your bottom line over the lifetime of their relationship with your company.
- Ensure consistent messaging and targeted offers across channels in real time.
- Keep customers engaged with more relevant content, as well as cross-selling and upselling offers.
- Grow online and in-store revenue with offers that entice people to buy when they’re already primed and ready to make a decision.
- Improveyour products and services, with information about what your customers care most about.
Arm Treasure Data is helping a wide range of clients deliver the kind of omnichannel experience their customers crave, and we can do the same for you. To learn how our enterprise CDP can help you take advantage of the big opportunities in omnichannel marketing, request a demo or call us at 866-899-5386.