Omni-Channel Marketing: A Primer
Technology is full of buzz words and jargon, and it is easy to get left behind, especially if you don’t understand what people are talking about. Case in point: omni-channel marketing has become something people are all talking about as the best new strategy every business should follow. OK, but what is it, exactly? This brief primer is designed to answer that question, and a few others that might come up.
Omni-Channel Marketing: What Is It?
Simply put, omni-channel marketing isdesigned to interact with your customers on whatever channel the customer decides to utilize. They may surf the internet and find your company on their desktop computer–that’s one channel. Or they may surf the internet on their phones–that’s another channel. Or, they may send you an email or a text message – more channels. They might even be standing in your store. Yup, that’s a channel too.
Companies have known for years that they need to develop an effective way to communicate with their customers on all of these varied channels. That’s called multi-channel marketing.
But omni-channel marketing means unifying both your sales message and the customer experience so it’s the same, no matter which device or program or app your customer uses to contact you.
How does this help? First, you can reach your customers where they are. No matter how they contact you, you can respond to them, answer their questions, suggest a product or service they can buy, or be helpful. This responsiveness across all channels will result in increased sales. And your customers will be happier, more satisfied with your customer service and willing to buy more or buy from you again if they experience your responsive reaction to them no matter what channel they prefer to use.
All omni-channel experiences will use multiple channels, but not all multi-channel experiences are omni-channel. You can have amazing mobile marketing, engaging social media campaigns and a well-designed website. But if they don’t work together, they don’t create an omni-channel experience for your customers.
How does it work? An omni-channel marketing strategy contains consistent messaging, visuals, and positioning statements across all channels, platforms, and devices. It creates a seamless brand experience for customers by ensuring that your brand is presented the same way from platform to platform.
Most companies start with coordinating their website and social media platforms. You post new and interesting content regularly and engage with the customers who respond to those messages. But it takes effort and attention: you must respond and interact with your customers, no matter if they respond to your Facebook page, an Instagram post or an email marketing message.
Some companes create their own app that customers can download and install on their phones, tablets or computers. This is a ready-made channel for content, communications and sales promotion, and is designed to operate across many different channels.
In a well designed omni-channel marketing program, the customer experience is paramount, no matter which device or platform they use. Personalization of the message is vital. And in each channel, the Call to Action (CTA) is consistent.
How to get started. An effective omni-channel marketing strategy requires some planning. Luckily, our team at Fuel Media is experienced in developing these omni-channel programs for companies of all sizes.
To be successful, all marketing personnel in your company must be on board. Customer data must be analyzed and strategies developed based on your company’s results. Your messages must be edited and directed toward personalization and customer response. And getting it right calls for lots of testing, revision and re-testing.
But it works. Studies show that companies who work across even just three channels, coordinating the messages and content, see an impressive increase in sales and customer satisfaction. And satisfied and happy customers are likely to come back to purchase again, and to tell others about their satisfactory experiences with your brand.
If you’d like to discuss the process, please contact Fuel Media for an initial discussion and analysis of your multi-channel marketing programs.