Omni-Channel Marketing: a Marketing Must-Have
Your organization may not be one to adopt the hot marketing buzzwords continually popping up in today’s digital melting pot, but “Omni-channel” is definitely one you need to pay attention to. It’s the marketing model that keeps you top-of-mind with consumers and helps ensure your brand remains competitive.
What is Omni-Channel Marketing?
With all the digital media choices and devices available today, consumers are now in charge of what media they watch, when they choose to watch it, and on what screens. This means that marketers need to have their brand present across multiple channels, at the consumer’s choosing, not when you as marketers choose to offer it. Omni-channel marketing takes this concept a step further by offering consumers the same, seamless and consistent experience across all touch points, regardless of channel or device.
You know the frustration: you get an email with an offer for a product or service; you go to the company website but see a different offering or price; you then search on social media only to find yet another view of the offer. Omni-channel ensures the same message is presented through whichever door you enter.
Omni-Channel vs. Multi-Channel: Know the Difference and Deliver the Difference
Before formulating an omni-channel approach, you first need to be clear on the difference between that and multi-channel. Multi-channel is a marketing strategy, whereas, omni-channel is a consumer experience strategy.
Most businesses provide multiple channels for connecting with consumers, such as their Website, a blog, email notifications, Facebook and Twitter, and quite often a mobile app. A multi-channel marketing campaign for a home services company, for instance, may include one channel or all these channels. Omni-channel ensures all channels are used and each channel provides the consumer with a seamless message regardless of channel.
To use a straight-forward example, suppose you have a home services company. You can use an omni-channel approach to offer a free home service consultation. Simply make sure you provide the same offer on your site, mobile app, and social media pages.
In a more complex example, where you have a mental health facility, you can use omni-channel marketing to promote both awareness of mental health, and provide your facility as a place for treatment. Mobile display advertisements can deliver access to your blog about mental health issues. Facebook display ads and content postings can reinforce that message and your brand when users connect about mental health topics. Remarketing should be implemented to reconnect with those that have visited your Website. Plus, your contact information should be consistent regardless of where you are found online so that Google puts you high on the list of mental health facilities it serves up.
In a recent Hubspot article, Sept 2, 2021, Starbucks was mentioned delivering a great omni-channel experience. The article states, at Starbucks… “First, you get a free rewards card that you can use whenever you make a purchase. But unlike traditional customer loyalty programs, Starbucks has made it possible to check and reload your card via phone, website, in-store, or on the app. Any change to the card or your profile gets updated across all channels, in real-time. Standing in line to get coffee and realize you don’t have enough on your balance? Reload it and the cashier will know it’s been updated by the time you swipe your card.”
A word of caution: Other than your business contact information, don’t use the exact same “boiler plate” information for messaging across channels. Consistency is important in the overall message and offer, but duplicate content could lead to being penalized by search engines and social media platforms.
Does Omni-Channel Marketing Really Make a Difference?
Well, let’s hear what experts have to say…
A McKinsey & Company blog states, “More than one-third of Americans have made omnichannel features such as buying online for in-store pickup part of their regular shopping routine since the pandemic, and nearly two-thirds of those individuals plan to continue.”
Audience Prime reports that “Businesses that adopt omnichannel strategies achieve 91% greater customer retention rates year-over-year compared to those that do not.”
A stat from omnisend says “marketers using three or more channels in any one campaign earned a 287% higher purchase rate than those using a single-channel campaign.”
Data collected by Think With Google indicated that “omnichannel strategies help generate around 80 percent of the in-store visits by customers.”
An Aberdeen Group statistic reported by V12 says “Companies with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement see a 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue, compared to 3.4% for weak omnichannel companies.“
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