Omni-channel marketing. It sounds like a buzzword that’s just trying extra hard to be complicated, doesn’t it? Thankfully, it can be easily explained.
Simply put, omni-channel marketing is a tactic that focuses on a seamless user experience throughout an entire campaign, regardless of what channel or device someone uses to interact. Your main goal with omni-channel marketing is to make sure that all your digital channels are cohesive and working together as one throughout a singular campaign focus. This will result in an improved overall brand perception for your prospects and customers.
What’s great about omni-channel marketing is that companies with a strong omni-channel marketing presence retain an average of 89% of their customers, compared to just 33% for those without (Aberdeen Group). And omni-channel marketing isn’t just about retaining existing customers, it’s also used to attract net new leads—but we’ll talk more about that later on.
Multi-channel vs. Omni-Channel Marketing
Now you might be thinking—“Omni-channel marketing…is that just a fancy way of saying multi-channel marketing?” Technically, no. They’re similar, but different.
The main thing to think about when you hear the phrase “omni-channel marketing” is full integration and cohesiveness.
Think of multi-channel marketing as a linear path—you have a social media campaign on your Facebook and Twitter channels, and you have a separate email campaign that connects to a dedicated landing page specific for that purpose; neither of these campaigns have any connection to one another, in focus or channel. However, with an omni-channel marketing campaign, you put together one initiative and goal that spreads across numerous channels—so your emails link to your website, which talk to your social media accounts, and the sales reps who eventually speak to prospects on the phone are aware of what’s going on, too. That’s the main difference: there’s a dynamic nature to omni-channel marketing that’s all about linking multiple channels together.
Let’s wrap up the basics with some final perspective: omni-channel marketing really makes a difference for marketing departments because you’re able to put together incredibly cohesive campaigns that encourage more engagements, fewer number of website bounces, and improves your overall brand perception.
And from a sales perspective, it’s great too: you have quicker, easier conversions which makes a big difference considering prospects are typically 65-90% of the way through the buying process before they ever start engaging with sales (Forbes, 2013). Ultimately, sales benefits from shorter sales cycles, better sales closing ratios, and sales conversion rates.
What is Omni-Channel Marketing Used For?
Ultimately, the real reason you should care about omni-channel marketing is that it’s often what you need in order to drive real growth in your business.
Today, customers and consumers have new expectations. They expect that you meet them where they already are. They shouldn’t be forced to comply with how you want to market—you need to provide them with information and content how they want to consume it. And here’s the real kicker…if you don’t do this, they’re not going to stick around for very long. They’re going to find a competitor who does cater to their needs, and that’s who they’re going to purchase from.
So don’t lose those opportunities! Use an omni-channel marketing approach!
You can apply omni-channel marketing tactics on any business goal: attracting new leads, retaining existing business, reengaging with previously interested prospects, enhancing customer service, driving demand generation, advertising upcoming events…the possibilities are endless. Be creative!
How to Start Omni-Channel Marketing
Now that you know what omni-channel marketing is used for and some of the value it can provide, you might be wondering “how do I start omni-channel marketing in my own company?” First things first, you’re going to want to identify and develop a campaign goal. For our example below, let’s focus on lead nurturing.
Next, you’re going to want to identify which channels to include in your omni-channel marketing campaign. You have a ton of different options here:
• Downloadable content
• Social media
• Search engine optimization
• Retargeting/PPC ads
• Dynamic content
• …and much more!
Let’s focus on website, email, social media, and retargeting ads for our example lead nurturing omni-channel campaign.
You’re going to want to develop out your website content that speaks to the direct needs and interests of potential new prospects—such as page copy that addresses a problem and presents helpful solutions, along with corresponding downloadable content (which can be both gated and ungated).
From here, you will develop out emails that either prompt newly acquired leads to view your dedicated landing pages, or follow up messaging that will be sent out when you capture initial information on the visitor. Keep the messaging consistent! You’re going to want to use similar graphics and imagery, and maintain the verbiage and ultimate goals from your website landing pages on your emails as well.
At this point, you want to remember that a website visitor will eventually leave your pages and browse on other sites—this is where your remarketing ads come in. Let’s say someone came to your dedicated landing page but didn’t convert via a form fill; you can now send them targeted display advertising that will show up when they look at certain websites (such as news outlets) that when clicked on, redirect them to one of your dedicated landing pages. Again, maintain that same imagery and messaging style so they know what to expect and the touchpoint is much warmer!
And finally, incorporate regular posts or ads on your social media channels sharing the same design concept. You want to be as inclusive as possible, and that all stems down to recognizing that today’s consumers are doing more of their own research than ever before. If you can ensure that your message is consistent and accessible through a variety of channels (and devices, too!), your omni-channel marketing is going to be much more effective.
Take some time to review the graphic below that illustrates some potential ideas for an omni-channel marketing program that focuses on the lead nurturing process. If you think strategically about which channels you want to incorporate in your omni-channel approach, and what different types of content are best suited to meet your potential customers’ needs, you’ll be able to essentially work backwards and implement a cohesive, holistic campaign that addresses their true needs.