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Omni-Channel Marketing: How Will It Benefit Small Businesses To Drive Sales?

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Marketing is constantly evolving and changing. We are slowly moving away from mass, “push”-based marketing and towards more personalized, 1 to 1 communication with targeted consumers, through the many channels and on the many devices that they use.

As people’s behaviours and spending habits start to change over time, marketers, salespeople, and customer support reps will need to react and understand the consumers better. Instead of thinking of a desktop, mobile and tablet experience, businesses and marketers would also need to consider a holistic approach — an omni-channel experience that customers can use whenever they want.

What is Omni-Channel Marketing?

In today’s modern world, convenience and customer experience go hand in hand. As a consumer, your best experience with a brand usually occurs when their approach is clear, consistent and connected. Whether you are using an app on your phone, browsing a website on your computer or even shopping in a high street store, an integrated encounter should be convenient and easy for customers to help build loyalty for a brand.

Omni-channel marketing is a marketing technique that aims at engaging the target audience across all devices & channels that they use. It is a different way of marketing, selling and engaging with clients by creating a cohesive and integrated customer experience, regardless of where and how your target audience discovers your brand.

In other words, a customer can be shopping in your online store from a mobile device, desktop or even in your physical store to enjoy the same similar experience. You could have an excellent mobile marketing strategy, engaging social media campaigns and a user-friendly, optimised website, but if none of these platforms work in unison, all your efforts would be in vain in the end.  

Most businesses are now investing heavily in the omni-channel experience. They have a website, blog and business accounts on both Facebook and Twitter. All these platforms are used to connect and engage with any potential customers for their business.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Omni-Channel Marketing?

Increased customer reach

The easier it is for consumers to find your brand online, the better it will be for your business growth. With omni-channel marketing, you are no longer limited to posting individual campaigns on different separate channels and hoping that your audience would find you.

Email, display ads, organic search, content marketing, social media, physical retail, SMS and even post mail are all useful channels for finding new customers and growing your audience. By connecting the dots between those channels, you will make it easier and more intuitive for consumers to go from the first touchpoint to conversion.

Improved customer experience

Omni-channel marketing strategy efficiently nurtures the customer’s relationship with the brand. This form of marketing consistently hits all the customer touchpoints in a personalised manner. It also shows relevant messages at optimal channels as opposed to spamming ads all across. This creates a better customer experience and eventually increases the chances of repeat purchases.

Greater data insights

Businesses will be able to monitor their customers across all the channels it uses and, in the end, understand them better, knowing what their preferences are, the types of product they have looked at and what offers they have clicked on.

This allows greater customisation of communications and promotions for each client, thus making them feel special and knowing that your brand or business cares about them.

Increased sales and revenue

An omnichannel marketing approach encourages customers to engage with a brand across multiple touchpoints and channels. These increased, diverse engagements at each stage of the buyer’s journey can help increase revenue, as research shows that customers that engage with multiple touchpoints tend to be more valuable. This targeted messaging also builds loyalty, making a customer likely to return and to purchase from your brand again.

What Are The Types Of Omni-Channel Marketing?

Data-driven omni-channel marketing

It is no secret for a business that an omni-channel marketing strategy is only as effective as the data that drives it. Optimizing your business’s data is crucial now more than ever as each channel must communicate with one another seamlessly to deliver an exceptional experience to your target audience.

As such, omnichannel marketing integration for businesses is impossible without proper data management and integration tools. Data must be analyzed, stored, and communicated effectively throughout all channels, or any amount of omnichannel tools will be fruitless.

Effective omni-channel marketing optimization happens when each channel’s data is interacting with one another constantly through a closed-loop data system. This then ensures that the right messages are getting through to the right customer on the right channel.

The capability to automate big data collection and interpret it effectively is essential for omnichannel marketing strategy for both providing customers with a satisfactory experience and marketers with an accurate and actionable insight for campaign optimization.

Experience-driven omni-channel marketing

With the growing impact of mobile apps and digital touchpoints on shopping behavior, customers now have more channels and choices to find and purchase their products. This translates into more opportunities for marketers to connect and engage with the customers. However, it also means a great deal of complexity for a successful marketing execution.

A customer journey may begin on a smartphone with searches for product information, then continue through social sites or even email. Product discussions can take place in forums or even in person with friends and eventually, the final purchase in a physical or online store.

Customers continue to drive omni-channel experiences. They want interactions on one channel (or device) to be carried over to their next interaction channel. Customers do not necessarily look for the “same” experience on different channels, but they do expect and demand consistency and highly personalized experiences across all channels.

Approach-driven omni-channel marketing

Switching to an omni-channel marketing strategy does not necessarily mean that you have to spend on all the channels available. It just means that you should prioritize investing in the channels that your customers are using the most.

It can be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or even Messenger. You could also set up a chatbot on your own website or have a ticketing system manned by a live agent. You can also start by browsing more about your buyer persona to determine which channels are their favorites and what is best for your omni-channel marketing campaign.

Tools-driven omni-channel marketing

As new technologies emerge and user behavior changes, outdated software will be of less help in your strategies. Improving automation processes and sources are the best technique for omni-channel marketing campaigns. Businesses can use automated software to manage online, app-based, and brick-and-mortar orders. They can also list data, track order fulfillment, sync inventories, and manage across multiple channels.

How Small & Medium Owners Can Leverage On Omni-Channel Marketing For Their Businesses

Understand the customer journey

Omni-channel marketing is all about placing the customer first. The first step is to map your customer’s journey at every touchpoint. Identify the multiple touchpoints they passed through before reaching your brand. Ensure that all departments are working on the customer-first type of approach.

Use the right tools

There are many moving parts to an omni-channel marketing strategy. In order to ensure that your omni-channel marketing is efficient, you will need to rely on the right tools. Here is the list of essential tools you should invest in for an effective omni-channel marketing plan.

This is neither a complete list nor a definitive list. These are the basic must-have tools when one is talking about implementing omni-channel marketing strategies for their business.

Create a consistent experience

The end-to-end experience in omni-channel marketing needs to be consistent across all touchpoints and channels. Stay consistent on all levels, whether in design, product, packaging, print, customer interface or even user experience, maintain the same messaging for all. When creating an omni-channel strategy, imagine yourself in the customer’s shoes as they navigate through the different channels.

Coordinate marketing efforts

With omni-channel marketing, every department has to be on the same page. If you have separate teams responsible for things like web content, app content and development, social media, email marketing, newsletters and customer support, coordinate with the leads of each team to plan a unified and cohesive approach to your company’s messaging and branding.

Measure results & optimize

The key to a successful omni-channel marketing is to measure results & optimize your existing strategy. This means you will need to experiment a lot and find out what works best for your business.

Like with any other marketing effort, gather as much data as possible and include strong communications. Then set everything aside and start analyzing – what did your customers respond best (or worst) to? Could it be just statistical variance or are there other reasons? Answering questions like these will allow you to get the most out of your omni-channel marketing strategy.

Crafting engaging and consistent omni-channel experiences takes a lot of time and energy, and there are no shortcuts to success. Omni-channel marketing has been poorly understood by both marketeers and business owners. Often due to the lack of knowledge in integrating both digital and offline marketing methods to maximise ROI. However, you can take some of the pain out of omni-channel marketing strategy & planning with Hashtaqs.

Hashtaqs uplifts business through brand transformation and marketing advisory and implementation online and offline, internationalisation through business matching and community development.

Our consultancy work is supportable with the funding scheme for local SG businesses. Contact us for a consultation at +65 8868 1418 or email us at [email protected]. For more info, visit www.hashtaqs.com

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