Watching a football game on the TV
while window shopping your favorite football team’s jersey
on your smartphone…
Continuing with your online shopping the next day
while working on your laptop.
And finally, after a day or two,
while shopping for something else at your nearby Macy’s or Nordstrom,
comparing prices of the same jersey on your smartphone…
If you have found yourself doing something similar,
you are the perfect example of a customer journey
spanning across multiple devices, and often overlapping.
And from a business perspective,
this calls for an omnichannel marketing strategy to maximize conversions.
Did you know that mobile searches for “open” + “now” + “near me”
have grown by over 200% in the last two years?
Welcome to the impatient world of the modern customer,
where our attention span has become shorter, and options unlimited.
But hey, as growth hackers, that’s a wonderful opportunity for us. Right?
Sadly, a large number of businesses
have not explored these rather-virgin territories.
Over 60% of consumers expect brands
to provide them on-demand information.
In other words, the right information at the right time.
If you are still wondering what’s the most efficient way to grow your business in 2019, embrace omnichannel.
No wonder, why omnichannel is an integral part of
growth hacking and digital marketing in 2019.
It addresses the dynamic and overlapping customer journey to guide you into using the right messaging at the right time.
By the way, OmniDigit loves omnichannel.
But I am sure you would have figured by the name itself!
Let’s dive deep into this omnichannel marketing guide.
What is Omnichannel Marketing?
In order to truly understand omnichannel,
the differences between multichannel marketing and omnichannel marketing will help.
Multichannel marketing has been around for some time now.
It is channel-driven; and focuses on
customer interaction across different channels.
Nothing wrong in that approach if the customer journey was linear
and didn’t involve multiple devices, often at the same time.
However, since the modern customer journey is far from linear,
a channel-driven approach wouldn’t take you far.
When you transition from being channel-driven to shopper-driven, you enter the world of omnichannel marketing.
Omnichannel is about providing a seamless, integrated and consistent experience to the consumer across all touchpoints- online and in-store.
Put simply, an omnichannel marketing strategy is multichannel marketing done right.
What is the future of omnichannel marketing?
I believe that omnichannel is the way to go
to succeed in the business world.
Is investing in it a good idea?
Yes, indeed, it is.
With the rise in artificial intelligence and machine learning,
we will have more complicated customer journeys.
Users will have more control- shift from businesses to users.
Without an omnichannel marketing strategy,
businesses cannot address the micro-moments
during the different touch-points in the customer journey.
Omni Channel Marketing Strategy Examples
Starbucks: Coffee-EXPERIENCE Served Right
I am not a big coffee drinker.
But I do occasionally visit Starbucks
for my Sunday cheat-drink- cafe mocha.
On the other hand,
a lot of my friends love coffee.
That explains how I have accumulated
hundreds of reward points on my Starbucks app.
Starbucks is one of my favorite examples
of a successful omnichannel marketing strategy.
Check out the screenshot of the Starbucks Android App (above)
Can you see the free rewards card?
With that, you can buy your favorite Starbucks drink whenever you like.
Customer loyalty programs are great.
Starbucks makes it better by allowing the customer
to check and load their Starbucks card via their phone,
on the Starbucks website, using the Starbucks app,
or simply by walking into the store.
And the moment there’s a change to your card,
your profile gets updated in real-time across all channels.
Suppose, on your way to work you visit a Starbucks store.
And standing in the long queue,
you realize that you are out of balance on your Starbucks card.
With the tap of a button,
you load your card on the Starbucks app.
And when your turn comes,
you do not have to explain to the barista that you just reloaded your card.
They would automatically know that when you scan your app.
Disney: Everyone Loves Disney
Disney is a classic example of omnichannel marketing done right.
Once you land on their website, whether using a desktop or a smartphone, you will realize the attention to detail.
You might have come across glitches
while planning a trip on booking sites.
Disney has done an awesome job
with trip-planning even on mobile devices.
You can use their My Disney Experience tool to plan your entire trip-
Resort hotel and dining reservations, park tickets, and FastPass selections, you can view them all on your My Plans page.
While in the Park, the Disney mobile app
serves as a GPS for locating the attractions.
It also gives you the estimated wait time for each location.
Their colorful Magicband (a wristband) acts as a
resort ticket and a hotel room key.
You can even use it to purchase food and merchandise.
Disney has been successfully leading
the omnichannel marketing wagon!
How to do Omnichannel marketing in 2019?
Now that you understand what is omnichannel marketing,
and also saw some examples of that strategy,
it is time to get hands-on and understand
how to leverage omnichannel marketing in 2019.
Become your customer
The best way to understand the customer journey is to become one.
Let’s suppose you have a brick and mortar perfume store
and a passerby sees your signage.
The user then visits your store and your employee
tries to engage with the user with a beautiful smile.
Your knowledgeable employee
helps the user pick the right perfume bottle.
Your customer is certain that if she does not like the perfume,
she can get a full refund without any hassle.
As part of marketing, you also collect the user’s email.
Let’s say the same customer goes home, and in the evening uploads a photo of her with the perfume bottle on Facebook or Instagram, mentioning your brand.
Upon further research, you find that
she has also given you a 4.5-star rating on Google Reviews.
And finally, as part of marketing, you send her a promotional email a month later, offering her a discount.
Until now, you have done everything right.
And if a similar situation arises, you know what to do.
Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier,
customer journeys are becoming more and more complex.
No two customer journeys look the same in its entirety.
One small mistake,
and you will be selling your brand short.
Single poor customer experience can have negative repercussions.
Word-of-mouth and online reviews can easily get a purchase out of your hand, and land your competitor the customer.
Not saying that it is possible to keep everyone happy.
So how do you understand the customer journey thoroughly?
By creating something we call mapping the customer journey.
Note the different touch points in the customer journey.
Look at your analytics, and store data, and map out every touch point, aka, the channel used by the customer to contact your business.
Here is a table that plots the common customer touch points during the three stages of the customer journey:
Now that you have a fair idea of the different touch points of your customer, you can address the following:
You should look into what actions
does your customer take across the different touch points.
Being granular does not hurt.
You can use a variety of tools and data to understand this aspect.
Heat maps, for example,
can show you where the user is clicking on a web page.
Email marketing platforms can also
show you the heat maps on an email.
Understanding the emotions of the user is important-
both positive and negative.
For example, if the bounce rate on a web page is high,
you can start looking into the web page from a Conversion Rate Optimization standpoint.
And try to figure out what discourages the user on that page to click on the desired CTA.
Questions & Hurdles
Customers can give you powerful insights if you ask them,
and understand their behavior across different touch points.
I hear businesses complaining they do not have enough answers from customers.
And my question to them remains- Did you ever ask the customer the right way?
How about an example?
When consulting with a business a few months back,
we found out that one of their customers was getting emails for every offer.
The only issue is that the customer had died,
and his wife was receiving the emails.
Nothing wrong in sending emails.
What was wrong here is that even after the wife had notified the business via customer service,
they did not take a note of it or pass it to the marketing department.
As a result,
the email marketing platform still showed the same info as before.
Get my point?
Try to find answers to questions such as:
Can my customers find answers to their questions?
Where do the customers hang up?
What issues are my customers facing across each touch point?
Is it the cost or the messaging that is an issue?
Yup, you might have to turn into a data scientist to dig deep.
But it will pay off.
The idea is to research and analyze the customer journey across different touchpoints.
This is the core of omnichannel marketing.
Pay attention to the experiences and behavior of the customer.
Omnichannel marketing data can yield
powerful consumer insights that you can use to create relevant content that would help convert.
Omnichannel Marketing Strategy 2019: Audience Segmentation
I do not agree with having a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing.
If you are not segmenting users,
you have not truly embraced omnichannel marketing.
What is audience segmentation?
It is the process of creating
meaningful and manageable groups out of your massive database of customers.
The idea is to tailor your message based on the preferences of each group.
Segmentation is an important aspect of Audience-First marketing.
How do you segment your prospects and customers?
Start with creating buyer personas.
I believe in having at least three segmentation parameters or criteria
– demographics, location, and behavioral.
Demographics such as age, race, religion, gender, family size, ethnicity, income,
and education can help you narrow down your user base.
Geographical segmentation is useful as well.
Working with one of our clients,
we found that Texas was driving the most website traffic for them.
Upon further analysis,
we found that their paid advertising in Texas was not driving conversions.
The CPA (cost per acquisition) was high, and month-after-month,
the investment to revenue ratio was not optimal.
We changed the strategy by shrinking the marketing budget in Texas to another state that was generating more conversions at lower CPAs.
In addition, we used behavioral segmentation to target Texas users.
As a result, after two months,
we found a significant increase in overall revenue.
The numbers from Texas started improving as well.
Go Big does not always work!
Y’all will agree, right?
Behavioral patterns such as knowledge, likes and dislikes,
and attitude towards your products or services.
Behavioral segmentation allows you to
tailor your offering to meet the needs and desires of the target audience.
Make sure you have buyer personas.
Without these, you will be shooting in the dark.
It is always better to have smaller groups,
so you can market better, and get the desired results.
Omnichannel Marketing Strategy 2019: Intent & Behavior-based Content
A key issue with demographic targeting is that it
sometimes ignores the behavior and intent of users,
especially across multiple devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Intent-based marketing is based on behavioral targeting
In order to create intent-based content,
start with understanding your customer.
Then, assess the customer journey.
As you know,
searches can be categorized into navigational, informational, and transactional.
A search is navigational in nature when the user is directly looking for a particular brand.
Informational searches reflect the “I want to learn” mentality of the user.
And finally, when a user is in the purchase-mode,
the searches fall under the transactional category.
You might have heard or read about businesses complain
about their paid advertising not bringing desired results.
Or that their marketing efforts are not generating enough revenue.
A disconnect across the three types of searches and the content could be a reason for this.
An example could be promoting a transactional ad content for an informational search query.
you must tailor your content based on the user intent.
Many of us focus too much on the business.
Take a step back,
and start analyzing what motivates your buyer.
Don’t create your content marketing strategy solely based on the customer needs and the channels to sell.
Instead, look into why they need certain products.
How they use your products?
How does your product solve their pain point?
This will help you develop ideas to create intent-based content.
Create content related to the micro-moments,
or aha moments, as I’d call them.
Customer Intent cannot be analyzed in a day or two.
Customer Intent-based marketing is about following the customer throughout their journey,
and observing what information do they need at every touch-point,
and how you can address their questions or concerns.
Audience First Marketing is the answer to understanding and creating intent-based content.
Listen And Respond
An omnichannel marketing strategy in 2019 is more about listening.
Let’s take an example.
Suppose a user looking for health supplements on their smartphone likes a particular whey protein brand,
and adds the desired size of the product in his shopping cart.
And still, he does not check out.
The next day, while working on his laptop,
he browses the same product.
The shopping cart still has the product waiting on him.
This is a wonderful opportunity for the protein brand
to listen and respond to the user’s intent and behavior.
The brand can send a personalized message
in an email with an image of the protein brand.
Maybe even a 5-10% discount?
An omnichannel marketing strategy in 2019
is about making the customer journey integrated and seamless.
When you can address every touch point of the customer journey
with the right message, at the right time,
you can call yourself an Omnichannel Marketer.
What’s your strategy for Omnichannel?
Or are you still stuck in the multichannel marketing mindset?
I am all ears.
Leave your comments below
and share your experiences with omnichannel marketing.