Omni Channels, Why You Need To Know about The New Digital Marketing Trend.
What is Omni Channel Marketing?
Omni channels as a marketing strategy provides a consistent customer experience for companies’ customers.
Omni channels marketing is a cross-channel marketing approach. It combines online and offline channels for a single unified brand experience.
Defined as “the process of delivering a unified customer experience across multiple touchpoints, or channels, or methods of interaction. Comprising both a strategy and an organizational model. It integrates consumers across all the company’s touchpoints with the same branding message. In this way it drives growth and profitability.”
According to ADWEEK 62% of companies have, or plan to have, an omni-channel marketing strategy.
Omni Channels – Its Importance For A Successful Digital Marketing Strategy
Omni channel marketing is the next big idea in the digital marketing world. With its increased popularity, it has become crucial for many companies to catch up with this trend. Making a start by implementing it into their current marketing strategy.
Omni channel marketing is an approach to online and offline consumer engagement. Taking both channels into consideration, rather than following a traditional mode of business. It is a concept that allows marketers to reach out to consumers through different channels. Channels like email, website, mobile and social media and so on. It offers them a seamless experience across all these channels.
The Disadvantages of Using Omni Channels
Omnichannel strategies are the way of the future. As customers shift more and more of their purchasing power to mobile devices, it’s vital that businesses create a seamless customer experience across all platforms, not just their website.
Yet, omni channel strategies do come with disadvantages. One such disadvantage is that you’ll need to invest in a few new tools to effectively harness the benefits of this strategy. While these tools will be worth it in the long run, they can be expensive and difficult to implement at first.
Marketing teams are constantly looking for new, innovative ways to reach customers and keep them engaged. Omni channels is a way for companies to reach their customers in the best possible way. But this strategy also poses challenges for them; It requires integration of cross-channel data and content. It also relies on software that works across channels. It must be able to process and understand customer behavior across different channels.
What are the Best Practices for Implementing Omni Channels Approaches to Your Business?
Having an omni channel strategy in place is not as complicated as it may seem. The key to success is making sure that all channels are supporting and complementing one another. A main benefit is you can optimize and tailor your message to the different platforms and customer segments and target them better.
Platforms used in Omni Channels
In this section, we will discuss the different platforms that are designed to handle Omnichannel Marketing.
A buyer persona is a fictional representation of a person who might be interested in the company’s product or service. A buyer persona is based on demographics, psychographics, and behaviors. Buyer personas are used to create marketing strategies, messaging, and content for social media, email marketing, in-person interactions, and more.
Omni channels thrive on Mobile. Mobile has revolutionized the way in which businesses interact with their customers. It’s no longer just about serving them once they are within your store. Mobile gives you the opportunity to reach out to them at any point in time. You give them a personalized experience.
Customers want to be able to seamlessly move from web to mobile to in-store and back again. This is a challenge for many companies. But businesses that make a concentrated effort to integrate omni channels into their strategy will see the rewards.
Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to grow your business or organization. With social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and more there are plenty of opportunities to share your message with the world.
Another effective ways to do so is through SMS marketing. Companies use this method because it is a fast and efficient way to connect with their customers and prospects in a personalized manner. Capturing a phone number is as easy as getting an email address. There are many online services that enable you to send bulk SMS messages. Find one that works for you.
Emails are the most popular digital marketing channel and they’re a vital part of any omni-channel marketing strategy. However, with so many email clients and devices out there, marketers need to take into account which email is best for what device. Consumers don’t use email in the same way they used to and it’s important for marketers to know how their emails will be read on each device.
Omni channels in Action – Walmart’s Digital Transformation Journey
Omni channel refers to a company that has a consistent and integrated approach to customer service across all channels of communication. Taking a look at Walmart’s experience can show the benefits but also the pitfalls to using Omni Channel services.
Walmart is striving to be the leader of omni-channel strategy in retail, for instance. Walmart is using both internal data (such as in-store data, online data) and external data to expand their vision of the future. (e.g. social media, weather, Nielsen) to improve the customer experience, enhance decision-making and improve operations. Many trends have been shaping the retail industry.
Walmart is determined to leverage its analytics capabilities. For example, in 2017, it established the Data Café, a state-of-the-art analytics hub which connects to more than 200 datasets, both internal (e.g. transaction data, customer profiles) and external (e.g. social media data, Nielsen data) In 2019, it launched its Intelligent Retail Lab to experiment with AI solutions to envision the future of retail. The company invests in many technologies and generates value and customer experience along the journey.
These include improving customer acquisition, increasing customer lifetime value, reducing customer churn, increasing sales, etc. On the operations side, these include reducing costs, increasing productivity, speeding decision-making, reducing fraud, etc.
Yet, like many other retailers they are still trying to bring up their competition with Amazon. The two main challenges are: Ability to attract top tech talent (e.g. data scientists, data engineers). This is mainly due to the high demand for these skills, with a shortage in supply as well as the attractive jobs offered by FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google).To address this, Walmart can rely on a variety of mechanisms such as attracting talent through high wages/ other incentives, training its staff and creating academies to support upskilling (something it has already started exploring), creating employee exchange programs with tech companies to improve its employees’ digital skills (similar to P&G and Google), etc.
So should you dive into the Omni channel waters?
Online marketing is quickly becoming the dominant form of marketing. Alongside this transition, it has become necessary to be able to use different platforms and traditional marketing strategies in unison. Omni channel Marketing takes all of these approaches and unifies them into a cohesive strategy.
That being said it’s not cost effective for smaller startups it’s limited capital. Large existing retail organizations with a brick and mortar front would work well with this system. Communication is key for through line sales. Setup a proper framework and have all the systems talking seamlessly with each other and you can explore Omni channels as a solution.
Keep in mind that any disruption to the chain can have consequences. Make sure your policies are in place to deal with outages, shortages and man power issues. The software can only get you so far. Don’t overextend yourself.
Ian is a digital brand consultant having worked on major brands over his 20 years in advertising and marketing. Hire him as a consultant to help your brand succeed in this wild west of digital marketing. Get in touch today and let’s build something great together!