Once upon a time, shopping for a product may have involved an advertising flyer in the daily newspaper and a trip to the department store. Perhaps a recommendation from a friend or a creative billboard on the way to work contributed to a buying decision. Today, however, the number of channels reaching the average consumer has multiplied exponentially.
Although all those old-fashioned marketing channels still exist, businesses must now contend with electronic devices as well as hundreds of potential online touch-points. One study showed that more than 200 million adults in the United States alone got on the internet using about four separate devices each day.
It’s no wonder that omnichannel is the one of the rising stars of modern marketing. This strategy is all about a seamless user experience across all business-to-consumer interaction points, providing the information and the purchase opportunity whenever and wherever the customer wants them.
It may seem that revamping your marketing to embrace omnichannel strategy is too overwhelming, but like everything else, starting small is the key to long-term success.
Here are some ways to build your own:
Break Down Silos Between Departments
It’s an age-old business problem: departments set their own goals and work independently of other divisions. This type of corporate structure, whether formal or understood, has always caused roadblocks to growth and success. In the case of omnichannel strategy, it’s even more of a problem.
Instead of having employees doing work based on department strategy, restructure tasks based on customer or market groups. By doing so, you create a more seamless interaction for your customer across all departments of your organization. Everything is focused on delivering the right message at the right time to the right customer.
Start by centralizing the data that you have on your customers. By centralizing this data and making it available across all departments of your company, you help each team create a more unified customer experience.
Know Thy Target Market
Before you can successfully reach your potential customers, you need to know as much as possible about them. In the past, this information had to be very broad and encompass a large number of people. With today’s data mining technology, it’s easier and easier to drill down to very specific preferences about products, time and frequency of contact, and price points.
Most importantly for omnichannel marketing, you’ll want to know where and how customers receive their information as well as when they tend to pull the trigger on making a final purchase.
According to a Netsertive report, the top channels that customers use the most are all digital and include company websites, mobile device searching, digital advertising, social media sites, and email. Start your efforts here, one by one, to reach your potential customers as often as possible.
Match Content With The Right Context
Understanding what content is most valuable at every moment of a potential customer’s purchasing journey is the new standard in providing that content. It’s no longer enough to provide useful information, but you’ll have to deliver the right pieces of that information at the right moments in time.
For example, when potential customers show up at your website for the first time, they may have no interest in how you’re giving back to the community. Instead, they want to know what kind of discount you’re offering to new customers.
However, once customers have developed an affinity to your products after receiving excellent items and customer service, you may solidify your long-term relationship by supporting a great cause your customers also believe in.
Scale Content and Design to Channels
There is perhaps nothing more frustrating than trying to interact with a web page that designed for a desktop computer screen on your phone. Scrolling, shifting, pinching and zooming just takes time and effort, and many customers will simply give up.
Instead, scale your content to different devices, starting with the one used most frequently by your audience. When you reduce your information for devices such as smartphones, don’t simply shrink everything to fit the screen size. The type will be impossibly small to read. Instead, pull the most critical content and save the white papers and data-hogging videos for other channels.
It is true that omnichannel marketing strategy can be overwhelming. However, this is the wave of the future, and those companies who get on board now will have a definite market advantage. If you haven’t already started to consider omnichannel marketing, now is the time to start.