Omnichannel Marketing: A Complete Guide for 2020
By Ankita Kaushik Published: 23 August 2019 | Updated: 12 March 2020
Do you know 86% of shoppers regularly channel-hop across two channels? Yes, they don’t just hop from one shop to another; they also hop across multiple channels while shopping. Sometimes they end up making online purchases even as they stand in the queue at the physical store or use smartphones as shopping assistants at the stores. That’s why 87% of the retailers recognize the omnichannel marketing strategy as crucial for their business. They realize that if they want to be at the top of their game, they need to offer a consistent experience to customers across different touchpoints. As a retailer, it’s time that you understand the significance of omnichannel marketing on your business and leverage it to create a unique experience for your customers and maximize your RoI.
We have put together a comprehensive guide with tips, and omnichannel marketing strategies to help you build a successful omnichannel marketing campaign. Let’s get started.
Table of contents –
- What Is Omnichannel Marketing and Why You Need It?
- So What is Omnichannel Marketing?
- Why is Omnichannel Marketing Important?
- How to Create a Perfect Omnichannel Experience?
- How to Build a Perfect Omnichannel Marketing Strategy?
- [Infographic] Omnichannel vs. Multi-Channel, and Cross-Channel Marketing
- Pros and Cons of Multi-Channel vs. Omnichannel Marketing
- How to Boost Your ROI With Omnichannel Marketing?
- How to Use Omnichannel Marketing for Mobile Apps?
- [eBook] A Beginner’s Guide to Omnichannel Marketing using Marketing Automation
- Lessons from 7 Brands That Have Mastered Omnichannel Marketing
- Use Cases of Omnichannel Marketing
- How to Use Omnichannel Marketing Strategies for Your E-commerce Business
- Omnichannel Marketing Lessons To Learn From Amazon
- How to Fix the Common Mistakes in Omnichannel Marketing
- Omnichannel Marketing Best Practices
- [Webinar] How to implement omnichannel marketing across the customer journey
- [eBook] Ready-to-Use Omnichannel Marketing Workflows To Grow Conversions
- Is omnichannel marketing worth the effort?
What Is Omnichannel Marketing and Why You Need It?
Way back in 2015, Harvard Business Review, along with a major US retail company, conducted a 14-month study to understand the shopping behavior of customers. They interviewed 46,000 shoppers and found the following:
- 7% of the customers were only-online shoppers
- 20% of them were store-only shoppers
- A whopping 73% of them used multiple channels throughout their shopping journey
The study further revealed that the more channels the customers used, the more valuable they proved to be to the retailers. For example, the study found that the customers who used more than 4+ channels spent 9% more in the store than the ones who used a single channel.
The writing was clear on the wall – omnichannel customer experience was no longer an option. The retailers had to rethink their customer journeys and find new ways to acquire, engage, and retain customers through positive experience across multiple touchpoints.
With new marketing channels emerging, it’s time retailers shift their focus from traditional marketing to omnichannel marketing strategies.
So What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing refers to creating your brand’s presence across multiple online (website, app, social media, email, SMS, WhatsApp) and offline (retail store, events, call-center) channels while ensuring a positive and seamless experience throughout the customer journey.
The word ‘positive’ and ‘seamless’ is crucial to note because 67% of the customers cite bad customer experience as the reason for churn. So, if you are looking at winning and retaining customers, it’s important that you must take your omnichannel marketing strategy seriously and strengthen it to offer a positive experience to your customers throughout their journey.
Why is Omnichannel Marketing Important?
Omnichannel marketing is essential because it helps you create a positive experience for the customer at every stage of their lifecycle, reduce churn, and drive and build a positive reputation of your brand. Let’s take an example. Imagine, you are tired after a long day at work and want to grab a quick cup of coffee before heading home. You know your favorite coffee shop will be crowded in the evening, and you have no energy to stand in the queue. Wouldn’t it be nice if the coffee shop had an option to pre-order coffee via an app, so you could enter the shop, collect your order and leave? That’s exactly what Starbucks did. It has made ordering and payment easier for the customer. Their mobile payment makes up 29% of their transactions. Starbucks was not just able to enhance the customer experience, but could also boost its revenue through omnichannel technology.
How to create a perfect omnichannel experience?
To create a perfect omnichannel experience, begin with understanding your customer deeply (probably more than their best friend). Starbucks, for example, understood the pain point of the customer, i.e., their unwillingness to stand in a queue even if they are tempted to grab a cup of coffee, and used it to create an effective omnichannel experience. Understanding your customer deeply would mean closely observing the kind platforms your customers ]frequently use to shop, their purchasing behavior, the challenges they face while shopping, how they interact with the brand across each touchpoint and the devices they use to shop. This data will help you to identify the right touchpoints and focus on strengthening them and connecting them to make it a seamless and tailor-made experience for your customers. It will also help you to identify the common issues that customers face and create a viable solution for them.
How to Build a Perfect Omnichannel Marketing Strategy?
Let’s look at how Disney created a perfect omnichannel marketing strategy to improve people’s experience at their theme parks. Through their website, mobile apps, and Magicbands and cards, Disney has made it easier for the visitors to book their stay, check ride timings, book tickets, etc. without having to stand in a long queue. To create an omnichannel experience like that, you need to have a perfect omnichannel marketing strategy.
Here’s what you can do:
- Plan the experience of the customer – Understand their channels, their behavior across all channels, and create a detailed plan on how you want the experience to flow across all the touchpoint.
- Use data as a base while strategizing – With the help of CRM data, social listening data, and customer’s online search behavior, you will know how your customer behaves and can accordingly create a solution to address their challenges. You can even reduce the churn by using the data in the right way.
- Segment the users and personalize the journey – Once you analyze the data, you can easily segment users into different categories based on common behavior patterns. This will help you to create personalized journeys for each type of customer.
- Get the context right – The most crucial part of an omnichannel marketing strategy is the context. Sending a wrong message to the wrong audience at the wrong time will dissuade your users from engaging with you. Ensure that the context of your message is relevant to the user and send it to the user at the time they are most active, and on the channel, they engage with the most.
- Select the right marketing automation tools – Use the right marketing tools to implement your strategy right from the time of conceptualization to implementation. Do a thorough analysis before selecting the right one.
- Make your organization customer-centric – This is an important step. Because unless your employees are not trained to offer a consistent experience to the customers, no amount of strategy or marketing tool will help.
Now that you know what omnichannel marketing is and how you can create a perfect strategy. Let’s dig deeper to know how you can implement it in your organization.
[Infographic] Omnichannel vs. Multichannel, and Cross-Channel Marketing
Marketers often use terms such as omnichannel, multichannel, and cross-channel interchangeably. After all, they seem to mean the same thing – using multiple channels to acquire, engage and retain your customers. Well, while the essence of all the three is the same, there is a thin line that differentiates them. In multichannel marketing, all the communication channels work in isolation with no connection between any of them, whereas, in cross-channel marketing, there are very selected communication channels that are connected.
Omnichannel marketing is much more mature as all the channels work cohesively and in harmony with each other. But how do you determine which one of them is perfect for you? Let’s look at the pros and cons to get a clear picture.
Pros and Cons of Multichannel vs. Omnichannel Marketing
The advantage of multi-channel marketing is that it helps you to grow your reach by using multiple channels. However, due to the lack of cohesiveness, there is no transparency between the channels and they compete with each other instead of working together. This leads to inconsistent customer experience.
Omnichannel marketing, on the other hand, ensures that the customer experience remains consistent across all channels by tying all the touchpoints together and ensuring transparency across all of them. To help you choose between omnichannel vs. multi-channel or cross-channel marketing, we have put together an infographic the difference between multi-channel, cross-channel and omnichannel marketing that will help you determine the right strategy.
How to Boost Your ROI With Omnichannel Marketing?
To create a best-in-class experience for your customers, you have to show your management how you can boost the company’s ROI using omnichannel marketing. To help you do that, we have curated four ways in which you can boost ROI and build a positive experience for your customers:
- Consistent messaging: Right from training your marketing, sales, and customer support staff to personalizing the content at every stage of the customer lifecycle, ensure that the messaging is consistent.
- Consistent experience: If you want to improve the customer lifetime value (LTV), you must focus on delivering a consistent experience across different touchpoints. Ensure that your staff is well-trained to provide such experience because different customers will interact in different ways with your brand, and there is no one way to do it.
- Continuity in communication: Ensure that there is a continuity in communication across all the channels, so people are guided throughout the buyer’s journey.
- Data-driven marketing: Personalization is the key to successful marketing. Use data-driven marketing to understand your customers, so you can engage with them in the right way by using the right channels.
How to Use Omnichannel Marketing for Mobile Apps?
Whether it is ordering for food, hailing a cab, or making quick payments, smartphones have simplified the lives of people. That’s why it does not come as a surprise when Lisa Gevelber, Google’s VP of Marketing, said that 96% of the users reach out to their smartphone to find answers and 70% of the smartphone users turn to their device before making an in-store purchase. If you have not paid attention to mobile apps, you are probably losing out on a lot of potential customers. A mobile app plays a pivotal role in your omnichannel marketing strategy. However, with an average of 30 mobile apps downloaded on your customer’s smartphone, grabbing their attention can be quite challenging.
There are four ways in which you can center your omnichannel marketing around mobile apps for different customer phases:
- Welcoming new users: Create a well-planned onboarding strategy to walk the user through different features of the app.
- Keeping them engaged: Keep your users engaged on your app, so they don’t uninstall it.
- Re-engaging inactive users: Use personalized and rich push notifications to re-engage dormant users.
- Convert into brand advocates: Word of mouth marketing is the most trusted form of marketing. Use omnichannel marketing to convert your users into brand advocates.
Here’s an example of Pete using a banking app.
[eBook] A Beginner’s Guide to Omnichannel Marketing using Marketing Automation
By now, you may have already got some clarity on what omnichannel marketing means and how you can use it to enhance your customer’s experience. You may have also planned your omnichannel strategy. Now, the next step is to deploy the strategy effectively. To do that, you need a marketing automation tool that will help you to offer a seamless experience to your customers across different channels and at various stages of the customer journey.
Marketing automation tool also allows you to segment your target audience smartly to personalize the communication and save time on manual tasks. If you are wondering how to use marketing automation tools to personalize the customer journey, look no further. We have put together a beginner’s guide to omnichannel marketing that explains how you can leverage marketing automation for different customer phases – onboarding, engagement, conversions, and retention and win over your customers. What’s more? We have included real-life examples to help you execute a successful omnichannel marketing campaign.DOWNLOAD NOW
Lessons from 7 Brands That Have Mastered Omnichannel Marketing
What differentiates a good omnichannel marketing campaign from the bad one is the consistency in branding and customer experience. You may have the best automation tools and the channels at your disposal to help you implement omnichannel marketing, but it can fail if your strategy is not right. Your customers will not think twice before switching to your competitor if they are offered an inconsistent experience. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to omnichannel marketing strategy. However, if you are looking for some inspiration, head to our blog where we have curated the stories of seven brands that have planned and deployed successful omnichannel marketing strategies.
From the omnichannel experience offered by Singapore Airlines to enable customers to shop, pre-book, or earn loyalty real-time, to the seamless banking experience provided by Bank of America to customers in their branch; you will find some interesting takeaways that can help you build a successful omnichannel marketing strategy.
Use Cases of Omnichannel Marketing
You can use omnichannel marketing across several industries, such as:
- Telecom: Omnichannel marketing can be used in the telecom industry to enable customers to pay bills, recharge, or receive notifications about new launches. MoEngage, for instance, helped a telecom company to implement an omnichannel self-serve app to drive engagement and boost revenue. The self-care app improved the revenue for the company by 20%.
- Travel: From reminding the passengers about the upcoming flight a few days before the journey to sending the best deals on hotels and restaurants, the travel industry can use capitalize on omnichannel marketing throughout the journey of the customer.
- Banking: Banks can use omnichannel marketing to remind their customers about the impending bills to be paid, or give the latest credit, debit balance on transactions. You can also announce the launch of new products and reduce the time taken to place a new request or open a new account using omnichannel marketing. A southern European bank, for instance, ensured that there was no interruption in the purchase of credit card by offering the customer a seamless experience across different devices and channels. The customer could now complete the request in 3 minutes instead of 25 minutes.
- Healthcare: Healthcare, being a highly regulated industry, may be slow at adopting omnichannel technology; however, several healthcare companies have adopted it to provide a good experience to the patients. You can offer services such as reminding the patients about the doctor’s appointment, providing them with access to their reports on their device, and providing daily health tips to improve engagement.
How to Use Omnichannel Marketing Strategies for Your E-commerce Business
While we have looked at a few use cases where omnichannel marketing can be used, e-commerce is one business where omnichannel marketing plays a crucial role. In its report ‘Global Retail Trends 2019’, KPMG predicted 2019 to be a transformational year for the retail industry. From hyper-personalization to the rise of voice technology, the retail industry is buzzing with new developments. The industry is growing stronger by every passing year as Statistica predicts the global retail sales to amount to $28 trillion by 2020.
In a hyper-competitive business like e-commerce, your customers are spoiled for choices. You have to cut through the noise to acquire, engage, and retain them on your website. This can be done only through a positive customer experience. You can create a strong relationship with your customers with these seven omnichannel retail strategies:
- Audit your existing marketing strategy: monitor all your channels and think of ways to improve your existing strategy. Think like a customer when you work on the omnichannel retail strategy.
- Analyze how your customers interact with your brand: Pay close attention to how your customer behaves online and offline and how they make a purchasing decision.
- Segment your audience smartly: The more well-defined your customer segmentation, the more effective it will be your omnichannel marketing strategy.
- Personalize the content for each channel: There are various ways to target your customer – from sending SMSes and emails, to sending push notifications. However, before you target all the channels, spend time to craft a personalized message for every channel.
- Do not forget to retarget: A customer might not buy from you in the first instance. By showing them relevant banner ads on different platforms such as social media websites, you will be able to create a top-of-the-mind recall, which could increase the chances of conversion.
- Leverage upon your automation tools: A marketing automation tool lets you segment your audience smartly, personalize the messages, schedule your campaign, and measure its effectiveness easily. Leverage it to the maximum level possible.
- Test, measure, & repeat: Always do an A/B test and measure the outcome to know what’s working and what’s not.
Omnichannel Marketing Lessons to Learn From Amazon
While we talk about omnichannel marketing in the e-commerce industry, let’s look at how Amazon has changed the omnichannel marketing game in the e-commerce space. If you have read Jeffrey and Bryan Eisenberg, and Roy. H. Williams’ book, ‘Be Like Amazon: Even a Lemonade Stand Can Do It,’ you are probably already aware of how Amazon’s customer obsession and culture of innovation has helped them become one of the most influential companies in the world. If you have admired Amazon for its marketing strategies, you must know about the four omnichannel strategies, which has made them the brand they are today:
- User experience: Amazon always put their customers at the heart of their business, which enables to them create a best-in-class user experience.
- Customer service: Amazon ensures that they offer the best customer service to its users. From implementing robots to improve their efficiency to introducing Amazon prime to offer special benefits to the users, Amazon ensures that their customers are always happy.
- Innovative advertising: Amazon is a pioneer in omnichannel marketing. From SMS, emails, push notifications and SMSes, they use everything to engage with the customer.
- Diversification in e-commerce marketing: Amazon has ensured that it is not restricted to e-commerce alone. It experiments constantly and has also made a strong presence as a brick and mortar retail shop.
How to Fix the Common Mistakes in Omnichannel Marketing
Despite having the finest marketing automation tools or planning a brilliant marketing strategy, many marketers face challenges in creating a seamless omnichannel experience for their customers. Either they are unable to manage the data across various channels or use that intelligently to meet customer expectations. This results in customer churn. Generally, marketers make these seven common mistakes most of the time:
- Ineffective content strategy: Avoid the spray and pray method. Understand your buyer’s persona, how they shop, and create relevant content for every buyer and channel.
- Utilization of data: Data is the new oil. However, unfortunately, marketers have been unsuccessful in utilizing data to its fullest extent. Get a 360-degree view of the data and fix the ones that are not relevant to your business.
- Isolated analytics measurement: As the lines between online and offline channels blur, measuring the success of different touchpoints in isolation will not give you a holistic picture of how your strategy has performed. Consider all the touchpoints as a part of a complete ecosystem and measure it.
- Inaction on new findings: The failure to take actionable steps on the available data can lead to an ineffective marketing campaign. The best way to fix this problem is by hiring technical hires who can optimize the technology and data available about the users and help you to plan a better omnichannel marketing strategy.
- Ineffective strategy: Most customers suffer because of the disjointed experience offered by the brand due to poor strategy. Place the customer at the center of your strategy, and take a data-driven approach to create an effective strategy.
- Failure in implementation: The silos in organizational structure and proliferation of new channels such as social media and mobile apps can make implementation even more challenging. Shift your focus from channels to customer experiences to fix the problem.
- KPI measurement: While marketers measure the overall effectiveness of the campaign, they fail to measure the KPIs at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Instead of measuring the results for the entire campaign, measure the campaign at every stage of the customer journey.
Omnichannel Marketing Best Practices
Now that you know the mistakes that you need to avoid, let’s look at some of the best practices that you can implement during and after the execution of the omnichannel campaign:
- Understand your buyers and their journey: No two customers behave the same way. Right from their purchasing behavior to the way they make decisions, everything differs. So, take out time to understand your buyers, map out their journeys, and accordingly work towards creating a strategy.
- Select the right channels: While some of your channels may be working efficiently, a few may be underperforming. If you want to deliver a seamless and consistent experience to your customer, you must optimize all the channels. There are multiple channels available, however, not all would be useful to you. So, analyze the ones that your customers frequently use to interact with you and leverage their potential.
- Use the right tools: There are several marketing automation tools available in the market. Study and compare the tools available along the lines of what you want it to do for you, and choose the one that fits your expectations. Don’t burn your fingers using the wrong tool.
- Help; don’t harass: Your customers would not appreciate your intrusion. So, be wise while sending them messages. Ensure that the message is relevant to the user and is sent at a time that is convenient to them and not you. The right message to the right person at the right time using the right channels – make this your omnichannel marketing mantra.
- Always measure: Always measure the effectiveness of your campaign, so you can identify the strength and the pain points that you need to resolve.
[Webinar] How to Implement Omnichannel Marketing Across the Customer Journey
Imagine going to a store and not getting any help from the salespeople. Wouldn’t you just leave the store with a sour experience? Omnichannel marketing without any support from you is similar to that store that does not offer timely assistance. Omnichannel is all about driving customer growth. Omnichannel marketing is not restricted to using the right channels or the right tools alone; you have to be there for your customer at every point of their journey:
- Onboarding: Get your customers familiar with your business through onboarding emails and push notifications.
- Engagement: Ensure a top-of-the-mind recall by offering them special offers and discounts on your products, or by giving them a preview of your new launch. If your product is a tool, you can give them a walk-through and offer them support whenever they need it. You can also send them personalized emails and special discounts during occasions, such as their birthday or anniversary. The idea is to ensure that they remember you and feel special to be associated with you.
- Brand advocacy: Brand loyalty is rare these days. With so much competition around, gaining your customer’s loyalty should be your priority. Ask for feedback from your customers regularly. However, don’t leave it at that. Thank them for it and if the feedback is worth implementing, do it soon, so they know that you value their opinion and convert into brand advocates.
[eBook] Ready-to-Use Omnichannel Marketing Workflows to Grow Conversions
As competition grows, brands have to constantly think of new ways to acquire, engage, and retain customers. You need to follow a bunch of marketing activities to keep your customers on your platform. But how are you going to do that? How do you ensure that your communication is personalized for every customer? How do you make it a well-oiled self-sustaining activity instead of a one-off activity? The answer to all this lies in using marketing automation workflows.
Marketing automation workflows help you to create logical workflows based on pre-defined logic. It helps you to save time and cost on manual activities, minimize user attrition, and delight customers by offering them consistent experience across all the channels. To help you grow your business, we have created a guide that will give you ideas on how you can leverage ready-to-use marketing workflows at every stage of the customer journey. And here’s the bonus – you can also check out some of our ready-to-use omnichannel marketing workflows to get you started.DOWNLOAD NOW
Is Omnichannel Marketing Worth the Effort?
For all the efforts put into understanding the data and creating a seamless experience for the customer across all the channels; it is understandable that the marketers might question whether omnichannel marketing is worth it. Here are some statistics that we would like to share to drive home the importance of omnichannel marketing.
- Marketers who use an omnichannel channel strategy witness a 250% higher engagement rate than those using single-channel marketing.
- The average order value was 13% more when marketers used the omnichannel strategy.
- The customer retention was 90% more with an omnichannel strategy.
Omnichannel marketing may require your team to combine their marketing and technical expertise and go through a humungous volume of data to create a successful campaign. However, in the end, all of it is only going to help you create a positive customer experience. What more do you need than a happy customer who is willing to come back to you repeatedly?
We are committed to helping you create effective omnichannel marketing strategies that can enhance your customer’s experience and grow your business. You can head to our blog to get the latest updates and for some inspiration from leading brands and marketing experts on how to win the omnichannel marketing game.
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