Unlocking the True Power of Omnichannel Marketing Automation
How many times have you stood in line at the checkout counter only to browse for your cart items online? In all probability, that is all of us at some point!
Digital technologies have offered a new ramp for modern-day consumers, where they are spoilt for choices. They have multiple options to buy goods and services from multiple sources. However, an omnichannel presence could result in silos that dilute the overall customer experience and make digital marketing difficult.
So, how can businesses integrate and unify this fragmented framework?
The answer is simple – omnichannel marketing automation.
What is Omnichannel Marketing? Why Does it Matter for Your Business?
According to HubSpot, a customer experiences about 6 to 7 (with the golden number being 8) touchpoints before developing confidence in the brand to go ahead with the purchase. However, what if these touchpoints all steered them in different directions or distracted them from the business’s primary objective? Naturally, it would ultimately cause the deal to fall out!
Clearly, consistency is the key to successfully grooming your prospects and converting them into paying customers – and omnichannel marketing is here to sustain it!
Omnichannel marketing can be best described as a multichannel sales approach, which deploys several marketing campaigns over different media and integrates them all for a unified customer experience. As such, your customers enjoy an immersive, personalized, and concordant experience, regardless of their type, preferred platform, or stage of the customer journey!
Let’s understand omnichannel marketing through an illustration
Let us consider a makeup brand (*cough* Sephora *cough*) that has a strong online and offline presence.
Jane Smith visits the brick-and-mortar store to make a purchase. Upon buying the products, Jane shares her personal details such as name, mobile number, and email ID. She also downloads their mobile app upon the recommendation of the sales executive.
After a while, Jane receives an email informing her of an upcoming sale by the makeup brand. As she navigates to the website by clicking on the CTA, she receives a personalized welcome message and a few deals customized for her! She adds a few items to her cart but later drops the idea of buying them.
After a couple of days, she receives a mobile app push notification informing her that the sale is about to end and she still has items in her cart. When she taps on the notification, she gets redirected to the cart, where her personalized coupons are already applied to the items she had added to the cart. All she has to do now is make the payment!
Without leaving any room for interpretation, here’s a summary of the notable benefits of such an omnichannel marketing strategy:
- It orchestrates a delightful omnichannel customer experience, which simplifies the buying process, makes the customer journey seamless and memorable, and inculcates loyalty.
- It puts the customer and customer data in the spotlight, which builds you as a customer-centric brand.
- It enhances data quality as you can curate customer data from disparate data sources and ecosystems.
- The granular customer data analysis offered by this strategy lends insight into customer behavior, which allows for better segmentation and targeting.
- It weaves together the multichannel marketing campaigns and creates synergy amongst the teams operating them.
- Establishing your online and offline presence over emails, mobiles, and physical store offers greater brand visibility and favorable positioning.
- Its data-driven and personalized approach make it cost-effective with an appreciable ROI.
Hence, it should come as no surprise that several digital marketers are realizing the potential of omnichannel marketing and its subsequent automation.
Leveraging Omnichannel Marketing Automation to Enhance Customer Journey
If we revisit the example for omnichannel marketing strategy above, one can see that it involves several moving parts, variables, and dependents – and the culmination of these gives rise to its success.
As such, even if one element were to underperform or fail to take off, the business may not have been as successful in converting Jane into a buyer. For instance, the lack of a CTA would have only informed her of the sale rather than redirecting her towards it. At the same timing, one has to nail the timing of all the activities, because timing is everything in marketing. Unfortunately, no matter how hard your email marketing, social media marketing, and mobile marketing teams try, they may not hit the jackpot of perfect hand-offs, especially in real-time. Plus, the fact still remains that not all marketing channels are created equally!
And to achieve this streamlined integration of traditional and digital marketing, businesses need to employ marketing automation platforms to trigger all tasks simultaneously and effortlessly.
Omnichannel automation platforms allow marketers to automate the complete customer experience in a channel-agnostic manner. The platform comprises various tools that concentrate on automating a particulate channel, say social media or emails. These tools are then integrated to build a holistic omnichannel marketing automation environment.
As a result, automation gives omnichannel marketing a much-need boost!
Need for Creating a Customer-Centric, Automated Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
Automation may feature as the backbone of an omnichannel marketing strategy. However, it is an ambitious task to undertake.
Here are a few steps worth noting while creating your very own customer-centric, automated omnichannel marketing strategy:
1. Creating a Centralized Customer Database
Omnichannel marketing automation calls for teams to communicate effectively and seamlessly with each other. Marketing campaigns no longer depend on marketing teams alone. As such, centralizing the customer database allows various players, such as sales, customer support, and merchandising, to access customer information and understand them intimately.
Resultantly, your teams can put a united front to achieve broader goals.
2. Examining the Existing Customer Experience
The second step would involve carrying out a pan-organization audit to review the customer experience delivered by each team. To do this, identify the customer interaction points and analyze how these perform. In simple words, start by Googling your company’s name and work your way to the post-sales services to map out your experience as a shopper in the customer journey.
3. Gathering Customer Experience Feedback
Next, you need to grant audience to your most-valued asset – your customers.
To imbibe a customer-centric culture, you must collect critical customer feedback to identify the bottlenecks and issues that they face while engaging with your business. Decrease the cognitive load involved in the feedback process or incentivize it to score more participants.
A/B testing is one of the best ways to capture audience feedback without pestering them with the task. You can always experiment with the marketing copies, subject lines, etc., and see how the receiver responds to get a more holistic understanding of what ticks with your audience.
4. Segmenting and Targeting
The customer data in your possession is vital for segmenting and targeting your customers. You can categorize your client base on the following grounds:
- Demographics and profile, which answers the question: Who are your customers?
- Campaign engagement, which captures how the customer interacts with your brand or its marketing campaigns.
- Customer behavior, which analyzes your customers’ shopping behavior such as successful purchases, abandoned carts, frequent product returnees, etc.
Implementing this layered segmenting policy allows you to target your customers with the best and most appropriate messages through their preferred platforms.
5. Measuring and Reviewing Success
Finally, any marketing strategy is incomplete without well-defined KPIs to measure its success. Such metrics allow you to discover the high-performing marketing strategies and platforms so that you can strengthen them further while improving on the weaker segments.
Of course, you will have to maintain flexibility to revise these campaigns and progress indicators frequently.
According to an HBR study, 73% of 46,000 shopped used multiple channels while shopping. As such, omnichannel marketing automation emerges as the best solution to tap into such market pools, improve customer retention rates, and improve customer satisfaction – all at the same time! However, gaining the true benefits offered by an omnichannel experience is only possible when you add automation to the mix. Automation takes away all the pain from the tedious task of segmenting and appealing to the audience, while you can directly reap the benefits! And all the while, you will be enhancing the customer journey to make it more memorable as well.