The importance of omnichannel marketing for improving customer experience
In today’s digital world, your audience has higher expectations than ever before, with 73% of consumers saying a good experience is key in influencing their brand loyalties. 66% of customers expecting companies to understand their needs and values. This means your customers expect a seamless experience across multiple channels and touchpoints, which is where omnichannel marketing comes into play.
Omnichannel marketing unifies your customer interactions across various platforms to offer a consistent and personalised experience at every stage of the buyer’s journey. This can improve customer loyalty and customer experience, which may encourage your audience to return to your business in the future.
So, why is omnichannel marketing so important? In this blog we’ll explore the benefits of omnichannel marketing and how integrating branding, messaging and customer touchpoints can strengthen customer experience.
What is omnichannel marketing?
Omnichannel marketing involves you creating personalised and consistent customer experiences across all channels and devices, from social media to push notifications. This means being available to your customers on SMS, WhatsApp, Email, RCS, voice and messaging apps, across multiple devices.
Offering your services across different channels can massively improve your open rates and marketing ROI. Companies with high levels of omnichannel customer engagement saw a rise in annual revenue of 9.5% year on year, compared to 3.4% for companies with low levels of omnichannel consumer engagement (Aberdeen Group).
To optimize your campaigns and improve your customer experience and engagement, you’ll need to meet customers where they would expect a message, when they need it most.
The benefits of omnichannel marketing
As we’ve mentioned, omnichannel marketing has become a must-have for businesses looking to meet their customers expectations. Your customers no longer rely solely on one channel, such as your website, to interact with your brand. Instead, they use a range of platforms to learn about your products, from social media to mobile apps.
So, what are the benefits of omnichannel marketing? Here are some of the key advantages:
- Better customer experience: Omnichannel marketing provides a consistent experience for your customers across multiple touchpoints and platforms. This means they can interact with your brand in a way that appeals to them, from social media to TV advertisements. You can then customise and personalise your messaging to each target audience to offer a personalised customer experience, which can improve customer loyalty as a result.
- Brand recognition: Omnichannel marketing offers a seamless, consistent experience for your customers wherever they interact with your company. The perspective they have of your brand should be the same regardless of the platform or channel they’re using. This can offer familiarity with your brand, allowing customers to differentiate you from your competitors. They’ll know what you stand for and your company’s image, whether they’re on Instagram, your website or seeing a marketing campaign.
- Upsells and cross-sells: With omnichannel marketing you can use your customer data to your advantage to cross-sell and upsell your products or services. You can send push notifications, texts or emails to recommend complementary products to your customers based on their shopping habits. One example of this is a customer choosing to deliver their online order to store, which saves them money on delivery while also encouraging in-store purchases when they collect their order.
How to create an omnichannel strategy
Decided that omnichannel marketing is the right approach for your business? Next, you’ll need to outline your omnichannel strategy, so you have a plan in place to meet your goals.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating your omnichannel marketing strategy:
- Understand your customers: You can’t look to target your customers until you know what makes them tick. Start by exploring their needs, behaviours and preferences. Look at your customer data, identify the most popular channels and devices they use and how they prefer to communicate.
- Outline your objectives: Decide on what you’re looking to achieve from omnichannel marketing. Perhaps you’re looking to increase engagement, or drive sales. Or maybe you’re simply looking to ensure that your brand image is consistent across all channels. You can use these objectives as a reference point when putting together your strategy.
- Identify channels: Where are your customers coming across your brand? Identify the channels that are successfully reaching your target audience, from your website, mobile app to your live chat service and social media platforms.
- Establish consistency: Once you’ve identified your channels, you’ll need to review them by their consistency. Ensure you have a consistent brand image across all channels and platforms, including your tone of voice, and visual elements like colours and fonts. This consistency allows your audience to recognise your brand, regardless of the channel they’re using.
- Map the user journey: Once you’ve got an idea of your customers and channels, you’ll need to map out the user experience from start to finish. Identify all of their key touchpoints, both online and offline. Position yourself as a certain buyer persona, and walk through their buyer’s journey from the awareness stage to decision. What issues might they face? How can you improve their journey? From there, you can ensure the transition between each channel is seamless, so they can continue their journey without running into any obstacles.
- Assign priorities: It’s important to prioritise the channels and platforms that your customers prefer. Use your customer data to identify your audience’s preferences. Perhaps you’ve noticed that your customers engage with you more through Instagram, which would make connecting with them through SMS a waste of both time and money. Once you’ve established a strong, consistent image across all channels, you can use your data to discover what is working and what needs improvement. You can then assign priorities to each channel based on this data.
- Time to integrate: You’ve got your omnichannel strategy made up of customers’ preferred channels and platforms – now it’s time to integrate them. By tracking your customers’ shopping experience across every touchpoint, you can connect it with other touchpoints, both online and offline to offer a seamless experience.
Omnichannel throughout the customer journey
According to Gartner, 50% of major enterprises would have failed to combine engagement channels by 2022, resulting in a disconnected and segregated customer experience that lacks context. With this in mind, it’s more important than ever to have an omnichannel strategy throughout the marketing funnel.
Let’s use a fintech company as an example. Their omnichannel approach can be visualized in the following way:
- Discovery: Sending push messages that motivate the customer to open an account
- Onboarding: Using SMS to remind customers to complete the registration form
- Signing of contracts: Emailing the terms and conditions of their contract as well as the final document
- Re-engaging lapsed customers via digital channels: With links to products and offers that are relevant to the customer
Investing in an omnichannel marketing strategy that allows for customer communication to happen across all devices, platforms and channels is imperative today. It can lead to higher engagement, better return on investment, and customer loyalty.
An omnichannel strategy enables engagement without spamming customers, delivering the value and ROI that marketing leaders are looking for.