What is omni-channel marketing, or as HubSpot refers to it, the omni-channel experience?“Omni-channel experience is a multi-channel approach to marketing, selling, and serving customers in a way that creates an integrated and cohesive customer experience no matter how or where a customer reaches out.” (Source: HubSpot)
Think about your current customer experience. You’ve invested in a kickass website, you’re active on all the right social channels, and you’re churning out some great blog content. Give yourself a pat on the back, you’ve surpassed quite a few organizations. But think more specifically about the overall look and feel of everything together, as well as the tone and personality that comes through on each platform. Notice anything different? If the experience across all devices and platforms isn’t seamless for you, imagine how your customers feel. What you’re investing in is multi-channel marketing, something quite different than omni-channel marketing.
So let’s discuss how you can take your multi-channeling strategy and turn into a successful omni-channel strategy.
It’s time you put yourself into your customers’ shoes. According to a recent Forrester study, the average American has about 4.3 devices. What does this mean? Well, your customers are engaging with your brand across a variety of different platforms (this we know) but they’re also engaging with your brand on those platforms using a variety of devices! If they leave their IPad and move to their laptop or phone, then go to your store (if you have a brick & mortar location), you want their entire experience to be completely seamless. Provide them with as many of the same options across devices and platforms as you can. If they contact support using their phone, then re-engage with support on their computer via Twitter, make sure support is able to catch up on their case without having to ask the customer to explain it yet again. How many times have you heard stories or read reviews about customers telling 5 different people their support issue and getting nothing resolved after dedicating a significant amount of time to find a resolution?
It’s time to be a team player. Creating a truly successful, well thought-out omni-channel experience for your customers can take a great deal of time and will likely involve several different departments within your company. As marketer you will lead the charge here, but you must make sure to involve customer support, product development and product marketing, as well as sales. Each of these departments has a direct impact on the experience of your customers. Getting them on board for creating an omni-channel strategy is crucial to your success. But before you panic, “omni-channel” is still new and unknown to many companies, so once again applaud yourself for making it this far.
Take a look at the data you currently have available to you. Today, every marketer has a vast variety of data sources available to them, helping them to create detailed profiles of their customers. Use this data to help define (or create if you haven’t yet) a comprehensive buyer persona. Understand exactly how your customers and prospects are finding you and what devices they are using to get there. With this type of information available to you, you can then start creating improved, targeted, and personal messaging. Personalization is the key to marketing in 2018. This may be the key to building your successful, revenue driving, omni-channel experience. You’ve come this far, don’t leave the little details out, these matter more than you might realize.
If I haven’t convinced you yet, take a look at a recent article from CMS Wire. They have gathered some pretty impressive data points from various studies around this exact topic. For example, according to a study by the Aberdeen Group, companies that have a well thought out omni-channel marketing experience for their customers, have an 89% retention rate. That’s a pretty significant number, especially if you compare it to companies who have failed to deliver that exact experience to their customers. Their retention rate is a sad 33%. Would you rather retain 33% of customers or 89% of customers? If you’re interested in making money, I would hope your answer was the latter. But who knows, maybe revenue isn’t important to your company, don’t worry, this is a judgement free zone.