By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator and value driver, according to Walker Consulting. As a result, many organizations are ‘pressing pause’ to review their business, brand, and ecommerce goals to align them with an omnichannel world.
Omnichannel marketing helps both B2B and B2C organizations connect to their existing and potential customers in more meaningful and relevant ways. A good omnichannel approach will result in the following:
- Increase in sales with a quicker turnaround in conversion
- Decrease in cart abandonment
- Deepening loyalty with customers which leads to increased lifetime value
- Meaningful customer recommendations and word of mouth
So, what exactly does omnichannel mean, and what does an effective omnichannel marketing strategy look like? Here are the fundamentals.
An omnichannel foundation
The most foundational aspect of omnichannel marketing is taking a customer-first approach and tying content, experiences, and actions on an individual basis along the path-to-purchase. It’s all about understanding what the customer is doing and how and where they are interacting.
Achieving omnichannel excellence starts with small, foundational steps, including:
- Creating a single view of the customer across your channels to anticipate needs and preferences
- Building an omnichannel layer to personas and journeys to understand the hand-off between channels and devices
- Leveraging insights to build an integrated content and experience model for multiple buyers
Multichannel is not the same as omnichannel
Omnichannel is often used interchangeably with the term multichannel, because both involve using multiple channels to engage with customers. But there is a distinction. Multichannel defines the channels used for interactions between the brand and the customer/consumer. Many people think about multichannel in terms of campaigns used to deliver information and offers. According to Business2Community, omnichannel, on the other hand, “is a high-level strategy to ensure an organization’s brand is accessible across any and all channels, providing a less disjointed experience for all customers and prospects no matter the channel.”
The value of omnichannel
Omnichannel drives value. According to a study of 46,000 shoppers published in the Harvard Business Review, “Within six months after an omnichannel shopping experience, customers had logged 23% more repeat shopping trips to the retailer’s stores and were more likely to recommend the brand to family and friends than those who used a single channel.”
The customer engagement ecosystem encompasses content and experiences across different channels like web, apps, messaging platforms, in-store, ecommerce, or chatbots. Omnichannel rock stars provide both inspiration and innovation insights. While B2B organizations lag B2C companies, particularly omnichannel retailers, these consumer-facing companies provide actionable lessons for B2B companies.
Omnichannel marketing initiatives can be overwhelming. On March 28, Big Content Alliance will host a webinar, “Omnichannel Experience: The New Value Driver“, designed to focus on three challenges facing organizations as they build an omni-channel strategy or need to determine a new path forward.
- Fit for Purpose: Before launching a pilot or omnichannel initiative, make sure that your strategy aligns with customer preferences.
- Competing Priorities: Sometimes an organization needs to knit together the pieces/parts scattered across functions to build a more integrated program and coalesce around a single view of the customer.
- Hitting a Rhythm: Putting the right resources in place is critical as is generating the right analytics to sustain, scale and enhance the omnichannel strategy.
To learn more, join the live webinar on March 28.