The Ultimate Guide to Omni Channel Marketing

Nikita was fascinated with the newly-launched products of a skincare brand at the neighborhood mall, but ended up purchasing them from the brand's website. Alex, meanwhile, checked out a shoe brand's website, but later found the right size on the brand's mobile app.

What's happening here? It's omni channel marketing at work.

According to Google, more than 90% of customers switch between devices every day based on what's functional or more convenient. 

Today, customers can be reached through many platforms or locations, such as smartphones, desktop computers, laptops, tablets, mobile applications, emails, or brick-and-mortar stores.

The best brands use omni channel campaigns and data-driven marketing trends to meet customers where they are.

What is omni channel marketing?

Omni channel marketing is an integrated approach that serves customers across multiple channels and platforms. Also known as multichannel marketing, it focuses on customers' needs first. Every channel brings a unique value-add to the customer journey, offering a unified experience on any device.

Here are some examples of omni channel marketing at work:

  • Text message to smartphone when customer is shopping in-store
  • Customer receiving an email about their abandoned eCommerce cart
  • Retargeting ads after a customer visited the brand's eCommerce website

What are the benefits of omni channel marketing solutions?

Even as most brick-and-mortar retailers struggled to grow their sales during the pandemic, one company recorded the best revenue numbers in its history.

Leading US retailer Target booked its best quarterly numbers in the second quarter of 2020 with a 24% increase in total sales. Remarkably, it also saw digital sales grow by a phenomenal 195%. 

Thanks to the seamless introduction of an omni channel strategy, Target successfully integrated its digital and physical presence.

It also found that omni channel customers who use retail stores, mobile, and online to purchase spent ten times more than online-only customers and four times more than store-only buyers.

We know that the pandemic has fast-tracked digitalization. The key to marketing success lies in bringing together the physical and digital worlds to create quality customer experiences.

Creating consistent branding and service touchpoints across different channels is essential if brands want to stay competitive. Here are some of the benefits of omni channel marketing:

Boosts customer retention and loyalty 

Customers prefer purchasing from brands they trust. Offering personalized and amalgamated omni channel communication helps create strong customer-brand relationships, increases trust, and boosts customer retention.

A study from HBR reaffirms that omni channel customers are also more loyal. Within six months of an omni channel experience, they're likely to recommend that brand to their family and friends and make repeat shopping trips themselves.

Brands understand the value of keeping customers coming back for more. Omni channel campaigns can be very valuable in retaining this lifetime value. By leveraging customer relationships and the related data, brands can create informed conversion strategies, customize customer service, and increase brand loyalty.

Improves brand recall

New buzzwords are emerging every day due to evolving customer behavior and market trends. The rise of ‘webrooming’ and ‘showrooming’ is a case in point.

Shopify's research confirms that more than 71% of customers do product research online even though the resultant purchase may be made offline.

Showrooming is when a consumer checks out a product in a physical store but makes the purchase online. Webrooming is when a customer does product research online but completes the final product evaluation and purchase at the retail store.

By emphasizing omni channel marketing campaigns, companies can project a holistic and consistent brand across all devices and platforms. This can vastly reinforce brand recall and increase the likelihood of customers purchasing from them.

The Ultimate Guide to Omni Channel Marketing 2
Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Realizes increases in revenue

Omni channel customers who engage with four or more marketing channels spend 9% more than the average single channel shopper.

Marketing Week research validates this increase in revenue generated by omni channel shoppers. On average, brands using strong omni channel campaigns see a 9.5% increase in annual revenues, while brands that don’t use omni channel marketing are likely to get only a 3.4% rise in revenues.

It’s clear that omni channel communication can drive repeat purchases, increase order values, and enhance revenues and profits.

Better customer segmentation and targeting  

Having an omni channel communication strategy also helps brands understand their customers' wants, including their likes and specific preferences. 

Performing a detailed assessment of customer data enables teams to segment customers based on specific demographic factors such as age, gender, preferences, and differing user intent.

For example, let’s assume a customer just purchased a modular kitchen from your brand. Don't keep showing them online ads for the same product — move on to upselling or cross-selling to subtly nudge them with advertisements for ancillary items such as kitchen accessories or small appliances.

Increase in campaign ROI 

All marketers want a solid return on their investment (ROI). Without a strong funnel in place, no marketing strategy can work. Planning, creating, and implementing an omni channel marketing strategy helps your brand have a powerful marketing funnel that can significantly improve ROI.

Brands can use contextual messaging, tailored product recommendations, and multiple devices to provide interconnected user experiences and obtain a higher campaign ROI.

For example, with a website campaign, the marketing team can set up a powerful retargeting strategy to reduce site drop-offs. They can send abandoned cart emails to a potential customer who spent time browsing but did not complete the purchase. Another option could be using search display ads on Google to show discount codes, prompting the customer to complete their purchase.

How can I develop a successful omni channel campaign?

Did you know that today, the average customer needs six touchpoints before they buy a product? Fifteen years ago, they needed just two.

It’s never been more important to have an omni channel marketing strategy. But how do you go about creating an omni channel campaign that's successful and integrated at the same time?

Review the customer touchpoints

One of the most intuitive ways to start the process is by understanding your customers and their unique journeys.

Think like a customer. Check out every touch point that a typical buyer would come across when discovering your brand, even before purchasing anything. Notice if communication is seamless all across the different channels.

Choose a suitable marketing technology 

Choose the right omnichannel marketing tool to connect with your customers. Ensure that the selected technology is easy to use, fits your company's unique needs, and integrates with the existing company software.

To deliver high-performing campaigns within budgets and timelines, you need a work management platform like Wrike designed for marketers.

With Wrike, brands get complete visibility into valuable campaign insights from search, social media, and display and digital campaign performance results within their dashboards.

Practice customer segmentation

Take the time to create multiple relevant buyer personas and discover target audiences by closely assessing their needs, wants, behaviors, preferences, goals, and other demographic factors.

Do primary research and leverage the secondary customer insights and data available to observe customers and look for any behavior patterns. Remember to store this valuable research in a versatile work management platform like Wrike, which acts as a robust business intelligence tool.

Wrike helps teams to create visual and dynamic reports that keep stakeholders informed and offers premade templates for marketing campaign management.

Hyper localize across channels

An HBR survey of 46,000 shoppers reveals that:

  • 20% people were store-only buyers
  • 7% were online-only shoppers
  • 73% classify themselves as omni channel shoppers

The omni channel shoppers used the brand's touchpoints in multiple combinations and orders. For example, one customer would browse online, then complete the purchase in-store. 

Another customer may walk into the store but make the purchase on the brand’s mobile app. In such situations, delivering a smooth, localized marketing experience can work wonders.

Using the right automation, data insights, and consumer knowledge, brands can establish a one-on-one relationship with their target audience.

Use the right metrics to monitor campaign success 

Did you know that companies using data-driven marketing strategies report a five times increase in marketing campaign ROI?

Brands can do this by setting up and tracking the key metrics. For your next marketing campaign launch, identify the key metrics that need to be tracked. Consistently monitoring these data points will provide your team with accurate data and actionable insights for an omni channel approach.

Utilize these data-driven insights and information to make suitable revisions to company strategy across social media, marketing, and advertising campaigns.

Omni channel strategy examples

Examples of omni channel marketing are everywhere. Consider the customer who stands in a queue but still ends up getting their coffee on the mobile app. Or another shopper who researches the latest shoe trends online but finds their perfect pair after walking into the physical store. Even a decade ago, such consumer behavior would have been considered absurd. Today, this is the norm.

Let’s take a detailed look at a brand’s omni channel strategy, using Disney as an example. Suppose Nina wants to go to Disneyworld with her family. She doesn't need to visit the ticket booth at Disneyland or stand in a queue to get tickets — she can choose to buy the tickets online from the website or via Disney’s mobile application.

She can download the app, scan Fastpasses for the entire family, and check out maps and ride wait times to plan out their day. 

Disney has a powerful omni channel communication strategy with an interconnected and unified user experience.

Tips on omni channel communication

Before creating an omni channel marketing campaign, identify the key stakeholders across the organization. These teams should be a part of any omni channel strategy process:

  • Marketing
  • Product
  • Customer Support
  • Sales

Plan and complete the transition to the omni channel model once the key teams agree on the end goals and objectives. Getting people involved from the start is a great way to get buy-in and make team collaboration easier.

Review customer experience

Spend time reviewing all touch points that potential shoppers would go through in their customer journey, from product research to engaging with products to completing the final purchase. 

Make sure to test the entire user experience using internal, neutral third-party testers to discover areas of improvement.

Take a data-driven approach

Monitoring metrics is absolutely essential in discovering which customer touch points are the most effective. For example, if a potential shopper finds a brand’s website but completes the purchase in the retail store, your marketing technology should be able to attribute the sale correctly.

Customer journeys are multifaceted and may span multiple devices across multiple days. Carefully and accurately capturing these touch points can help in investing in the right channels and identify which are significantly contributing to brand revenues, profits, and growth.

Focus on mobile 

According to Think with Google research, 96% of consumers use their smartphones to find information about anything they want to do, buy, rent, or use. 

Brands need to connect their information across channels, but especially mobile, to craft a compelling omni channel strategy. 

By understanding consumer behavior and anticipating their needs, brands can ensure that real value is delivered in micro-moments. For example, introducing personalized push notifications may be one way to boost engagement with dormant users.

Provide self-serve options

Providing self-serve options across channels is key. Research suggests that customers of all ages prefer finding answers to questions themselves.

Even with wide demographic shifts and changing preferences, understanding customer behavior is key in implementing an omni channel marketing strategy.

Be available across preferred channels

Customers are increasingly using multiple channels or touchpoints, even in a single transaction.  This can include visiting a store, searching on Google, downloading and browsing on a brand's mobile app, or even browsing a competitor's website or mobile application.

Brands need to pay attention and have a strategy in place to respond appropriately to these interactions. 

For example, a customer on their laptop may add a product to their cart when browsing on the brand’s website. If they wish to complete their transaction on their iPad, it should be visible to them when they log in.

Omni channel vs. multi channel: what's the difference?

Multi channel marketing is the ability to engage with a customer on different channels. Meanwhile, omni channel marketing is an integrated approach that provides a seamless shopping experience to the customer. 

  • Omni channel marketing example: A customer can shop on a website, mobile application, in-store, or via teleshopping and get a consistent experience on each channel.
  • Multi channel marketing example: A company can reach the customer using a promotional in-store event, discount code on the website, or newspaper advertisement.

Here are some core differences between these two different marketing approaches:

  1. Customer vs. channels: Omni channel marketing puts the customer first. It creates smooth touch points to build a stronger brand-customer relationship. In the multi channel approach, the focus is on using the maximum channels possible to reach the customer.
  2. Few vs. many channels: In omni channel communication, brands make sure that the messaging across every channel is consistent in enhancing brand loyalty, increasing brand recall, and developing stronger one-on-one relationships with customers. There is no similar approach in multi channel marketing, which aims to attract more customers with an increasing number of channels deployed for this purpose.
  3. Effort vs. seamless: Omni channel marketing uses customer insights and data to make strategy creation and implementation effortless, removing any extra effort in the customer experience. In the multi channel approach, brands put in additional effort to set up multiple channels, increase engagement, and draw in more customers.

How to plan your omni channel marketing campaign with Wrike

Though an average consumer's path to purchase may be complex, your omni channel marketing campaign can be simple. Even this seemingly challenging customer journey can be broken down into smaller steps that help reveal why, where, what, and how consumers decide to buy.

With Wrike, it's easy to create a holistic omni channel marketing operation by employing custom request forms, visually tracking marketing metrics in custom dashboards, and keeping management informed with on-demand reports.

Unify all campaign assets, files, and folders in one seamless workspace that allows for easy collaboration amongst various teams.

Wrike lets you streamline your workflows and integrates uniformly with leading DAM tools to help teams create and provide on-brand assets faster. Start a free two-week trial of Wrike and see how we can help you deliver your next omni channel marketing campaign more efficiently.

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