Problem: How to Create an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
Having digital storefronts is out of the question. The pandemic showed that having online platforms for your customers is vital to the survival of your brand. But, when there are dozens of channels available, how do you choose which to use? Most importantly, how do you make experiences across these platforms and channels seamless? Ashley Scorpio shares steps to creating an omnichannel marketing strategy based on their best practices at Hawke Media.
Omnichannel is an absolute must at this point because if you’re not doing it with your brand, someone else is. At the end of the day, the customer wants to know that they’re going to be taken care of by this brand. That they’re having a seamless experience That they’re seen and that their businesses are valued.
Leveraging Data to Create a Seamless Journey and Experience
Before diving into the steps of creating an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy, marketers need to understand how it is defined and how it’s different from having a Multi-channel Marketing Strategy.
Step #1: Defining and Understanding Omnichannel Marketing
Customers don’t just buy because they have to. Lifestyle determines which brands they choose. They choose brands that match their personal tastes and needs. Throughout this journey to purchase, they interact with you and your competitors at various touchpoints. How do you know if you just have multiple channels? Or if you have a smooth path to purchase?
- Multichannel-Having multiple stores, marketing platforms, and/ or other distribution channels.
- Omnichannel-Tying together all stores, marketing platforms, and/or distribution channels to tell your brand’s story through a seamless experience.
Ultimately, omnichannel is helping your customers understand what’s unique about you and the best possible experience for them to purchase.
The whole point of omnichannel is to have the same offering and the same quality and the same brand product customer service across all those different possible touchpoints.
Step #2: Mapping Out Your Customer Journey From First Interaction Until After the Purchase
To map out the customer journey, Ashley encourages marketers to leverage their data and to look at all the numbers from all angles. To do this:
- Integrate all the data by doing social listening and equipping all your channels with analytics and measuring tools. Pull all the data that you can and make sure to speak to them as individuals.
- Marry all the data to create a seamless experience through personalization. Look at where individuals interact and engage the most. Group all the customers that follow the same journey for an efficient strategy.
- Once you understand which customers follow the same path, automate your interaction by employing tools such as chatbots, email marketing triggers, or other direct approaches,
Personalization in your marketing and your language is so important. People also want customization in the product.
Step #3: Meet and Engage Your Customers at Each Touchpoint
Engaging your customers means taking into consideration what information they need at each touchpoint. Here are three tips to consider when engaging your customers:
- Factor in accessibility for all of the channels, especially the needs of the differently-abled. Try to make the customer journey as considerate as possible, making it as frictionless as possible.
- Look at the long-term view. Always think about the lifetime value of the customer. Evaluate what you are willing to pay to acquire these audiences. Balance the ratio of your customer lifetime value and customer acquisition costs.
- Conduct AB Testing. There is no right approach especially when you have different routes for each customer. Some approaches will work and some won’t. Test 2 different tactics for an audience group.
At the end of the day, you don’t just want to think about what is their first purchase or their first order and what did you pay to acquire them across all these different channels and touchpoints before you got them to convert. You always want to be thinking about what is the average lifetime value of a customer and what am I willing to pay to acquire that customer?
Step #4: Optimize and Grow Your Campaigns with Customer Feedback
Ashley emphasized the importance of feedback. Knowing where you’re doing great and not so great will help you to optimize. Should you be investing more in social or your e-commerce platform? Creating feedback loops help you work on your weakest channels. Ultimately, reviews from customers are social proof of your products’ and services’ quality.
This is extremely important when it comes to e-commerce, especially if you don’t have a physical presence or a pop-up or anything like that. If it’s a would-be first-time buyer, they want to know that the quality is there. This is why reviews on your own site are important because it is a key third-party validator. More and more people are doing their homework before purchasing for the first time from any brand or business.