Omnichannel: a buzzword that most, if not all, marketers have heard by now. It’s a word and marketing tactic that is becoming more of a reality and less of a buzzword day by day. It’s no secret that digital is transforming the world around us and is redefining what a customer experience truly is. With 2019 well underway, marketers will have no choice but to adopt omnichannel strategies to enhance customer experience.
We’ve rounded up our top 3 rules of omnichannel marketing:
Rule #1: Start and End with the Customer in Mind
Omnichannel marketing can seem hard. However, it’s really all about creating the customer-centric experience your prospects or customers want and expect. Providing a seamless customer experience across multiple touchpoints including social media, mobile apps, websites, voice, storefronts, or even a pop-up shop is critical to success.
The question that should always be top of mind for any marketer is how do you provide a truly unique and personalized experience for each and every one of your customers? Are you staying connected with them – online and off? According to a recent study digital now accounts for 65% of media time for the average global consumer and 48% of them see social media as a means of brand interaction and the preferred platform for expressing an opinion on a brand.
The consumer is ever-evolving and it’s necessary that marketing teams are along for the ride, too. Smart e-commerce teams are those who are riding alongside their customers, maximizing their digital footprint, and revamping experiences along the way. As the old saying goes, ‘fail to plan, plan to fail.’ However, in any good business plan or marketing strategy, there’s one thing that always comes first: the customer. Providing customers with that extra human touch will never fail. It shows you are connecting with them, listening to them, and engaging with them.
Rule #2: One Team, One Dream
Say goodbye to that siloed organization structure. It’s time to start having the omnichannel conversation and tying it back to the customer experience you want to deliver. Include everyone from the likes of product, marketing, PR, sales and customer service in the mix. Have open lines of communication that allows each team to understand the roles they play and how they fit into the omnichannel puzzle. Excellent cross-functional communication and breaking down silos is critical
Why? Consumers are moving at a rapid pace and it’s a given that they will engage with your brand many times, across different channels. From the time their journey began to the time of purchase, the consumer may have interacted with someone from your social media team who was responding to incoming inquiries, or perhaps they chatted with a live customer service representative on your company site. Engagement might have occurred as they shopped in store after researching online or post-sale. Regardless of when or where the customer engagement happens, internal teams need to be in sync.
Delivering one unified message, voice, mission, vision, values, you name it, across every point in the customer journey is essential. Alignment opens doors for your customer to feel empowered, engaged, and maybe it even gives them a sense of purpose when they make the move to become a first time or (hopefully) a repeat customer.
Rule #3: Data, Data, Data
Every brand wants to be seen as a disruptor and the ones that are the most successful at achieving this feat are those who rely on lots and lots of data. On the upside, there is a high probability that you are already capturing vast amounts of customer data. The downside is you’re unlikely putting it to good use. According to a recent post in AdWeek, 80% of consumers do not feel communication via a provider or vendor has been too personalized, or invasive. There is room for improvement and growth when it comes to utilizing customer data better.
Today’s organizations want to understand the consumer better. What is driving the decision-making process? What can they do differently to attract and retain new consumers? How can they open doors to new or unknown market segments? Analyzing shopper behavior both online and off will help drive and deliver a more informed decision-making process. It will also enable personalized campaigns and better engagement. Your relationship with data will have a direct impact on your relationship with your customer as well.
Although these three rules on customer experience, integrated teams, and data are important to building a foundation for modern marketing, there are plenty more rules where those came from. And we’re just getting started.