OMNI CHANNEL

Does Your Business Provide A Seamless Customer Experience?



The marketing industry seems to come up with some new trend every couple of years. “Are you promoting online?” “Do you have a website?” You’re on Facebook right?” “You should promote on SnapChat.” The current buzz is omni-channel marketing.

Omni literally means all; in all ways, places, etc. - without limits. It’s like multi-channel marketing but more. Omni marketing believers claim it is about continuity of the customer experience.

Marketo’s (www.marketo.com) ebook, “Give Your Consumers The Omni-Channel Experience,” stated that omni-channel marketing organizes marketing messages and activities to deliver a seamless conversation to the customer. Google reported that 90 percent of customers move between devices when making a purchase - from phone to tablet to laptop, etc. So marketing messages need to work together on all the channels a customer uses. Think of it like a spider web where all strings are connected, instead of a track, which has separate lanes. If you’ve ever browsed an ecommerce website on your laptop, like Amazon or Target, left the site to check Facebook on your phone and saw an ad for the same items you just clicked on - you’ve experienced omni-channel marketing. Companies that use omni-channel marketing target their potential customer and customize the experience through several channels, including print, TV, website, email, social media, etc.

 

Is This The Next Big Thing?

Omni-channel marketing is being stressed so much because it provides a benefit for both marketers and customers, according to Marketo. For the marketer it drives the customer to complete the sale and for the customer it gives them a seamless conversation that’s personal to them.

Still not convinced? Business2BusinessCommunity.com stated that companies with omni-channel customer engagement strategies retain and average of 89 percent of their customers, compared to 33 percent for companies with weak omni-channel customer engagement. And, shoppers who buy from a business, both in-store and online, have a 30 percent higher lifetime value that those who shop using only one channel.

 

Change Your Strategy

So how does it work? According to Entrepreneur.com, the first step is to forget outdated marketing strategies, like the traditional sales funnel. Stop thinking of customers as leads and treat them as real people and personalize their experience with your company.

Marketo suggests using the ABCDE’s of engagement marketing defined by five principles of communication which focuses on engaging people:

  • As Individuals
  • Based On What They Do
  • Continuously Over Time
  • Directed Towards An Outcome
  • Everywhere They Are

To do this, collect data about your customers. There are opportunities to do this every time they, call you, stop in, visit your website, social media pages or purchase a product. You can use online and social media surveys and also follow up purchases with customer service emails. Update customer information and ask questions about how your customers’ age, gender, how they found your business and how they shop - online, in-store, over-the-phone or a combination of everything. You can already track past purchases to offer suggestions for future buys. Just make sure if you do use web-based data gathering methods, your customers know their information is private and won’t be sold to a third party.

Use that information data to develop marketing that targets your customers. Invoca.com stressed that your technology solutions should work together - from your CRM (Customer Relations & Project Management software), to your YMS and other solutions like Google Analytics. These will give insight to every interaction a potential customer has with your business. Then, you can create marketing to hit those channels your customer uses: social media, your website, print, radio, etc. Even though all of the marketing should support and reinforce the other, the message should not be the exact same, according to Marketo. The messages should reflect the channel and the customer’s activity on that channel. For example, catch them on Facebook with a short message about your inventory to lure them back to your website for full, detailed descriptions. Start small. Tie just a few channels together at first, like print, website and social media. You can always spread your omni message out once you get the hang of it.

It is unknown whether omni-channel marketing will be the future or go the way of MySpace, but knowing your customers and creating an experience tailored to them is never a bad thing. The Locator can help by designing logos, print ads, banner ads, email marketing campaigns and direct mail pieces for your company. You decide the message and The Locator can create it for nearly every channel you advertise on. Visit www.partslocator.com or email sales@partslocator.com for more information.

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