If you’re a marketer with an ear to the ground, chances are you have heard rumblings about the buzzword of the year: omni-channel.
In today’s marketplace, there is no denying the importance of having a brand presence across multiple channels (multi-channel). After all, consumers are accessing information in more ways than ever before, and keeping your message relevant means having a presence everywhere consumers are spending time. Many brands have devoted an enormous amount of resources to bolstering their mobile presence, enhancing their e-commerce platforms, collecting data and analytics, and creating as many customer touch-points as possible. But the future of effective marketing goes one step further: from “multi” to “omni.”
Smart retailers are realizing that online and offline consumer behaviors are not mutually exclusive, and the standard method of data collection accounts for individual interactions and touch points, but fails to show the entire customer experience, start to finish. In his column on Marketingland.com, James Green explains that the line between the online and in-store consumer experience is rapidly fading. With 80% of in-store shoppers checking prices online and one third accessing the information from a mobile device while in the actual store, marketers need to cater to the entire customer experience.
Enter omni-channel: the marketing concept that views the consumer experience holistically—looking at every touchpoint regardless of the channel through which it was disseminated. By tracking what a consumer is doing both on and offline, marketers can start to tell a continuous story, and add to that story whenever (and wherever) the consumer interacts with the brand. Consumers move from platform to platform throughout the buying process, and they are starting to expect that their interactions in one place will influence their user experience in another. Omni-channel marketing enables all platforms to have awareness of one another, which delivers an optimized experience for consumers.
Building a truly omni-channel experience can seem like a huge undertaking, but Green recommends doing several things right now to ready your brand for the omni-channel consumer:
1. Refine your brand’s digital presence. Take a hard look at your overall digital strategy and consider the areas that are lacking. This could mean building a social presence, redesigning your landing pages, or refreshing your content. Learn more.
2. Implement a search strategy. Both paid and organic search drives traffic to your website, which will ultimately increase your sales. Learn more.
3. Target existing customers using site retargeting. Personalizing ads based on a consumers’ interactions with your brand is a great way to keep them engaged and stay top-of-mind. Learn more.
4. Use mobile to connect the dots. Realize that your consumers are accessing information 24/7 from their mobile devices–even when they are in the store! Make sure your mobile presence is an asset and not a hindrance to your brand’s identity. Learn more.
Now is the time to view the consumer experience holistically. To start building your best omni-channel experience for your brand, contact Starkmedia today.