Marketing is changing at its fastest pace ever with the emergence of mobile devices influencing consumer behavior in online and offline marketing channels. Top ecommerce businesses are moving away from bulk, “push”-based marketing to a more personalized approach that identifies with b2b & b2c customers, through several channels and devices. The effectiveness and return on advertising spend (ROAS) of print media, television ads, and batch and blast email campaigns are declining. There is a huge opportunity for omni-channel marketers since consumers are already engaged on multiple channels from email, social media to direct mail and interactive signage in retail brick and mortar stores. A lot of top ecommerce companies including Wal-Mart, Target, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Apple, Sephora, Home Depot, Walgreens and more have already established robust omni-channel marketing plans.
The term “omni-channel” may be a marketing buzzword but it refers to a major shift: marketers now need to provide a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device. Omni-channel marketing simply means that your business markets across as many channels as it can to reach the target audience. Every channel – brick-and-mortar stores, print, direct mail, online websites, mobile apps, email, social media and so on, present an opportunity for omni-channel marketing.
Omni-channel marketing is viewing the experience through the eyes of your customer, orchestrating the customer experience across all channels so that it is seamless, integrated, and consistent. Omni-channel expects that customers may start in one channel and move to another as they progress to a resolution. Making these complex ‘hand-offs’ between channels must be fluid for the customer.
Here are 6 tips to boost your omni-channel marketing:
- Single dashboard for all your omni-channel marketing
- Personalization using marketing automation
- Engaging the customer in their preferred channels
- Customer segmentation
- Data driven marketing
- Improving the customer experience using A/B or Multivariate Testing
Single Dashboard for All of Your Omni-Channel Marketing
Building a single profile of your customer is one of the most important steps in an omni-channel marketing strategy. However, it can be the most challenging. Shoppers are interacting with your brand from various channels. So, marketers must build a customer profile that makes available a complete picture of a purchaser and helps them develop a complete customer experience.
Personalization Using Marketing Automation
You must use different types of content to interact with all ecommerce shoppers. Therefore, keep developing towards personalized efforts. This includes potential shoppers who are only browsing and those who have chosen stuff for their shopping cart but has not completed their purchase yet. You should create personalized content/messaging that addresses the particular shopper behaviors of your target market.
For example, if you are trying to rekindle the interest of a former customer, your email ad would be much different than if you are targeting a customer who left stuff in their shopping cart without completing the transaction. The more personalized your message or advertisement to them, the better rate of success you will have in completing that transaction.
Engaging with Customers on Preferred Channels
Customers use multiple devices for a single transaction. Marketers must keep all their channels such as brick-and-mortar stores, print, direct mail, online websites, mobile apps, email, or social media open for customers to engage with them so that brands provide a great customer experience.
Ensure that you can listen and respond to these customer engagements. For example, an online retailer must strive to keep items in a cart across devices such as a smartphone, desktop computer, tablet, and/or a laptop.
You will drive customers to brick-and-mortar stores from ecommerce channels and vice versa. When you make your brand available on all channels, it gets publicized more. Omni-channel customers want many options to connect in a convenient way with your brand anytime.
Segment your audience based on your data points. Determine which data points actually help you better understand your audience. Using automation marketing, you are able to capture this data to create very rich profiles consisting of information about customers and their journeys– you can also build relationships with companies such as Acxiom or DSPs to add intelligence to your data.
For example, iOS users who work in the technology industry and are within the age range from 25 to 35 are more likely to buy iPhone or related products based on technical specifications. If you find out you are marketing to that target audience, you may highlight the technical specifications in your landing pages and nurturing strategy.
Data Driven Marketing
Data is obviously huge and also omnipresent. Before you begin your omni-channel marketing approach, you must have a correct data strategy in place so that you can gather and gain insights from the data. Use tracked and measured data to make your marketing more successful and to increase your return on investment (ROI). There are various analytic tools for small and medium businesses to track habits of individual campaigns along with response of real people over time. If you gain more data, your messaging improves. You can then create appropriate content/messaging by channel.
Improving the customer experience using A/B or Multivariate Testing
Often review the customer experiences in order to research, buy, and connect with your brands. Also, test the customer experience by placing orders, engaging by means of every available channel, submitting a support case, and so on. Get some internal and external testers on board to test the customer experiences whenever you can. Initiate A/B testing (split-run testing or multivariate testing) for any new campaign you setup. Learn about multiple channel engagements. Test and improve again and again. Make sure that every action that the customer does throughout their purchasing journey isn’t affected by any difficulties. Also, make sure the customer experience is satisfying.
Deepak Wadhwani has over 20 years experience in software/wireless technologies. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies including Intuit, ESRI, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone, Nortel, Microsoft and Oracle in over 60 countries. Deepak has worked on Internet marketing projects in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange Country, Denver, Nashville, Kansas City, New York, San Francisco and Huntsville. Deepak has been a founder of technology Startups for one of the first Cityguides, yellow pages online and web based enterprise solutions. He is an internet marketing and technology expert & co-founder for a San Diego Internet marketing company.