The proliferation of Marketing channels created by digital marketing technologies has created an interesting challenge for many organisations.
That challenge is how to be consistent across all Marketing Channels. Whether these channels are online or offline.
The aim of omnichannel marketing is to present consumers with a consistent and relevant experience across all touchpoints.
A Business-wide Challenge
This is more than a cosmetic exercise in making fonts and colours the same across all marketing media. It goes much deeper than that, as it addresses the whole consumer experience.
So what are the key Business drivers for implementing an omnichannel business strategy? 1
1. Consistent Customer Experiences
From a customer's perspective, they are dealing with one organisation. Consequently, they expect the same experience whether they are on an app, in store or on the telephone.
I observed an interesting example of this today while out shopping. A customer came into the store and wanted to return something they had bought from the retailers' online shop. No problem, they could return it at the shop, but the customer had to wait 3 to 5 days for the online shop to refund their money. Not an ideal scenario. The customer understood the situation, but they were not impressed with the experience.
2. Provide Relevant Service and Support
The support and service they receive needs to be relevant to where they are interacting with a business.
This may mean providing several support options for customers to choose from, such as live chat services, email and landline telephone.
3. Competitor Differentiation
One way to stand out from the crowd is by providing that consistent experience across all marketing channels. At the time of writing very few companies have achieved this.
4. Increase Brand Loyalty
Creating consistency builds confidence in the company brand consumers are dealing with. At least it looks like you've got your act together.
5. Internal Collaboration
To achieve omnichannel consistency, internal departments have to work together. This is one of the major challenges introduced by the proliferation of digital marketing channels.
For instance, the team managing a company's mobile app is different from the team responsible for in-store promotions. The challenge is in getting these disparate teams, who may well be in different departments, to collaborate with each other. An example is data collection, so that accurate sales and marketing reports can be produced.
6. Business Insights
Another benefit, is that business insights can be shared across the whole organisation.
For instance, staff in shops may have noticed people using their smart phones to compare shop prices with those on the company's app.
7. Cost Saving
The shared insights across departments may also give an opportunity to cost save or to optimise spending costs.
8. Market Trends
An omnichannel business strategy may make it easier for a company to become aware of and to take advantage of emerging market trends.
Rapid change is one of the features of digital marketing technologies.
9. Adopting New Strategies
This single channel approach also makes it easier to implement new marketing strategies and tactics.
Whilst it may be challenging to achieve, an omnichannel approach to marketing provides both a business and their customers with many benefits.
1. Econsultancy (in association with Adobe), Digital Intelligence Briefing: Succeeding in the Onmichannel Age, September 2016.
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