What is it? Why is it Important?
The term omnichannel gets thrown around pretty frequently. Marketers are trying to deliver a seamless omnichannel experience, software companies are trying to sell this seamless omnichannel experience, and customers just expect a connected, seamless, real-time, omnichannel experience. So… what does this even mean? In this blog, we are going to dive into the question of what is “Omnichannel Marketing”, along with the challenges, benefits, and ways SessionM can help.
If we break it down, the word omni means “all”, and a channel can be thought of as a form of communication. Put marketing in front of that, and it simply means you are marketing and communicating through all open channels that you use to interact with customers. An important part to note here is that it’s not about communicating with your customers via every channel; it’s about delivering a consistent message across all of these channels.
The modern consumer interacts with brands in multiple ways; mainly in person, online, and mobile. Therefore, omnichannel marketing is about delivering a consistent and seamless brand experience across every channel, and stage of the buyer’s journey. While having different avenues of communication with customers is a positive thing, it can also be challenging to effectively deliver an omnichannel experience to a customer’s standards.
With multiple channels of communication, there are always multiple challenges. As a consumer, think about a brand you interact with consistently. Is it a retail store? Or your favorite takeout place? You’ve probably gone on their website, ordered something online, received emails from them about promotions, maybe mobile-ordered through their app, and don’t forget going inside physically to buy or pick up something.
The challenge here is that many brands don’t have these channels connected. Originally, a channel was just face-to-face, in person engagement. Then when email and online came along, that meant purchasing new software to execute that engagement. After email and online came the mobile app, etc. They are all disjointed systems that don’t speak to one another, so naturally this siloed data would provide customers with an inconsistent experience across channels.
These challenges alone highlight why having an omnichannel marketing strategy is important. If you don’t properly execute omnichannel marketing, then a customer is more likely to have a poor brand experience, which could lead them to churn.
So what are the benefits of a successful Omnichannel Marketing strategy? In short, it brings you Happier Customers.
Now knowing the benefits, how does one execute an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy?
Executing Omnichannel Marketing
First off, from a marketing perspective there has to be an acceptance of this shift in process. By going omnichannel, it means leaving your old customer engagement strategy behind. You will start measuring things differently, using new tools, looking at the customer in a new light. Understand your current customer journey, how and why you want it to change, and make the new goals clear across your organization.
Next, it comes down to your martech stack. How do you currently engage your customers? What data do you have on them, and where does it live? Do your existing systems need to be replaced, or are they able to integrate with one another to move forward? For example, you have an ESP, POS system, marketing automation tool, CRM, and probably more. More likely than not, the data from each of those end up in silos, making it hard to piece together a customer’s journey. A solution to this problem is to implement a CDP that can connect data from every system, and live in one place.
A single view of the customer gives marketers the ability to use the data collected, and funnel the right messages to the right customers through the right channels..which is the goal of omnichannel marketing! Say goodbye to disjointed messaging.
How SessionM can help
So far we know what Omnichannel Marketing is, the challenges marketers face, the benefits of an omnichannel strategy, and how to execute it. Where does SessionM come in? The core of what we do as a customer engagement and loyalty platform is to help brands (whether they be retailers, restaurants, airlines, or hotels) to unify and operationalize their customer data, so they are able to deliver highly personalized and relevant engagements designed to drive customer loyalty and spend. Therefore, we help your channels talk to one another, so you can deliver this seamless and consistent experience across all of your channels.
Omnichannel Marketing is ultimately a term reflecting the behavior of the modern consumer. They are engaging with brands in every way and form possible. Developing a seamless omnichannel strategy is not something that can be done overnight, but if it’s not done at all then you will lose customers. Start by understanding your customer journey, how you want it to change, see where your systems don’t talk to one another, and solve that problem with a sophisticated customer engagement platform, like SessionM.