Sales and marketing in the 21st century are dynamic for many reasons, including the integration of technology into our daily lives. It’s no longer the case that you have to sell online, strictly, on the premise that the world is going digital.
You need an omni channel strategy, which is a more holistic approach to selling and marketing your business. This strategy puts you in front of your prospects regardless of their preferred channel, whether it’s social media, an e-commerce store, a brick-and-mortar shop, or even a mobile application.
This article delves into the nitty-gritty of an omni channel strategy. It also discusses what an omni channel marketing strategy is, a step-by-step guide on how you can develop an omni-channel strategy that works for your business, and a few omni channel marketing strategy examples.
What is an omnichannel marketing strategy?
The typical omni channel strategy definition is a method that helps you create an integrated brand experience for your customers across the different channels you sell. The strategy helps you leverage your online and offline touchpoints to ensure customer satisfaction.
Consider a clothing brand with a brick-and-mortar shop for example: An omni channel sales strategy might be to connect the physical store with your eCommerce page, website, QR code, and social media pages.
That way, people can have a sense of connection with your brand whether they come in person to your physical store or place an order through your online touchpoints. This can create a seamless experience for your customers on all fronts.
[Note: an omni channel strategy is not the same as a multi-channel strategy].
What Are The Key Elements Of an Effective Omni-Channel Strategy?
Having an effective omni channel distribution strategy depends on whether you get the basics right. You must consider a few vital elements that can help you provide the level of satisfaction your customers expect across the different channels you serve them.
Here are our recommendations:
1. Integration of online and offline channels
For an effective integrated channel strategy, it’s essential to ride the middle ground between your online and offline touchpoints. The best way to ensure this is by creating a process that intertwines all your sales channels. And its remarkable efficacy is particularly pronounced in the realm of omnichannel retail within the current business milieu.
For example, if your customers order online, offer them the option of pick-up at your physical store with a gift. For customers that come to your brick-and-mortar location, you may share your QR code or other online details with them to simplify their buying experience.
2. Seamless customer experience across channels
Ensuring your customers enjoy a seamless experience when they contact your business is necessary for a successful omnichannel strategy. Look for ways to improve your omnichannel consumer experience on all fronts.
For instance, you might design similar physical and virtual “Thank you for patronizing us” cards. When customers visit your physical store, you can share the physical card with them, while for online customers, you may send an e-card with a similar design to them.
3. Data-driven approach and customer insight
Creating an omni channel marketing strategy helps businesses significantly, but it’s vital to make data-driven marketing decisions across your different channels. Follow the data to understand what works for your industry and implement your discovery with some creativity, of course.
4. Personalization strategy and targeted messaging
The most successful sales and marketing campaigns put customers first. This being the case, prioritize your buyer persona and their unique needs over your personal preferences.
5. Offline and digital channel optimization and performance measurement
While developing your cross-channel marketing strategy, you may find that some of your sales channels are not up to your standards. At this point, take a step back to measure your performance and discover how you can tip the scales for the channels that are falling short.
What Are The Steps To Develop and Implement an Omni Channel Strategy?
The following steps can help you develop and implement an effective omni channel marketing strategy:
- Understanding the target audience and their preferred channels
- Mapping customer journey across various touchpoints
- Identifying key channels for integration
- Establishing consistent branding and messaging
- Leveraging technology and automation tools
1. Understanding the target audience and their preferred touchpoints
To effectively develop and implement an omnichannel strategy, you need to identify your target audience and their preferred touchpoints. Here’s how to know your target audience:
- Profile your customers:
Create detailed buyer personas, which comprise vital information, such as their age, gender, location, interests, values, and lifestyle.
- Use data analytics:
Leverage omnichannel analytics tools to collect and analyze customer data from different touchpoints. Using data can help you gain actionable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and purchasing patterns.
- Create surveys and ask for feedback:
Engage customers through surveys and feedback mechanisms to garner direct insights into their preferences and experiences.
- Social listening:
Monitor social media platforms to identify customer conversations and feedback about your brand, and use the insight to improve their experiences across different channels.
2. Mapping customer journey across various touchpoints
Customer journey mapping typically involves visually representing a customer’s experience when interacting with your brand, from the initial point of contact to post-purchase interactions. Here’s a simple process you can follow:
- Identify customer touchpoints:
Begin by identifying all the touchpoints where customers interact with your brand, from physical channels to online platforms.
- Gather customer data:
Collect data from various sources, including analytics, surveys, customer feedback, and social listening.
- Define customer personas:
Segment your target audience into different groups based on their characteristics, pain points, behaviors, and preferences.
- Plot the customer journey:
Create a visual representation of the customer journey, starting from the first interaction to the final engagement.
- Highlight cross-channel interactions:
Pay special attention to instances where customers switch between different touchpoints during their journey. This might include transitioning from a website to a mobile app or from social media to an in-store experience.
3. Identifying key channels for integration
After identifying your target audience and mapping their journey, you must pinpoint the offline and digital channel integration that aligns with your target audience and business objectives. Here are some steps you can follow:
- Analyze channel effectiveness:
Use data analytics to evaluate the performance of different channels and determine their effectiveness in reaching your target audience and driving desired actions.
- Prioritize cross-channel consistency:
Prioritize having a consistent brand experience for your customers regardless of the channel they choose to interact with.
- Consider customer journey:
Draw insights from your customer journey map to identify the touchpoints where customers are most likely to interact with your brand.
- Stay updated on industry trends:
Stay informed about emerging industry trends and find omni-channel marketing strategy examples that embody the trends. This could open up opportunities to reach and engage customers in innovative ways.
- Align with business goals:
Ensure the selected channels align with your business goals and contribute to your overall marketing and business strategy, driving customer acquisition, retention, and overall growth.
4. Establishing consistent branding and messaging
When customers interact with your brand across various channels, they should experience a cohesive and recognizable identity. Follow the steps below:
- Define your brand identity:
Clearly define your brand values, mission, personality, and unique selling proposition (USP).
- Create brand guidelines:
Develop comprehensive brand guidelines for visuals like logos and color palettes. Also, create guidelines for tone and voice. Plus, provide training to help your team produce content that’s consistent with your brand identity.
- Centralize brand assets:
Establish a centralized repository for all brand assets, from logos to templates, so that your team can quickly access them when needed.
- Align offline and online branding:
Ensure your branding elements are consistent across offline and online channels.
- Prioritize customer experience:
Keep the customer experience at the forefront of your branding efforts. Aim to evoke positive emotions and memorable experiences that align with your brand promise and resonate with your target audience.
5. Leveraging technology and automation tools
Using technology and automation tools is essential for implementing an effective omnichannel strategy. Below are some retail technology integration and automation tools you can use:
- Customer relationship management (CRM) software: Marketing automation platforms:
You can use marketing automation platforms to automate repetitive tasks, such as email campaigns, social media scheduling, and lead nurturing. Examples are Mandala AI and Mailchimp.
Incorporating AI-powered chatbots on your website or mobile apps can help provide real-time, 24/7 support and instant responses to customer queries. Examples are Meena by Google and BlenderBot by Facebook.
- Social media listening tools:
Use social media listening tools to monitor conversations and feedback about your brand on various social platforms. Mandala AI ranks as one of the best social media listening tools.
Case Studies and Successful Omni-Channel Strategy Examples
Omni channel strategies may be challenging to implement if you don’t have any experience with omnichannel marketing. However, you can get the spark of an idea from the omni channel strategy examples below:
1. Target’s partnership with Pinterest
Background: Target has a physical and an online store for groceries, electronics, and just about anything you need. The company partnered with Pinterest to integrate Pinterest’s Lens to increase sales through its mobile app and website.
Strategy: With Pinterest’s Lens integrated into the Target app and website, customers can take pictures of products they like. After taking a picture, the Target app will suggest products similar to the snapped pictures that are present in its store.
These suggestions can aid a customer’s buying decision. If ready, a customer can order the products they desire effortlessly, without visiting the physical store or browsing through several products on the eCommerce website.
Results: Target increased its product sales by about 10 percent through this customer engagement strategy.
2. Singapore Airline mobile app
Background: Singapore Airlines partnered with AOE to offer travelers in-flight duty-free and duty-paid goods and pre-order services with ground-based and on-board deliveries through the fusion of online and offline experiences.
Strategy: Singapore Airlines uses a mobile app with many features that eliminated the hassles travelers experience in boarding flights. Through the mobile app, travelers could do the following:
- Book flights and enjoy app-exclusive offers
- Pay with mobile wallets
- Generate mobile boarding pass
- Download their choice of reading titles
- Digitize their Krisflyer membership card
- Book a ride to the airport
- Pick their favorite movies before the flight.
Best Practices and Tips For Implementing an Omni Channel Content Strategy
1. Ensure collaboration across departments
- Encourage open communication and knowledge sharing between departments. Plus, establish cross-functional teams to work together on omnichannel initiatives.
- Ensure that all departments align with the overarching vision and objectives of the omni channel fulfillment strategy to drive cohesive efforts.
- Conduct regular meetings and workshops involving stakeholders from various departments to discuss progress, challenges, and new ideas.
- Provide access to customer data and insights across departments to create a comprehensive view of customer interactions.
2. Continuously monitor and optimize your touchpoints
- Regularly analyze data from various channels to identify trends, customer preferences, and areas for improvement.
- Define key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your omnichannel objectives, and monitor these metrics to track the success of your strategy.
- Conduct A/B testing to compare the performance of your different strategies and identify the most effective ones.
- Implement feedback mechanisms to gather insights from customers and internal stakeholders, and use this feedback to iterate and optimize your omni channel approach.
3. Leverage customer feedback and insights
- Regularly seek customer feedback through surveys, feedback forms, and customer service interactions.
- Monitor social media platforms and online communities to understand customer sentiments and opinions about your brand and offerings.
- Analyze the customer journey across touchpoints to identify pain points and areas of improvement.
- Use customer insights to deliver personalized experiences that resonate with individual preferences and behaviors.
4. Stay updated with evolving consumer behavior and technology trends
- Conduct regular market research to understand changing consumer preferences, expectations, and behaviors.
- Monitor your competitors’ omni channel marketing campaigns and identify areas where you can differ and improve.
- Keep abreast of the latest technological advancements, especially those relevant to omni channel advertising and customer engagement.
- Be adaptable and ready to adjust your omnichannel sales strategy to align with changing consumer behavior and technology trends.
How Mandala AI Can Optimize Your Omnichannel Marketing
Mandala Cosmos is one of Mandala AI’s products built with powerful AI and geared towards SMEs and business owners seeking to gain ground in the social media space. The product is regarded as a rounded social media tool for every marketer, content creator, and business owner.
Marketers, businesses, and content creators can use Mandala Cosmos to monitor multiple marketing channels simultaneously. The data obtained helps make decisions that drive a successful omnichannel digital strategy.
Mandala Cosmos has a unique feature known as Ripples. With Ripples, you can do the following:
- Visualize progress:
Monitor and track your campaign and post effectiveness across multiple social media platforms in one single place.
- Focus on key business areas:
Create customizable Ripple streams into folders, groups, and playlists to monitor trends and stay informed about your business, customers, competitors, or any topic you are curious about.
- Spark creative ideas:
Stay informed about market trends and competitors and focus on the conversation by monitoring content updates from your favorite channels and topics.
- Create quick sharing and working between teammates:
Easily share content with team members via tags and libraries, helping you simplify your marketing, accelerate your sales, and streamline your customer service
- Enjoy features from Mandala Analytics:
Access other helpful features from Mandala Analytics, including social listening and data analytics.
Ready To Develop Your Omnichannel Marketing Strategy?
Developing an omnichannel strategy can help improve your customers’ experiences across all your business channels, which will significantly boost your sales and marketing and also increase your company’s ROI.
You can build a robust omni channel retailing strategy by implementing the key elements of a cross-channel strategy in your business, identifying your target audience, mapping your customer journey, finding key channels for integration, ensuring consistent branding and messaging, and using tools tailored to omni-channel marketing.