Today, providing a seamless experience for prospects and customers is critical to earning their trust – and winning and keeping their business. Whether these folks are looking at your website on their mobile screens, checking out your social posts, using your mobile app, or talking to your sales or support reps via phone or chat, it’s important to create a unified brand presence. Any inconsistency or disconnect can cause confusion, leading to lost business, a decrease in brand loyalty or even a dreaded bad review online.
Omni-channel marketing is the glue that holds brand consistency together. The need for it is not going away. At the same time, omni-channel is evolving, just as marketing technologies and strategies evolve. That’s why we wanted to dive a little deeper into the topic and offer up these five fresh but proven tips:
- Understand your customer’s journey: Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes and walk through their journey of researching, finding, viewing, trying, purchasing and recommending your product. Test and verify the experience by clicking on your Google Ad, downloading your call-to-action, calling your 800 number, placing an order, contacting customer support, etc. Is everything working the way it should? Are sales reps aware of the discounted, limited-time offer? Are your employees copied or aware of your marketing campaigns? Is messaging consistent throughout the process? Are there any barriers that need to be removed? Fix any roadblocks and make changes to improve the overall experience.
- Align your organization: Omni-channel marketing will fail if other departments, such as sales, shipping/fulfillment and customer support, work independently without communicating or sharing lessons learned. This also goes for external agencies or outside consultants. In addition, supporting systems should be configured to share data automatically, with little to no human intervention to reduce mistakes. Increased data sharing fuels improved cross-functional, cross-channel collaboration and creates a unified in-house data strategy. The goal is to use customer data to inform decision making and elevate the customer experience. As we all know, the days of information siloes are long over.
- Leverage behavior-based messaging: If a prospect has previously interacted with your company -- downloaded a whitepaper, attended your event, viewed your webinar, added a product to their cart, etc. -- utilize that engagement in your messaging. Don’t treat your long-time loyal customers as if you don’t know them, and don’t assume new customers know everything the veterans do.
- Segment your audience: Create personas and develop timely, relevant messages to each individual segment. For example, B2B tech audiences will likely respond better to detailed specifications and ROI details compared to a more touchy-feely or emotional approach. Use what you know about their buying stage to provide next-level or follow-up detail, such as use cases, that can move them closer to a purchase.
- Measure and test: With the high volume of data available, savvy marketers are getting better at leveraging it to their advantage to best serve their audiences -- and not become overly invasive. Understand how to measure not only the results of your individual marketing campaigns, but also how your customers interact online, over the phone and in person. Tailor relevant, timely messaging and offers as appropriate by channel.
Today more than ever, the customer is “always right.” An effective omni-channel strategy is the key to ensuring they get the right experience across all your communications – in a consistent, coordinated and complimentary way.
What’s your take on omni-channel marketing – is it going away or is it here to stay?
Outward Media’s proven data cleansing services and targeted, accurate email data can enable you to achieve better email marketing ROI and, ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.