When you first hear the term omni-channel, you may be think, “Great, yet another marketing buzzword,” and you would be right. However, it is an accurate term for a relatively new way of marketing that appeals to all customers through all marketing channels.
But, isn’t omni-channel the same thing as multi-channel?
Not exactly. Multi-channel marketing uses various marketing channels such as email, SMS, and voice as separate entities geared toward those who prefer to use only that specific method of communication. Omni-channel marketing takes these different marketing approaches and uses them in a way where they work symbiotically with each other to facilitate how consumers can cross over the different mediums, sometimes multiple times during a single transaction.
Omni-channel marketing is becoming more and more widespread in usage by businesses and organizations in an effort to streamline their processes and be as accessible as possible for clients and customers. In this document, we will discuss the benefits of an omni-channel marketing approach and why your business should consider this strategy.
The benefit of an omni-channel marketing strategy
Omni-Channel Marketing Omni-channel marketing serves to make sure that a customer is able to have the same type of experience with your business no matter what kind of channel they decide to use – whether it be contacting you through your website on their desktop computer, tablet, or mobile, or even if they decide to visit your business in person. The aim of an omni-channel approach is to provide a sense of cohesion across all mediums with seamless transitions from one platform to the next.
But, what’s so great about having an omni-channel marketing strategy?
Having a fully integrated system enabling you to talk to your clients, no matter the channel, can only be a good thing for your business. And, the ability to provide the same quality of service through each of these channels helps endear your customers to your particular brand, thus increasing its value.
Evolving from multi-channel
Omni-channel marketing takes on more of a user-centric approach to marketing rather than focusing on the back-end of a multi-channel platform. Omni-channel essentially is a byproduct of how you use a multi-channel platform. By simply using a multi-channel platform with all these different marketing and communication channels to connect with people in their preferred method, you will expand your customer base, increase your sales, and improve your overall ROI. By taking this approach, customers who prefer face-to-face communication will still visit your establishment in person, while those who prefer telephone calls or emails will continue to contact you via these channels.
However, more and more these days, clients are increasingly likely to utilize the full gamut of channels available to them. Some will reach out via your website live chat, and then proceed to call you on your support line. If they are buying an item off your website, they may browse on their mobile phone and then sign in on their laptop to complete their purchase.
This is omni-channel marketing and communication.
The ease with which they are able to do this and receive a consistent level of service contributes to how successful your omni-channel strategy is. The more facilitated it is, the better the customer’s experience, which means the higher your customer satisfaction rating.
Integrating multi-channel and omni-channel
As was previously mentioned, omni-channel marketing is basically a result of how you have put your multi-channel platform into practice. If you are simply using your platform as a means of ensuring some level of communication with your clients is possible via multiple mediums, then your business is not taking advantage of the omni-channel approach.
To make use of the omni-channel marketing possibilities available, your company can take what you know from your multi-channel marketing and push it further by optimizing your platform so that each of the channels easily integrates with the others. This can be done in an effort to streamline the user experience.
The first steps you can take in order to integrate your multi-channel platform with an omnichannel marketing strategy would be to make all your platform channels consistent across the board. Through the use of the same colors, signatures, and style of branding, for starters, you should begin to be able to provide the same level of customer experience on all mediums of your platform, creating a seamless transition from one to the next.
It shouldn’t matter whether your customers contact you via email, SMS, or even Facebook, they should be able to benefit from quick response times and quality information.
You may think that in order to have the resources to accomplish this level of service, you will have to hire and pay additional personnel whose sole responsibility is managing the queries coming from your various channels. However, with the help of a marketing automation platform, this process can be facilitated to help increase efficiency and help your company make the most of omni-channel marketing.
Take advantage of a marketing automation platform
A marketing automation platform can allow your business to facilitate omni-channel marketing endeavors by automating your communications with clients and customers so you do not have to spend as much time and effort managing all your different communication channels.
Through such a platform, you can write your responses in advance and schedule them to send automatically whenever a customer reaches out via a particular medium. The benefit of being able to pre-write your responses is that you are able to maintain a consistent voice across all your channels and your customers benefit from having one single voice that gives them one, unified answer and not a bunch of voices with a bunch of different opinions.
A marketing automation platform can also benefit an omni-channel marketing strategy by providing your business with the ability to track the success of each of your campaigns across all of your channels and determine which ones customers are responding to and which ones may need improvement.
This can be done through web tracking software and tracking links. By creating tracking links and placing them on your website, in your emails, and even your SMS messages, every time someone interacts with them, the data gets collected and compiled into reports which you can then use to measure the return of each channel and decide where to focus your resources.
Omni-channel marketing holds a great advantage for your business or company as it allows you to create a unified stream of information and communication for your customers. By making it possible for them to reach out via text message, and then effortlessly continue any correspondence through email or a phone call, makes both their lives and your lives easier.
This approach can be aided through the use of a multi-channel platform, allowing your business to streamline and automate responses and communications, saving time and effort, while also ensuring this high standard of service. Track and analyze your customers’ interactions with you and evaluate which of your channels may need improvement and which ones are holding their own.
When your marketing and communication strategies are uniform and consistent, your customers know exactly what kind of service level to expect from your business and that no matter how they choose to interact with you, that level of service will not change.