omnichannel marketing

Omnichannel marketing: Exploring the shift to digital during changing times

By Natalie Austin

16th Apr 2021

Omnichannel marketing. This buzzword is catching the attention of marketers and brands, and for good reason. Whether you are new to marketing or are a well-equipped digital jungle navigator, we want to help you understand this marketing concept. It’s time to join the ranks of up-to-date marketers and put your brand’s mark in marketing.

What is omnichannel marketing? 

To unwrap this whole concept, let’s backtrack to review various retail channels. There are the traditional means of shopping, like going to a physical store. E-commerce, which takes the shopping experience online. And then there is the multichannel method. Multichannel marketing and services provide options to use important mediums like social media and ads, website pages, newsletters or promotional messages. Multichannel marketing provides a lot for modern businesses and customers, but it is a disconnected system. This is where omnichannel takes centre stage. 

Omnichannel marketing aims to unify, synchronise and simplify a campaign through its platforms and optimise a customer’s experience in the sales funnel. Focusing on creating a positive user experience is crucial — especially to remain relevant and appeal to digital natives and millennials. The choice to go with the omnichannel option does need a bit of work, but with the right strategy and effort, comes great rewards.

Unlock a whole new marketing game

Creating a seamless shopping experience for the customer does one of a few things. Firstly, it allows any user on any platform to navigate through many platforms with ease. They will find the same messages, promotions and choices. And this promotes customer loyalty, as users won’t need to click away to another page. Users are much more likely to stay on your company’s platforms as it will be easy to click through and find exactly what they are looking for. Examples include:

  • Browsing through Facebook and finding an ad that directs them to an item of interest
  • Scrolling through Instagram and clicking a link in your bio leading them to your online shop
  • Having a newsletter that links back to a blog post on your website 

This fluidity makes the navigation experience a breeze — blowing customers along in your direction.

Secondly, with the right branding and presence on all channels, users will start associating your presence with reliability. Soon enough, your business will get recognised as an authority in your sector. Brand recall is so important, as a simple association can lead to interest, an enquiry, a decision, the sale, and a recommendation or review.

Thirdly, omnichannel marketing has the potential to have a radical effect on increasing your revenue. Having an easy and navigable user experience, while being trackable, provides keen insights into what works. Place the customer at the centre of your strategy by changing your ad targets and adjusting your campaigns. You will have better data collection and analysis for a holistic understanding of the customer’s habits, a greater chance of a successful campaign, and get a leg up on a higher return on investment (ROI). How’s that for putting Rands back into your brand?

Why it is important now

As mentioned earlier, we are in a social media and internet-driven society. Having a visible presence online is not only the key to targeting a large audience, but also to help you find the right audience. During lockdown periods, the majority of sales came to a halt. Unless stocking essential items, most businesses experienced either a downturn or a major loss until physical stores could reopen. 

An approach like omnichannel marketing presents the chance to engage and assist a customer if another lockdown takes place. Accessibility allows for more ways to enter your platforms while at the same time being an experience well-tailored to your customer’s needs. One clever approach many marketers should try: focusing on display ads on media platforms. Think of: Youtube, TikTok, Instagram stories, Snapchat, and others. The reason? While millions spent their days looking for a social connection, they were turning to entertainment and videos to pass the time. 

Spending time on reaching the right audience through the appropriate medium is just one example of how creating a specialised ad allows for visibility. Additionally, with the right presence, the user has the urge to click through and explore what your brand has to offer. The key takeaways: stay visible, remain accessible on many platforms, look for unique chances to reach your audience and then analyse the engagement.

Make a sweet move (with an omnichannel marketing strategy)

With the right steps, you can make the transition to an omnichannel system and make your marketing a smooth operation. Follow these five tips for a swift strategy solution.

  1. Align your team’s game plan and establish your focus. By this, we mean creating a customer-centric strategy with your team, placing the customer’s data at the centre of all your operations. This helps send the relevant message at the right time and maintain a consistent message from the brand to the potential buyer.
  1. Make social media posts creative, shoppable and targeted. Think back to the example earlier with display ads on video platforms. Another idea, why not use an emailed invoice as a marketing tool? Incorporate buttons, hyperlinks and even more interactive tools to help the reader navigate to your promotion and find the content they are looking for. Appeal to them by considering these points: 
  • Segmenting online users into manageable groups and then profile their data (think demographics, age, interests, etc.).
  • Looking at how users engage and interact with your material, consider their tendencies and create a campaign to match their needs.
  • Lastly, study users’ shopping habits to create a bigger picture of their behaviour. Consider them in their long term customer journey with their purchases and activity as indicators of their shopping personality. Did they abandon their search or fill a cart and not check out? Automations will guide them back to their mission. Keep your ads and retargeting campaigns relevant and they will be more likely to return in time. 
  1. Focus on the mobile user experience, while blending in recommendations and personalisation. Having your business online is a huge perk, but it comes with some additional considerations. Make sure your content is mobile phone-friendly in terms of display and compatibility. As users are scrolling through various social feeds or online platforms, you need to catch their eye with tailored content that will lead them to an offer they’ll find hard to resist.
  1. Use the right tools to analyse your customer’s data and set up retargeting campaigns. This is where the analytics specialist’s knowledge helps. There are ways you can read through and assess data yourself, but we suggest speaking first with analytics specialists to get a lay of the land. 
  1. Continue to track and study data. Just think — test, measure, and repeat. It’s an ongoing process. Omnichannel is here to stay. Make sure you get familiar sooner rather than later. 

If these steps get applied correctly, the focus is on the customer and allows their user experience to be consistent on every channel. While it all sounds like a lot of effort, it transforms the process of marketing and becomes effortless over time. Foolproof? We like to think so.

Need help navigating the omnichannel trenches?

To get you on your way to omnichannel marketing, check out our service offerings. Choose an area you need help with and want to focus on, or enquire about a comprehensive brand analysis and marketing strategy. For those wanting a streamlined presence on social media, explore our packages on social media management. If you are keen to start on digital marketing, look no further than our digital speciality department. And lastly, make sure to invest in your reporting to get a full summary of your campaigns.

Start channelling your omnichannel marketing efforts

May your journey into omnichannel marketing lead you to the results and targets you dream of. If you get stuck along the way or want some navigational advice, contact us.