Omnichannel Marketing
Glossary of terms

Imagine that you met an old friend for dinner and had an hour-long conversation, catching up on the details of your lives. But when you emailed them the next day, they would only remember what you discussed in previous emails. And when you texted them, they would only refer to previous SMS conversations.

Trying to talk to that friend would be confusing, tedious and repetitive. Eventually you might stop reaching out to them altogether.

We expect to have one seamless conversation with our friends and family, regardless of the mode of communication. And customers have the same expectation with brands. They don’t think, “I’m talking to the customer service center by phone, and now I’m emailing the customer support team.” They think, “I’m talking to Brand X.”

If your brand can’t hold up its end of the conversation across multiple channels, your customer experience will suffer. In fact, it’s better to think less about “multiple channels” and more about Omnichannel Marketing.

What Is Omnichannel Marketing?

Omnichannel marketing is the practice of delivering consistently integrated shopping experiences to customers across every touchpoint or “channel.”

This doesn’t mean that your brand has to offer every conceivable method of communication to customers. You don’t have to offer Snapchat, Friendster, and Morse Code if you don’t want to. Rather, it means that every channel you do offer is capable of sharing data with all the others. It’s about empowering every customer-facing employee to continue the conversation, rather than starting over from scratch.

Omnichannel bridges the digital and in-person worlds as well: web, mobile, social, events, physical stores, and more. The goal is for customers to receive seamless, unified messaging and branding regardless of how they choose to engage with your company.

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel: What’s the Difference?

Omnichannel Marketing and Multichannel Marketing are frequently used interchangeably. But these are two different strategies, and it’s important to be aware of the distinction.

Multichannel marketing refers to using separate strategies and experiences across several different channels. For example, an in-store visit might net a customer a coupon they can use on your website. Or opting into text messages might trigger a prompt to visit the store or sign up for an email newsletter.

Omnichannel marketing is the larger practice of developing a shared “memory” for customer conversations across every point of contact, while multichannel marketing is for specific messaging strategies that span more than one channel. Neither of these are optional for modern marketers; too often, marketers stop at developing a few multichannel strategies while neglecting to build the omnichannel foundation to support them.

Many businesses rely on an omnichannel marketing platform, which is essentially software that can help manage the delivery of these seamless customer experiences.

The Benefits of Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing improves customer experience, empowers employees, and ultimately benefits the brand itself.

  • Customers get quicker resolution to customer service issues, spend less time repeating information, and receive more personalized and relevant marketing messages.
  • Employees get the information they need to make their work effective and meaningful. They can see the context of each customer interaction for quicker problem resolution with fewer intermediate steps.
  • Brands can see a boost in marketing effectiveness thanks to more targeted, relevant and timely messaging. This can also help develop deeper relationships with customers for repeat business and referrals.

Omnichannel experience yields tangible benefits in study after study. One study found a 10 percent increase in spend online and 4 percent in-store for omnichannel customers. Another recent study found a 250% higher purchase frequency with omnichannel versus single-channel.

How to Implement an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy

Data management is the foundation of a successful omnichannel strategy. It starts with connecting, cleansing, and consolidating your data streams on a Customer Data Platform (CDP).

Don’t stop with marketing department data, either—sales, customer service, and even HR have valuable data for omnichannel marketing.

A CDP can create a single source of truth, a central location where you can analyze data across every channel in order to guide your strategy.

With data management on a CDP, you can start developing a single view of the customer, uniting channels into a single conversation backed by your data source of truth. This makes it easier to transform from channel-based communication to customer-based communication.

Here’s how to create an omnichannel strategy that builds on your CDPs strengths:

  • Map Omnichannel Customer Journeys. Define your customers’ behavior stages, identify their goals, and use your CDP’s analytical power to identify the most meaningful touchpoints. Then use these insights to remove friction.
  • Create an Omnichannel Customer Experience. Make sure customer interactions feel like part of a seamless conversation: Make your brand voice consistent across channels, personalize as much as possible, and find ways to reward loyalty across channels.
  • Evaluate and Improve. With your data consolidated on a CDP, you will be able to more accurately measure what’s working and what isn’t. Keep refining your customer journey map and the customer experience to see ongoing improvement.

Omnichannel Marketing in Action: PARCO

Japanese retailer PARCO Co. Ltd was facing a “retailpocalypse,” losing business in its 3,000 brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping. To combat the problem, they created a unique omnichannel customer experience that bridged online and in-person shopping. Their strategy helped to shape customer behavior, through personalized messaging and well-timed rewards.

PARCO developed an official shopping app, which serves as a loyalty program and another source for valuable customer data. PARCO’s CDP combines the app data with a wealth of other data—including web traffic data, IoT, even the local weather—and is able to deliver customized messages in real time.

For example, the PARCO app uses geofencing to send store notifications to customers as soon as they enter a specific physical area. One notification advertised a sale at a nearby store, compelling 25% of all recipients to visit the store before the sale ended.

Overall, PARCO’s omnichannel strategy has boosted in-store visits by 35%, increased the purchase rate of in-store traffic by 25%, and increased repeat store visits by 8%.

Changing the Channel

Conversing with your brand should be as easy as talking with an old friend: It’s a conversation that can start anywhere from social media to SMS to email, and continue through any and all of those channels without losing the thread of the discussion.

With the right CDP and a comprehensive omnichannel marketing strategy, you can eliminate friction for your customers, empower your employees, and build lasting customer relationships that directly affect the bottom line.

Ready to get started? Request a demo to see how Treasure Data’s CDP can power your omnichannel marketing strategy.

Glossary of terms

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