If you’re like most businesses, you’re still using a multichannel approach (Omnichannel Marketing) to sales. Customers are learning about a sale or promotion, or even just normal branding, across all of your channels, and if you’re lucky, they’re responding to the ad copy and the marketing and you’re converting them into paying customers. This is how marketing has been for a long time – print, television, online – all driving the same or similar messaging to get the customer into the store or onto the site and getting them to buy.
With multichannel marketing, a men’s clothing store might send out an email to its mailing list of customers about a shirt sale, advertise on social media, and maybe even have a radio ad for the car ride home. The customer is introduced to and then reminded of the sale until he buys the shirt, assuming he is interested in taking advantage of the discount. This is how most businesses today still operate their marketing.
Omnichannel Marketing Advantage
Omnichannel marketing takes this multichannel marketing to its next logical step: putting the customer at the center of the marketing experience. If the customer interacts with an email, clicking on a link and putting an item in their cart but not buying, the omnichannel approach is to convert this sale, not to simply remind them. Each point of contact will drive the customer journey to the next step. The social media will be targeted to remind them about this specific item, they may receive an email or other push notification reminding them to purchase the item, or even receive an invitation as they drive by the brick and mortar location to come in and try that particular shirt on in person. This approach may seem a bit pushy, but it isn’t – if you understand your customer’s journey.
Even with brick and mortar stores, over 40% of purchases begin online (and 100% for online purchases!) 78% will get some type of information online before they purchase in the store – even if they’ve first been introduced to the item in a shop and research it online later. So – how does omnichannel marketing drive sales? It happens by understanding this path, and not being too pushy! Knowing how the customer journey begins, (even down to the specific channel), how long a customer takes to make a decision from the first point of contact to purchase, and what steps or research they do in between are key questions to answer in order to effectively implement omnichannel marketing.
If you’re looking for another edge in your armory of weapons to help you drive sales, omnichannel marketing is not only more effective than multichannel – but also requires a deeper understanding of your customer. That will not only benefit your marketing but all aspects of your business. Understanding your customer’s journey and how you can help them to get to purchase your product or service is the key to omnichannel marketing – know your customer better, and succeed through omnichannel marketing.
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