What is omnichannel marketing, and how can you use it to grow your company? This customer-focused marketing strategy is becoming the standard for businesses that sell and advertise products and services to customers on various channels, whether social media or in store.
Omnichannel marketing connects more deeply with your audience by leveraging your data to create a unified, coherent shopping experience. By maintaining consistent branding across channels, you can improve customer loyalty, retention, and engagement for a more seamless experience.
In this article, we’ll define omnichannel marketing, describe how you can build successful omnichannel strategies, and suggest a few of the best tools for developing your omnichannel marketing campaigns.
What Is Omnichannel Marketing?
At its heart, omnichannel marketing is a strategy that prioritizes the customer experience so shoppers can interact with a company offline and on digital channels without skipping a beat. With omnichannel marketing, companies create a consistent, integrated buying journey across multiple channels, including apps, websites, email, social sites, and brick-and-mortar stores.
An omnichannel marketing strategy relies on data and analytics to discover customer preferences, which a marketing team can use to create personalized content for online and offline channels. Omnichannel marketing aims to improve the overall shopping experience and increase customer retention.
The following are a few key characteristics to help you understand what drives an effective omnichannel marketing strategy:
- Consistent messages across channels
- Personalization of the buyer journey on all channels
- Marketing based on customer behavior
- Use of data and analytics to form strategies
Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Marketing
While omnichannel marketing might seem similar to multichannel marketing at first glance, the two strategies are distinctly different. The omnichannel marketing definition describes a customer-centric approach to improving the sales funnel. In contrast, multichannel marketing entails the more straightforward strategy of advertising a product or service across multiple channels.
Omnichannel strategies seek to develop a seamless user experience, improving the entire customer journey with personalized messaging across various marketing channels, including traditional and digital. Omnichannel marketing strategies leverage customer data to meet the needs of each shopper, whether they’re on a desktop, mobile device, or in a physical store.
Multichannel marketing involves reaching out to customers on various channels but doesn’t necessarily include personalized experiences. For example, a multichannel strategy for a clothing store might be to send a standard email with a discount coupon as a thank-you for an in-store purchase.
With an omnichannel approach, that initial thank-you email might build on the customer’s shopping history to suggest other items they might be interested in buying. In this case, the omnichannel strategy is more effective for getting repeat customers because it gives them ideas and helps them make another purchase in just a few clicks.
Benefits of Using Omnichannel Marketing
Developing a consistent experience for your customers with omnichannel marketing strategies can lead to many benefits for your company, including the following:
Improved Brand Experience
The goal of an omnichannel strategy is to make your brand’s messaging feel the same across all marketing channels. Whether customers shop in store or engage with your brand on your social media channels, the messaging they encounter should follow consistent brand guidelines.
When you have a consistent brand experience on online and offline channels, it’s easier for shoppers to recall your brand and its products or services. With increased brand recall, you’re more likely to see an increase in sales, including repeat purchases.
Enhanced Customer Journey
Omnichannel marketing gives consumers a seamless shopping experience with your brand, improving customer retention, customer satisfaction, and sales.
Through effective omnichannel marketing efforts, you can integrate the customer journey across multiple channels so your shoppers feel engaged at every touchpoint. A Harvard Business Review study found that 73% of consumers prefer to shop through various channels.
The following are examples of how a company can use an omnichannel approach to improve the customer experience:
- Use signs that invite in-store shoppers to download the app
- Allow customers to check the store’s inventory on the app
- Award points to customers for purchases, social media follows, referrals, etc.
- Enable customers to sign up to learn when an item on their wish list is available
Omnichannel strategies create an exceptional customer experience at every level of the buying journey, helping you improve customer loyalty and get more sales. Companies using three or more channels for their marketing campaigns have a 287% higher purchase rate than those using a single channel.
How To Create the Perfect Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
If you want to tap into the advantages of an omnichannel marketing strategy, you’ll need to develop an effective plan to improve the customer experience through online and offline channels.
Below, you can find a few tips and strategies to ensure your omnichannel strategy has the right ingredients for success:
Prioritize Your Customers
Omnichannel marketing is about improving the customer journey, so your customers’ needs and preferences should be the driving forces behind your marketing strategies. Tracking your audience’s potential buying journey is a good way to learn how consumers feel, think, and act in your niche.
Start with where the customer first hears about your brand, analyze their research and consideration of your products or services, and identify their path to purchase. Even after the purchase, you can assess your company’s methods of retaining a customer base and see which ones are effective.
Analyzing customer journeys, including which channels customers use most, will help you develop strategies that improve your sales funnel and increase customer engagement.
Segment Your Audience Using Customer Data
To give your customers an omnichannel experience, you need to dive into the data to find actionable insights and create holistic customer profiles from information like the following:
- Buyer persona
- Lifecycle stages
- Past purchases
- Average order value
- Loyalty status
Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer Report found that 52% of consumers expect offers to be personalized based on their preferences. Segmenting your audience is a crucial step in the omnichannel approach.
It ensures that your marketing outreach is customer-focused, whether it’s in-app suggestions based on past purchases or email newsletters with promotions targeted at specific demographics. Customers who see messages tailored to them are more likely to make purchases and form an attachment to your brand.
Maintain Consistent Messaging Across Multiple Channels
When creating your omnichannel marketing strategy, you should coordinate with other departments, such as sales teams and customer service staff, to establish an overall brand message that everyone will use when interacting with customers.
From company leaders to store associates, your entire team should be on the same page when it comes to representing your brand. Additionally, your marketing materials should be consistent across all channels, whether posting on social media platforms or reaching out to shoppers on mobile channels.
Use Omnichannel Marketing Tools
It helps to have the right tools when developing your omnichannel customer journey. You can find many different kinds of marketing tools online to help you analyze and organize data, interact with shoppers, and create a consistent customer experience.
Tools That Can Help You
Below, we’ll list several examples of omnichannel marketing tools you can use to enhance your online and offline marketing tactics and build a seamless experience. These tools will facilitate your omnichannel strategy, helping you increase customer engagement, attract new customers, and enhance customer loyalty.
Email marketing tools help companies create, send, and optimize email campaigns. The following are a few of the most popular email marketing tools you can use when developing an omnichannel experience:
Mailchimp is a widely known, easy-to-use email automation marketing platform featuring a drag-and-drop interface for email template creation. Its email marketing software also includes tools for audience segmentation and analytics.
Mailchimp has a free marketing plan for beginners that allows you to develop small-scale campaigns of up to 500 contacts and 1,000 monthly sends.
ActiveCampaign offers a simple email marketing solution that allows you to develop custom email campaigns with features like triggered emails, targeted emails, autoresponders, and transactional emails.
The software’s straightforward customization tools allow you to easily use your customer contact information to send personalized messages to each shopper, helping you reach your customer loyalty goals.
You can get access to HubSpot’s advanced email marketing tool for free, enabling you to create emails, personalize your messages, and fine-tune your email marketing tactics without spending money.
If you use HubSpot’s customer relationship management (CRM) software, the email marketing tools will pull data from your existing database to ensure you’re using up-to-date, accurate information.
SMS communication is a necessity for omnichannel marketing, especially since customers open and read text messages more frequently than emails. You can send online order confirmations, offers and promotions, appointment reminders, and more.
Here are the top SMS marketing tools:
TextMagic is software for sending text messages that’s very simple to use. It provides tools for creating templates for recurring messages, setting up scheduled messages, and storing contact information.
The software uses a pre-pay model, allowing you to purchase the credits you need to send texts and avoid committing to an ongoing contract. TextMagic also easily integrates with other tools, an important feature for successful omnichannel marketing.
SimpleTexting is the best option for running SMS campaigns quickly and easily. It has an intuitive user interface that makes it possible to effortlessly create text campaigns or contact customers directly.
The software also has tools for finding prospects, such as an autoresponder that responds with a discount to customers who text a specific keyword to your number. SimpleTexting also features convenient collaboration tools to help you work better with your team.
SlickText is one of the top SMS tools for sending mass marketing texts and collecting contact information from customers. The software also gives you numerous marketing tools along with simple guides on using them.
These marketing tools, primarily centered on gathering customer phone numbers, include opt-in links and forms, text surveys, promo codes, website pop-ups, and loyalty programs.
Social Media Marketing Tools
Social media marketing (SMM) tools help you design, publish, and analyze your social posts. Running social media is a lot of work, but these tools can help streamline your workflows, get content to the right audience, and save time:
Hootsuite is an SMM tool with over 18 million users, providing an all-in-one software for creating and scheduling content, running ads, and measuring your ROI.
Hootsuite stands out for its features that allow users to monitor multiple accounts, mass-schedule social media posts, and connect with over 35 social platforms.
Sprout Social is another comprehensive SMM platform that provides scheduling, monitoring, and reporting tools for social media posts. It offers CRM features like complete customer profiles, making it a great omnichannel marketing tool for building stronger customer relationships.
One of the best features of Sprout Social is its beautifully designed reports that require little editing before sending them to your team.
Buffer is a simple-to-use SMM software with a free plan that includes social media planning and publishing tools, an AI assistant, and a landing page builder. The tool focuses on driving meaningful engagement on social platforms, helping your company grow.
The software’s tools for SMM are user friendly, making it easy for beginners to use when creating their social media campaigns.
Content Management System
A content management system (CMS) is an application that enables you to build and manage your website without coding. You can create, modify, and publish content via an intuitive, user-friendly interface.
The following are a few of the best CMS apps:
WordPress is a highly popular CMS that evolved from being primarily a blogging software. The content management interface is easy to pick up and includes many visually appealing themes.
While you don’t need coding knowledge to make a website with WordPress, a tech-savvy person can benefit from adding plugins to customize their site.
While Magento is potentially one of the more expensive options on the list, this software deserves mention for its extensive customizability. It can take some time to learn the features of the platform if you’re a beginner, but the payoff is access to over 3,000 add-ons that allow you to build your site however you want.
A top e-commerce platform, Shopify makes it possible to create and manage an online store. It has fewer appearance options than WordPress, but you still get numerous features for creating and managing content on your website.
Shopify has built-in omnichannel marketing tools, such as abandoned cart recovery and product analytics. As a bonus, Shopify also handles all your software updates and backups.
If you want to create a successful omnichannel marketing plan, you need a tool for marketing analytics. Such tools give data-driven insights to optimize your marketing campaigns, whether in a single channel or across all channels.
Below, you can find leading marketing analytics software:
SharpSpring is a marketing analytics tool that brings marketing and sales teams together to develop and monitor highly personalized marketing campaigns. The software analyzes customer data to reveal entire buyer journeys and customize each interaction with your brand.
This analytics platform automates your marketing data collection and analysis, making it easy to get quick, up-to-date insights into your campaigns. Improvado can connect to over 500 of the most commonly used data sources and requires no technical experience.
HubSpot Marketing Hub
Including integration with the HubSpot CRM platform, Marketing Hub provides a convenient solution for marketing analytics. It allows you to have all your customer data in one place, facilitating better analysis for your marketing campaigns.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of your business’s most powerful tools for gaining new customers and increasing conversions. The following are SEO tools that help boost your site’s ranking on search engines like Google:
Google Analytics is free to use and easy for beginners. The tool helps you understand your site’s SEO performance by allowing you to track search rankings, analyze content conversions, and evaluate your technical SEO.
Google Trends is a free SEO tool that is relatively easy to learn and gain knowledge from. It simplifies keyword research to help you beat out local and large competitors in your market.
Semrush is an excellent free tool for SEO, providing actionable information on search keywords, competitors, and pay-per-click ads. The software helps you manage your resources, saving you time and money.
Ahrefs is a more advanced SEO tool that provides a dashboard where you can view your search ranking, traffic, and backlinking data. Ahref’s features include a web crawler, keyword explorer, and competitor monitoring tool.
Final Thoughts on Omnichannel Marketing
What is omnichannel marketing? Ultimately, it’s a strategy for building a seamless customer journey across all platforms, from browsing your store online to in-store shopping. You have heaps of customer data at your fingertips that you can use to develop omnichannel marketing strategies, and we’ve recommended many tools to get you started down the right path.
We at Connective hope that this article helped you in your marketing endeavors. If you need a marketing partner you can trust to develop a campaign that stays true to your brand and builds customer loyalty with omnichannel marketing, consider working with Connective. Contact us to request an initial consultation.