The 5 steps to delivering a consistent omnichannel experience
Companies can no longer rely on traditional marketing techniques to engage new and existing customers. In the past, marketers would deploy multiple channels in a non-integrated fashion to build brand awareness. Known as multichannel marketing, delivering messaging this way was designed to cast as wide a net as possible.
However, in 2023, customers expect tailored experiences that are personalized to their needs. They want messaging to be consistent whenever and wherever they engage with a brand. To truly delight customers and stand out from the competition, you need to provide an omnichannel experience over a multichannel one. This involves integrating all of your channels to create a seamless customer experience.
Starbucks uses omnichannel marketing to seamlessly guide customers through online and offline experiences, and, ultimately, into their stores. Website visitors unlock special rewards by downloading the Starbucks app, which encourages customers to collect these rewards in-store. Three channels work in unison to achieve a single goal: increase sales.
Omnichannel marketing gets more complex when you throw different personas into the mix. However, with a bit of thought and creativity, it’s easy to apply an omnichannel approach to your business marketing.
Here are five simple steps to delivering a consistent omnichannel experience for your customers.
1.Define your brand identity
It’s impossible to deliver a consistent omnichannel experience if you don’t know your brand identity: what you do, why, how, and for whom.
Start by defining your brand identity. Write down three adjectives that you want customers to associate with your brand. If you’re a car manufacturer, this might be “Reliable, safe, durable”. Alternatively, if you sell B2B software, your adjectives might be “Essential, innovative, easy-to-use”.
Make this a cross-departmental exercise. This will give you a more comprehensive idea of your company’s identity than just asking your team.
Having settled on your brand identity, frame your omnichannel marketing around these adjectives. Every single customer interaction, across all channels and markets, should reinforce this identity.
2.Map out your customer journeys
Omnichannel marketing gives consumers what they want, when they want it—regardless of the channel. But how do you know what they need, and at which stages of the customer journey?
Follow these four steps to get started:
Identify your prospects/customers: Who are you targeting? What demographic features unite them? You’ll probably have multiple personas, but make sure to map them to each customer journey.
Understand what makes them tick: What do they want to achieve? What problem do they need to solve?
Identify their favorite channels: Do they spend more time scrolling through LinkedIn, reading the news online, or watching YouTube videos? Which channels attract their attention?
Map out the path to conversion: How do they interact with online and offline channels as they move through the funnel? This will rarely be linear and straightforward, and will differ between individual customers and persona groups.
Pay particular attention to stages where you experience drop-offs. Drop-offs spotlight problem areas.
3. Start with your 20%
80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts. B2B SaaS companies generally gain more traction on LinkedIn than on TikTok. Conversely, home services businesses might rely heavily on direct mail.
Identify your company’s highest-performing channels. Then, optimize them in order of decreasing importance.
Some channels might be more important than you think. Take email, for example. Not only does your company send out marketing emails, but standard business email can also be an important engagement platform
Excellent customer service boosts the customer experience (CX) and increases retention—happy customers are repeat customers. In fact, a mere 5% increase in retention increases profits by 25 - 95%.
This means your customer service department is an invaluable marketing channel. Consider optimizing their emails. For example, tweaking their email signatures to encourage emoji-based feedback, or including information about new products you’ve just developed.
4. Double down on personalization
Personalization is no longer a competitive advantage. These days, it’s an expectation.
71% of customers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions, and 67% feel frustrated when this doesn’t happen. Personalization breathes life into your omnichannel marketing strategy. Hence, 80% of marketers consider it the key to both increased revenue and better CX.
Use customer data to personalize as much as possible. For example, use first-party data to pre-fill registration forms that your email signatures link out to. You can even include headings with the visitor’s details on the target web page.
Personalization allows you to deliver the right message, at the right time, on the right channel. It’s a key pillar of effective omnichannel marketing, and one that you can’t ignore.
5. Always keep iterating
Optimizing your omnichannel marketing strategy isn’t a ‘set it and forget it’ activity. Continually seek out feedback, both positive and negative, to identify areas for improvement. Customer behavior is constantly changing as new trends and technologies emerge. If you fail to keep up with their needs, you’ll lose them to your competition.
Now, it’s over to you
Follow the five steps outlined above to deliver a consistent omnichannel experience, delight existing customers, and attract new ones in droves. And don't forget to include your email signatures when building an omnichannel marketing strategy. They're the perfect avenue for increasing engagement when centrally controlled.