The term omnichannel first popped up in 2010, and it’s only gained popularity and clout since then. We’ve seen quite a few explanations and definitions in the past decade, all with different nuances and implications.
We’re here to give it to you straight. Omnichannel marketing is simply utilizing multiple marketing channels to create a unified customer experience. All the channels work in tandem to synthesize a seamless look, feel, and tone.
Here are some best practices for omnichannel experiences.
Select the Right Channels
When it comes to choosing the right marketing channels, you have a couple of decisions to make.
- How many channels will you market on?
- Which channels are best for your marketing strategy?
- How will you allocate resources between your chosen channels
While we wish we could give you a magic formula that offers exact answers to those questions, alas, all we can do is offer best practices. Every industry will be different. First things first, you need to know your audience. Start with the platforms you know your target audience is using—this can still include your brick and mortar locations.
Some of the channels you should be considering include:
- Social media
- Text messaging
- In-store promotions
- Phone calls
- Ad retargeting
Keep in mind you might need to create your own channel! If you work with a custom development team, your organization could interact with your clients through a custom mobile app or web interface.
It’s almost impossible to provide highly effective omnichannel experiences when internal departments aren’t working together. Siloed teams result in inconsistent messages and processes. Marketing, sales, and customer service should be sharing information and data to offer your clients the smoothest possible experience across all channels.
When InGen works with clients, we interact with multiple stakeholders, including head decision-makers, project leads, development directors, marketing department staff, and more. We find that the variety of perspectives offers a holistic understanding of their customers’ pain points as well as insights into the best channel solution.
Data and Personalization
One of the strongest strategic approaches to omnichannel experiences is personalization. Creating content that speaks to specific target audiences offers a better user experience, making them more likely to convert. Think about it; if you see a blog post that displays information exactly the way you want it, you’re more likely to interact with it. Knowing your marketing personas and tailoring your marketing channels for the best results helps customers advance through the funnel without any hiccups.
With Sitefinity, your marketers can use your predefined personas to change pieces of a webpage to fit the type of person who’s seeing it. Or, you can change entire webpages to match the personality or needs of the target audience.
According to Microsoft’s Global State of Multichannel Service Report, more than 90% of consumers expect self-serve options from the businesses they buy from. Many people prefer to complete certain elements of transactions or research on their own instead of trying to get in touch with a customer service representative. Consider ways you can. include channels that allow customers to take things into their own hands. These channels might include elements such as an FAQ section, self-service portal, user forum, or instructional videos.
One great example of a self-service channel is the Find a Doctor portal InGen created for Deaconess. We wanted the customer experience to be intuitive, streamlined, and offer personalized service. We added filtering and searching to help patients choose from the various types of doctors and their services. This custom-built feature greatly improved the customer experience. Deaconess patients can now access all the information they need to schedule new patient appointments with the click of a button.
For better or worse, effective omnichannel experiences will need to be updated and upgraded based on data, processes, and other relevant metrics. Creating omnichannel experiences is an iterative process. Optimize processes and messaging over time to meet the needs of your clients.
The American College of Education (ACE) did just this when they came back to InGen four years after we first engaged with them. Originally, we worked with them to implement an online application. After an unsuccessful partnership with another company that attempted to iterate on the application, they returned to InGen to get the job done.
We helped ACE provide a helpful, guided portal for applicants. The application integrated into their system of record for a fun, automated application process.
Continuous improvement is a prerequisite for continued success. Are your websites, applications, and other marketing channels all working together for better products, processes, and customer engagement? Gaining competitive advantages comes from continuously exploring, learning, and embracing innovative technologies. That’s where InGen steps in.
InGen is a creative software consultancy company that designs results-driven web and mobile solutions to create impactful change for our clients. Our team of designers, developers, and strategists continuously explore, learn, and embrace cutting-edge technologies that solve client’s complex business problems and offer a competitive advantage. Our digital solutions are created through trusted relationships within a culture of continuous creativity.