Building an omnichannel marketing strategy is essential for businesses that want to effectively reach their target markets. It allows a business to get in front of consumers, build brand awareness and ultimately generate more revenue.
Modern consumers will rarely buy from the initial awareness of a brand or product. In fact, 74% of customers have used multiple channels to start and complete a transaction.
There is a journey that they go through that brings them from having a need, researching options to eventually choosing the best option to buy. In order to be the solution at the end of this journey, your business needs to be in all the places your consumer uses to travel through the journey.
This is why an omnichannel marketing strategy is a key aspect of every business’s marketing efforts.
What is Omni Channel Marketing and Why is it Important?
Omni channel marketing is the process of seamlessly integrating marketing communications at every channel a buyer uses throughout their buying journey.
The buyer’s journey is not linear. People go online to read reviews and explore product information while in store. They see ads both in real life and online but choose to explore the brand's social media sites and website before visiting the store.
When companies don't offer the experience consumers want (like the 74% who want an omni channel shopping experience) they find another solution. Omni channel marketing gives businesses the ability to be everywhere a customer or potential customer needs them to be in order to make a purchase.
This isn’t just good for customers but it’s good for businesses. When businesses focus on omnichannel marketing they tend to see a better return for their efforts. According to a study created by Omnisend, marketers using three or more channels in a campaign earned a 494% higher purchase rate than those using a single-channel campaign.
At the end of the day, marketing is about communicating with consumers and the modern consumer is everywhere. So, if your messaging doesn’t reach consumers then it’s not successfully fulfilling its purpose.
Creating an Omnichannel marketing strategy
A strategy is more than simple tactics such as posting to social media. A strategy encompasses how and why the elements work together. It provides an overarching view of the various goals and details.
It’s tempting to begin posting and advertising all over the place in an attempt to generate sales, especially when your marketing team is biting at the bit to generate opportunities. But, it’s crucial to follow a process that ensures successful implementation.
Here’s a simple plan you can follow.
Step 1: Create buyer personas to snapshot your target audience
Before you do any marketing, anywhere, it’s necessary to know who your target audience is. How can you create a strategy to attract more customers if your team doesn't even know who they are trying to attract?
Identifying your target audience gives guidance to your strategy and keeps the team focused in the right direction.
When buyer personas are neglected it can cause businesses to generate the wrong type of traffic or worse, sends a confusing message that attracts no one.
Step 2: Map the buyers’ journey
The buyers' journey is crucial in determining what channels to focus your energy on and how to position your brand within those channels. It allows you to understand how your target audience(s) make decisions at each step of the way.
When mapping the journey it’s important to walk away with certain information on your target audience such as:
- Where do they spend their time
- How do they shop and buy
- Where and how they do their research
- What trust signals do they respond to
The ultimate goal of mapping a buyer’s journey is to understand what grabs your target audience's attention, what type of interactions do they require during the buying process and what helps them decide on who to buy from.
When you understand these things your brand will be able to align itself with what consumers are looking for when they are looking for it.
Step 3: Define your marketing goals, KPIs and budget
Many organizations lack defined marketing goals and this creates unclear and unfocused activity down the road. Marketing goals shape the direction of the strategy and provide a target to hit. Without goals, KPIs and a budget you’ll never know if your strategy is successful or not.
What should your goals and objectives look like? Well, a marketing team’s goals should aid in the company’s overall goals. For example, if one of the organization’s goals is to gain market share in a particular market, then the marketing team’s goal could be to build brand awareness within that particular market.
Remember, marketing is not its own entity. It’s goals should be intertwined with other departments such as sales or customer service to bring about success for the company’s overall goals.
Step 4: Craft the messaging
Every demographic has their own set of values, wants, needs and communication styles. This means you can’t just get in front of your target audience but you have to craft a message that will resonate with them.
Think about a company selling to first time mothers. When it comes to their new born baby, do you think they will respond to a message that boasts having the cheapest product on the market or one that boasts having the safest and most trusted brand on the market?
The messaging should be consistent across all platforms. If the message your audience wants to see is affordability then all platforms should in some way communicate your brand being an affordable options. However, the message should be fine tuned based on the platform. For example, your Facebook message could be a longer funny story while the copy on promotional material is short and sweet.
In short, messaging should be consistent no matter the platform and should resonate with your target audience.
Step 5: Implement an analytics program and set a baseline for reporting
It’s not just important to have goals and KPIs, you also need a way to measure them. As you build your strategy you should take time to determine what tools and platforms you will use to measure and track results.
This is also an ideal time to set a baseline for reporting. If you wait until the strategy is already being executed to look at data or to setup your analytics then you will miss valuable insights that will help the future growth of your campaign.
Without proper analytics and reporting in place your team won’t know if their efforts are successful or what improvements can be made to the strategy.
Step 6: Map out the necessary assets
Before executing a strategy, it’s good to know what assets are required for success. These assets can include physical and digital assets such as promotional materials, design work, website(s), marketing platforms, etc. When you have determined all that you need then it is time to document what assets you have and what is yet to be developed.
Knowing and having what you will be working with allows for efficient and consistent execution.
Feeling overwhelmed before you even begin? We can offer help in the creation and implementation of your marketing strategy. Let us know how we can help
From Strategy Creation to Implementation
Once you’ve gone through these steps it’s time to prepare your actual plan to get ready for execution. Your plan will highlight how to execute the omni channel strategy which includes implementation of various tactics, testing and tweaking where necessary.
Your team should also be ready to track and review the data on a consistent basis to find holes in the strategy or to identify potential opportunities for future successes.
If your team puts in the effort of developing a well thought out strategy, it makes creating the actual plan and implementing it much more effective and efficient.