(Pınar Bilican, SmartMessage Customer Success Manager)  With this blog post, we will be answering the frequently asked questions about omnichannel marketing. Why did the omnichannel expression that you have come across so many times become so popular? What is the difference between omnichannel and multi-channel marketing? How do we create a desired omnichannel experience? These details play a crucial role in understanding and implementing this popular strategy.

Before starting to look for answers to these questions within the marketing world, we can get a glimpse of our daily lives. We started to do shopping from clothing to grocery, food and water orders, all our banking transactions, education, and health-related services on the internet. Moreover, we do not just use websites; we engage with brands via mobile sites, applications, social media accounts, channels like email, SMS, chatbot and sometimes even kiosks for the same purpose in a short period. We reach brands for the products and services we need from many different platforms. In the meantime, we leave behind many digital traces of our identity and our lives.

The Critical Bend Ahead

With so much information gathered about customers, one of the critical bends to drive marketing is on the horizon. Brands can use this information to enforce the rule of “making the most appropriate offer to the right person, at the right time, in the right place” which is one of the primary principles of marketing, but cannot be fully implemented up until now. Thanks to omnichannel marketing strategy and technological capability of today, brands have more power to implement this rule much better compared with prior decades.

In the meantime, customers are also aware of the traces they have left for sure 🙂 Researches show that customers know the value of their personal information, and the good news is that they are willing to make it available to brands, as long as brands offer them better campaigns and offers.

Why is Multi-Channel Marketing Not Enough?

Brand communication with consumers started with the Single Channel strategy, where companies were reaching their audiences via specific channels as one-way flow. Addition of new channels created multi-channel opportunities, but brands were still away unifying the experiences across channels.

Within the framework of multi-channel marketing, brands opened online and mobile sales channels as well as physical stores and started to sell through social media and call centers; in other words, they offered several channels for the prospective customers to access products and services.

However, multi-channel marketing was falling short to enable a unified brand experience on each of these channels. While this may be confusing for customers, in terms of brands it meant not being able to fully reflect the brand identity; and also keeping the customer information on different platforms lead to misrecognizing the customers.

What is the Difference between Omnichannel and Multi-Channel Marketing?

Omnichannel means becoming a single body. In marketing terms, it defines the integration of all communication & engagement channels. The main objective is to give customers the same brand experience across all channels and to collect information about customers in an integrated way.

In terms of your customers, omnichannel marketing is a strategy to unify the experiences across every channel they exist and take action.

As an example, omnichannel marketing is active when a consumer

  • Tries a t-shirt in your store and reserves it,
  • Then at home logs into your online store and finds the t-shirt in the basket,
  • Sends its link to friends via social media to ask for their opinion,
  • Purchases it the next day on the road to work,
  • Next week, sees the ad of the trousers matching the t-shirt on social media,
  • Likes this personal ad and buys the trousers too.

Advantages of Omnichannel Marketing

  • Omnichannel marketing brings all your communication & sales channels together, combining data streams so you can manage marketing efforts strategically, and approach marketing in a more holistic way.
  • Allows you to monitor customer behavior more precisely and see which channels they interacted with before purchasing; so you can use your marketing budget more efficiently and reduce costs.
  • With more precise customer behavior analysis, you can predict customer and inventory needs more accurately.
  • By providing your customers with a seamless buying experience, you can make shopping easier and increase your sales.

You may contact us to get more information on how you can improve customer engagement via omnichannel marketing.