Omni-channel marketing in the connected age

One of the greatest yet most frustrating things about digital marketing is how quickly and constantly it changes. Look back 10 years and you’ll cringe at some of the tactics being used across search marketing, email and display etc. and some you may just not recognise at all!  

Yet despite this ever-changing world, there is one thing that has stayed constant in digital marketing, something that Google summarized quite eloquently with their Zero Moment Of Truth (ZMOT) manifesto in 2011;  

Today you are not behind your competition. You are not behind the technology. You are behind your consumer”. 

When it comes to digital the consumer is king

What is meant by this is that in the digital age you do not get to choose or control how you market to your consumers. Long gone are the days of single channel, direct response marketing, and instead we live in a world where consumers change their habits constantly, use multiple devices, are always connected and are given more choice than ever before.  

So, while digital channels may change as our customers change their habits, we still need to make sure we are there in front of them. If all of our customers join Facebook, we had better do Facebook advertising, if they’re all on Spotify then let’s programmatically serve audio ads… we have to adapt to where our customers are and make sure we are there at the right time and in the right way. 

So how do we best reach our customers? 

Well this is where the omni-channel element comes in. Consumers today interact with more online and offline touchpoints than ever before, and according to a study by the SDL, 90% of customers expect consistent interactions across all channels. This means it’s no longer good enough to just follow our consumer to these new channels; we need to make sure we have a consistent, connected experience across them all. 

With omni-channel marketing we need to not only be aware of the changing habits of our customers but also make sure that no matter what their journey, on and offline, we’re aware of where they’ve been and the messages they’ve already been served. 

How do we do this? Well it takes three factors: firstly, we need to ensure we have a presence across all relevant channels that our customers engage with, so we can be visible across all touch points. Secondly, we need to accurately collect touch point data to be able to see when and how brand interactions are happening. And finally, we need to optimise towards this data, using sequential and relevant messaging to make sure we are not just visible at each stage of the customer journey, but serving the most appropriate offering at each opportunity 

How do we build our omnichannel strategy? 

Unfortunately, there is not one single solution for implementing an omni-channel strategy, but the key starting point is simply to have this objective in mind and to understand that your customers journeys today are more complex than ever before, yet the demand for consistency has never been greater. 

We’ll be diving into this topic in further detail after our Effective Property Marketing event so be sure to pop back in a months time and take a read.