Customer experience is a hot topic and brands are competing to retain their customers, avoiding negative experiences across their customer-facing channels, desktop, mobile, SMS, contact center, social media, direct sales, online and in storefronts.

Campaigns integrating 4 or more digital channels will outperform single or dual-channel campaigns by 300%.

Source: Gartner Research

If Multi-Channel Marketing is already in play, why is Omni-Channel Marketing important to growth and keeping your business thriving? Multi-device marketing has empowered buyers to consume content and buy anytime, anywhere.

Understanding the difference between Multi-Channel Marketing and OmniChannel Marketing.  New technologies like AI (Artificial Intelligence) is changing how companies can improve their Customer Experience (CX).

In this article you will learn about:

1. What is Multi-Channel and Omni-Channel Marketing and what they are not?
2. Why are these two strategies so critical?
3. Breaking Down Silos
4. Notable Omni-channel trends and statistics

What is Omni-Channel Marketing?

It’s all about customer convenience and we all have an affinity for convenience.

Omni-Channel Marketing is not just a strategy but customer retention, acquisition, customer experience,  brand growth strategy Is actually not just a marketing strategy it’s a customer retention and acquisition, Customer Experience (CX) growth strategy.

Elevating the customer’s experience to build loyalty. 

Every brand experience has to be as simple and relevant to the customer as possible.

According to Wikipedia, Omni-Channel implies integration and orchestration of channels such that the experience of engagement across all the channels someone uses is as, or efficient or pleasant than using single channels in isolation.

In the words of John Bowden, Senior VP of Customer Care at Time Warner Cable:

“Multi-channel is an operational view of how you allow the customer to complete transactions in each channel. Omni-channel, however, is viewing the experience through the eyes of your customer, orchestrating the customer experience across all channels so it is seamless, integrated, and consistent. Omni-channel expects that customers may start in one channel and move to another as they progress to a resolution.  Making these complex ‘hand-offs’ between channels must be fluid for the customer.  Omni-Channel is a multi-channel done right.”

An Omni-Channel brand practices Omni-Channel Marketing with a unified view of the customer across all aspects of the customer journey, enabling a personalize and predictable next steps to make the experience more convenient and easy for the buyer’s journey.

Omni meaning ‘all’, is a unified approach to that Customer Experience. The brand is developed across all devices, and also cross-department from Sales, Support, Accounting, across all marketing channels.

The advantages of well-executed Omni-Channel approaches allow companies the ability to keep 89 percent of their customer base.  Omni-Channels enable:

  • Centralized customer data for a unified view for all departments
  • Simplified processes that are uninterrupted
  • Seamless experiences, from multi-device to in-person experience
  • Consistent brand communications

 

Omni Channel Marketing Infographic

Omni-Channel is Not…

It is not all about marketing, or just about the customer’s experience with marketing. Omni-Channel is a strategic shift across an organization to build customer-centric systems and processes making a customer experience personalized and convenient.  An example of where a customer would experience Omni-Channel Marketing is on a website.

A digital customer experience provides them with the ease of access to more than just your marketing and sales.  A website should provide an Omni Channel Experience. Customers can learn how to solve their problems through your marketing, talk to sales, talk to support.

 

Multi Channel Marketing Strategy

What is Multi-Channel Marketing?

Multi-Channel Marketing isn’t new and, most organizations plan their marketing across channels with channel-specific goals hoping it will culminate into ROI and an increase in sales.

It’s about digital storytelling that builds online customers and conversion through multi-channel integrated approach to digital acquisition and email nurture campaigns.

It is also about…

  • A go-to-market Multi-Channel Integrated approach to marketing
  • Strategically orchestrating the multi-touch points through a buying process.
  • Content relevant to the stage in a buying journey, pulling them along to a purchase decision
  • Consistency in your communications and your brand presence

Here is a brief 5 min. video with Michael Krigsman, Industry Analyst & Host, CXO Talk with Dun and Bradstreet about how to implement this.

“It starts with a good marketing strategy and knowing what you’re trying to accomplish, then a good data strategy in place, It’s being able to have consistent data across all of your systems and being able to have a 360-degree view. Your Martech will fall short without this.” – Josh Mueller, SVP of Global Marketing, Dun and Bradstreet

Multi-Channel Marketing is not…

Multi-Channel Marketing is not about:

  • Pushing your message out as many times to as many people, which good marketers call ‘spray and pray’. Being everywhere isn’t a strategy.
  • In-store or online shopping, or just about a website experience.

Why are these both Critical for Growth?

Multi-Channel and Omni-Channel both support the ability to retain and gain in a customer-centric way, making each step in the buying journey more convenient and simple.  They are strategies, executed differently, both share and understand the value of customer data to improve the Customer Experience (CX), ultimately impacting sales.

Omni-Channel supersedes multichannel and includes channels such as physical locations, e-commerce, mobile applications, and social media. Companies that use omnichannel contend that a customer values the ability to engage with a company through multiple avenues at the same time.

With larger organizations, you can imagine the complexity in the processes and systems, and smaller agile businesses, who embrace the Omni-Channel approach, will surely gain market share.

Omni-Channel impacts all customer-facing systems and processes like purchasing or returning a purchase, the level of sophistication in your marketing is paramount but even more imperative for Omni-Channel is the Digital Maturity and Strategy across the organization.

Here is a list of Omni-Channel Brands according to Hubspot, representing crushing Omni-Channel experiences. You may also be interested in HubSpot’s free download of seventeen templates to help get started with some simple customer experience improvements.

Breaking Down Silos

Are your systems and tools able to support these strategies? It’s a cultural shift for some companies to make this transformation.  An example of this is having a separate database for sales. Or having a Customer Service experiences which triggers dissatisfaction and no resolution, leaving them open to moving to a competitor.

Many organizations are pivoting their operations to a Customer-Centric view through the eyes of the customer. Existing departmental goals and systems prevent shared customer POV.  The cost of gaining a new customer and keeping them impact every department, especially if they take their business elsewhere.

Notable Omni-Channel Trends Statistics

  • G2 Crowd Omni-Channel Marketing
  • Forbes, Customer Experience Futurist, Blake Morgan lists 10 CX Trends that need to be part of your plan.

Recommended Video Resources;

  •  4 Way to Omni Experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0gncdrShZ0
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9idkHBGYJRI
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJnZMmZkYboPaid Reports:
  • https://www.gartner.com/en/sales-service/trends/reducing-uncertainty
  • https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/4-trends-gartner-hype-cycle-customer-service-customer-engagement/
  • https://www.forrester.com/report/Now+Tech+Journey+Management+Q4+2018/-/E-RES144080

Questions to consider;

1.       Do you have a Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy in place capturing valuable customer data?
2.       Do you have a Customer Data Strategy with a unified view of your customer across the organization?
3.       What tactics are working today for you to improve your Customer Experience?
4.       Have you simplified your Customer’s Experience?

Summary

Organizations that are getting their marketing strategy right are dominating markets. Every employee owns the CX.  Are you delivering on a Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy successfully?

Multi-Channel Marketing is the stepping stone to delivering an Omni Channel Experience and becoming and Omni Channel Brand. It is imperative for all brands put to put their Customer Experience at the forefront of their growth strategies.

Snapdragon Marketing Service provides business owners with digital marketing growth strategies through our coaching and through our digital marketing audits we will help identify opportunities to improve your integrations and achieve your Omni Channel marketing goals.