Today’s retail marketers are challenged by consumers shopping via multiple channels in the era of ‘on the go’. So to say, marketers are certainly feeling the heat. With maximum connections via multiple devices, online or offline, control seems to be far away. Thanks to the omnichannel or multi-channel behavior of consumers and we have omnichannel marketing to the rescue!
Let’s look at how best you as a marketer can leverage technology to address omnichannel behavior and simply demystifying this complex consumer journey.
What is Omnichannel marketing?
Omni (universal or multiple) + channel + marketing= Omnichannel marketing
This is a multi-channel marketing and sales model. It provides consumers a seamless shopping experience, providing brand value across multiple devices and channels (physical, telephone and online).
This channel includes multiple devices like TVs, point-of-sale devices, smartphones and personal computers (desktops and laptops) to name some vital ones.
Heart of Omnichannel marketing
What is more intriguing in the consumer navigation across the many devices, is a line that connects all of them. That line is the mobile experience which is the heart of the whole Omnichannel experience. That being said, it’s inevitable that marketers give considerable importance to the various touch-points, especially mobile.
Transformation, a timeline
Thanks to the increase in touch-points over the years, the evidence of consumer Omnichannel behavior is seen more in the retail arena of the B2C commerce than B2B.
The robust transformation of consumer marketing can be seen over the last few decades as compared to the centuries of transactional marketing. Shown below is an illustration of the evolution of multi-channel marketing over the years.
Building the complementarity
The Omnichannel approach requires solid thought and effort. As this involves the latest technology to chalk out the complex customer journey, there is a need to acquire specific tools for collective performance.
There are new technological developments that happen almost every day that offer considerable options to choose from. Options can range across marketing automation, retargeting tools, analytics, customer relationship management (CRM tools) Geo-fencing and more.
It’s important to track the customer journey across these platforms. A unified strategy with the right integration tools offers scope to study the complete consumer journey, along with cross-device and cross-channel tracking.
The data generated through these integrated efforts can be used to create actionable insights for further improvement.
Bridging physical and virtual world
Though, the market is flooded with tools to follow up with the online journey of consumers. But what about the offline interactions?
This part of the journey is still in its nascent stage, but developments are underway to capture offline data as well. Thanks to global positioning services (GPS) in mobiles and, most recently, developments in connecting the online promotions of TV ads and offline sales.
With the location-integration, Google, the search engine giant, has made progress in trying to connect the dots of further connectivity between the brands and consumers. Through its competent technology and sophisticated location-mapping approach, in-store visits of people can now be tracked.
This in-store visits data is combined with online promotions by showing relevant ads to the consumers at the right time.
Determined to be omnipresent!
Developing a spot-on Omnichannel strategy to tackle the complex and complete consumer journey tops the to-do list for marketers. As the consumer’s journey evolves, so does technology.
Being able to see and speak to a person on the other side of the world is a sheer reality today versus the conceived impossibility a century ago.
Similarly, the Omnichannel marketing is on the path to fruition, which is only a matter of time.