Why your brand needs to wake up to omni-channel marketing
Among all the buzzwords of digital marketing, omni-channel marketing is probably the least appreciated. Here’s why marketers should pay more attention to this approach.
Omni-channel marketing is often used in relation to retailing. Owing to the recent digital marketing threats faced by retailers (like showrooming), the industry is attempting to counter the situation by indulging in omni-channel marketing initiatives. While some say this is just another fancy term for multi-channel marketing, there are significant differences between the two.
At the outset, multi-channel marketing is exactly what it sounds like – marketing plan that involves usage of multiple channels to act as separate touchpoints in the customers’ journey. This approach may have been a knee-jerk reaction of businesses to the proliferation of channels by which one could reach their audiences. Omni-channel marketing on the other hand is much more evolved. Involving an integrated approach, it aims to provide a seamless experience to the customers through multiple touchpoints. In omni-channel marketing, every channel needs to necessarily have cognizance of what goes on in the other channels. Starbucks is a great example in this regard. The company has the following initiatives as part of its marketing strategy:
- Strong branding across its retail and franchise outlets, website, product-line and mobile presence.
- Establishment of brand identity across traditional media like broadcast, print, and banner advertising, seasonal and product-specific merchandising efforts
- Robust CRM system in the mobile space to leverage their rewards program
- Involvement in local and community efforts
- Strong active presence across relevant social media channels
Why are so many brands jumping from purely digital marketing strategies to adopting omni-channel marketing? Here are some factors that are driving the change:
Growth of mobile devices
Mobile marketing is growing at unprecedented levels. The mobile space provides marketers an opportunity to connect to their customers no matter where they are in ways that are contextually relevant and, therefore, more meaningful and valuable. When such beneficial options are available, it is no surprise that all businesses want to get onboard. Organizations that don’t recognize the burgeoning importance of mobile marketing miss out on myriad opportunities to satisfy customers and increase sales.
Increasing number of hyper-connected customers
Customers today are connected. All the time. Whether it is to brands or their circle of friends, they prefer to be updated on everything that is evolving. Information seeking is at an all time high now. If customers cannot find their brands on the channels that they frequent, they easily lose interest. For instance, if C likes IKEA furniture, she would seek the brand out on channels that she frequents. Assuming she is very active on social media, can you imagine how her perception would change if she didn’t find her favourite brand on Facebook? Her perception of the brand would definitely come down a notch.
To find out the rest of the factors that are driving the change, keep reading Beyond Digital Marketing here.
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