Digital marketing has undergone a massive transition, away from the “spray and pray” broadcast model to a focus on personal, 1:1 relationships between consumers and brands.
The biggest driver of this trend is of course the proliferation of digital media. Marketers now have access to a huge array of communication channels, and consumers have a greater ability to customize their experiences within those channels. Traditional marketing techniques like print media, email blast communication, and television ads are still in the mix, but they are quickly losing dominance in the face of digital channels that allow for a more nuanced experience for each individual user.
This isn’t new news, but many brands still struggle to balance this increasingly complex marketing mix, and many are still stuck treating their customers as segments rather than individuals. Customers demand a seamless experience that delivers meaningful value, no matter how and where they interact with the brand. Omnichannel Marketing Automation can help rapidly modernize your brand’s communication infrastructure.
What does the term Omnichannel mean to the marketing world?
First of all, what is omnichannel marketing?
The term “omnichannel” is not just another marketing buzzword. But, it is a shift in the marketing paradigm, towards providing seamless user experience regardless of channel or device. Ad today, it’s quickly becoming table stakes.
Consumers today can interact with a brand at a physical store, an event, a website, a mobile app, social media, email, mobile ads, push notifications, as well as all the traditional channels (TV, radio, print, direct mail, etc). Omnichannel marketing is simply a system for ensuring all those channels function cohesively and support a single, unified marketing strategy. It puts marketers in the shoes of customers—helping them knit together users’ interactions with their brand, and creating a seamless experience no matter where they begin or end their engagement.
Of course, creating a seamless and personalized brand journey for every individual consumer is extremely (even prohibitively) labor intensive… unless you have a way to automate it. Omnichannel Marketing Automation uses powerful technology to automatically trigger the right communication for the right consumer across web, email, mobile and other digital channels.
Advantages of Omnichannel Marketing Automation
1. A seamless user experience
A user might visit a physical store to check out a product and later checkout via an online store on his mobile device. With Omnichannel Marketing Automation, you can track them through that entire journey, triggering communications to the right channel at the right time, and never forcing the customer to “start over” just because they didn’t complete their interaction in one channel.
Another great use case is customer support. With the usage of omnichannel automation, auser could raise their complaint via an email ticket, and that issue could end up getting resolved via a phone call or live chat with no gaps in communication.
2. Specific content to address specific pain points
One of the most effective ways to attract an audience is tapping into content marketing. The capital investment is low, and it can have a huge impact on loyalty. One of the key features of Omnichannel marketing automation is its ability to target user based on their activity level on different channels.
For example, one user reads your blog from his mobile device. He may appreciate being notified about a new post via push notification. Another user checks your blog when she arrives at wok in the morning. She may be more likely to engage with an email notification or even a weekly newsletter.
An Omnichannel marketing automation system monitors all these user behaviors and automatically personalizes the content it delivers based on the individual user’s interests and optimizes it to the preferred channel. The result is more consistent and deeper engagement, that all takes place on your customer’s terms.
3. Smarter Audience Segments
Using omnichannel marketing automation, you can capture the behavior of your customers to build a rich and insightful user profiles. These profiles can be used to develop buyer personas, implement personalized recommendations, and assist your sales and support team in prospecting.
Segmenting the audience in this way can help marketers develop different strategies for different sets of users and lead to better conversion rate optimization. While the long term goal should always be “segments of one,” creating smarter segments can goa long way towards increasing the ROI of your campaigns by allowing you to use your creative/content generation time more efficiently and target users more effectively.
4. Better collaboration across your company
Omnichannel marketing automation can unify your various teams and help your whole company function as a well-oiled marketing machine. Every employee from your tech, customer support, sales, and marketing teams gets access to a customer’s profile. Additionally, they’ll be able to reach out and interact with the client on a channel of their choice.
Omnichannel systems unify various customer resources into a single profile. All their social accounts, support tickets, transactional history, etc is available to the various people responsible for communicating with them at each stage in the customer journey.
5. Better customer support
Omnichannel marketing isn’t just about marketing either. It can help your support team understand the customers and address their issues faster and more effectively. By surfacing all of a customer’s data and preferences in one view, support teams are able to customize their interactions. Their view includes:
- Contact info for all relevant channels
- The full history and context of the customer relationship with the brand
- Alerts and warnings of critical issues before they occur
- Knowledge of the customer’s communication preferences
- Automatic process and triaging of inbound communications
Building a unique and seamless customer experience takes a lot of effort and time. Smart thinking and smart technologies like Omnichannel Marketing Automation can dramatically speed up the process. And when we create better experiences for our customers, the growth in community and revenue will follow close behind.