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If you’re not at all familiar with Omnichannel Marketing, take a look at our previously published post about the benefits of omnichannel marketing for your business. In this article, we discussed how omnichannel marketing differs from single-channel (which is exactly what it sounds like) and multi-channel (one message across multiple channels) marketing.
Once you’re familiar with omnichannel marketing and the many benefits it can offer you and your business, the next thing you might wonder about is how to get started. In other words, how do you get your social media marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing, and other tools working together in harmony?
This post will help you get going.
Step 1: Know Your Audiences
Notice that the word “audiences” is plural; that’s because the vast majority of businesses offer a product or service that is used by more than one type of customer. If you’re new to customer personas, they can be a great way to get beneath the surface and better understand who is buying what you’re selling.
By examining your customer data, you might learn that people of a certain age demographic engage with your products one way, while another age group engages completely differently. You might also segment your audience by income, interests, geography, or any number of other parameters.
What is important is to choose a segmentation strategy that allows you to move to Step 2.
Step 2: Treat Different Prospects Differently
If you’ve segmented your audience effectively, you’ll be left with a number of smaller audiences that respond positively to messaging that is customized to meet their specific needs. If you’re a travel company selling flights, for example, you might customize which flights you promote according to the routes your data tells you are most popular in a particular region.
Regardless of industry, treating different customers differently pays off, and it’s worth having a communication strategy that is unique to each major audience segment you hope to reach. Of course, this can become quite labor-intensive if you attempt to manage multiple communication strategies manually. The time savings will be well worth it if you invest in software that allows you to build custom, automated email journeys, as platforms like Ontraport, HubSpot, and Email Octopus allow you to do.
Step 3: Start with the Whole Prospect in Mind
Once you have a plan for how you’ll customize your message for each audience, the next step is to factor in how each audience flows through their purchase journey. For instance, one audience group might begin with a Google search, then arrive on your website before engaging with your automated chatbot (if you don’t have a chatbot solution, ManyChat is a great place to start). From there, they might sign up for your email newsletter before finally converting to your e-commerce site. Another audience group might start with a search, but then immediately phone your customer service line and complete the sale over the phone.
As you learned from our previous post, the difference between multi-channel marketing and a true omnichannel strategy is that omnichannel marketing has messages at each stage of the purchasing journey that works together and enhances each other, versus the multi-channel approach which takes one message and simply replicates it everywhere.
An omnichannel marketing approach asks you to do something with the data you collect on prospects. If you know that a certain audience group is researching products on your website for example, how will you speak to them differently than those who haven’t yet browsed your site? The answers to these types of questions are what will allow you to begin to build customized, progressive marketing messages that leverage your data to deliver a truly omnichannel experience to potential customers.
Of course, there’s no need to boil the ocean – it can be intimidating to try and figure out where best to start with your efforts. Here, the 80/20 rule is your friend – if the vast majority of your customers fall into one particular audience group, start with them. Similarly, if most of your sales come from one channel – like your email newsletter – you can begin by focusing your customization efforts there.
In this example, you might map out a list of all of the places where people who subscribe to your newsletter subsequently interact with your brand. Then ask yourself: How can I tailor those ads for someone who I know is already a subscriber?
Step 4: Manage your marketing efforts out of one tool
Naturally, it will be very difficult to share data and learnings across channels, let alone leverage that data to take an omnipresent, omnichannel approach to your campaigns if you use a different piece of software to manage each of your marketing channels.
Instead, it’s much more efficient to consolidate your marketing efforts and reporting under one roof with a campaign management platform, such as Ontraport. That way, you can seamlessly view results across channels, measuring the impact of your efforts across the entire prospect journey.
Step 5: Measure, refine and repeat
When you begin to develop customized messaging for each step of the prospect journey, the most important thing is to constantly measure the impact your changes are having on your results. Does changing the messaging in your retargeting ads increase your clickthrough and conversion rate? Measurement is the only way to know what works for your prospects, and what doesn’t.
When you find something that works with your audience, keep it; for everything else, continue testing until you find the creative messaging or offer that resonates. You’ll want to repeat this process on an ongoing basis, as well; after all, your customer base is likely not going to be made up of exactly the same people forever!
Developing an effective omnichannel marketing strategy takes preparation and a thorough understanding of who your customers are, but the results it can drive for your business are completely worth the effort.
A well-executed omnichannel strategy can be a competitive advantage to your business, driving customized value to each of your audience segments in a way your competitors find difficult to replicate. It doesn’t have to be overly time-consuming, either; with the right tools in place, you’ll be building out your omnichannel marketing strategy in no time.