The omnichannel experience. Just another buzzword or the new holy grail for marketers?
In this month's episode of The Experience Makers, Gemma Milne is joined by Cognifide strategists, Florian Diem and Kieron McCann to discuss how brands should respond to consumers seeking inspiration and shopping across a variety of channels.
Here’s a sneakpeak at a few of the themes covered but be sure to download the episode to hear their thoughts on what omnichannel really means and how brands can ensure that they continue to deliver on customer expectations.
What does omnichannel really mean?
Many brands today are struggling to accommodate their customers’ growing expectations. With customers’ growing desire for a seamless experience across touchpoints, siloed foundations make it tricky for legacy brands to excel and compete against new, digital-first brands. But does this necessarily mean that omnipresence should be the new strategic imperative?
Florian and Kieron caution that an omnichannel presence is just one possible outcome of a well thought out channel strategy and shouldn’t be viewed as a strategic end-in-itself. Brands need to understand the implications of being omnipresent, many simply don’t have the resources to be ‘everywhere’. Instead they should consider the channels required most in order to serve their customers properly. Once these channels are serving customers in a sustainable manner, new channels can be considered. Relevancy is key.
Where should brands start?
Brands need to ensure that their customers are getting an experience that works best for them. Many have a variety of consumer segments within their target audience and making sure that all of these are being considered is crucial. The starting point is data and the first goal should be to join up data silos. Without a single view of the customer, across the entire customer journey, an omnichannel strategy will be out of reach.
Then it’s about being agile enough to experiment with content to see what works best for different audiences on different channels.
We need to be circumspect, which comes back to being clear about who you want to talk to and what you want to say to them... it's more about an attitude of being willing to experiment - and to fail. And then to decide that, actually, that didn’t work for us, but it's fine!
Finding your customers where they are
Companies need to identify and then engage with their customers wherever their attention might be.
This is not about jumping on the latest fad channel for the sake of it. Brands need to consider how natural their fit is with a channel and how much that channel speaks to their target audience. If you’re not on TikTok already, chances are there’s a reason for it. If your target audience engages with a new channel, then you should consider that platform from the get-go, but it also has to feel authentic for your brand.
Investing in the right technology
It’s about having technologies in place that will allow you to gather all the data that you collect from your consumers in a central place, making it accessible to other tools to be used for future decision making.
New technologies are certainly making it easier for organisations to do this and centralise their data. This is where CDP’s (Customer Data Platforms) come into play. The ability of organisations to leverage these data platforms will be essential as we move forward into the decade. However, aggregating the data is one thing but executing on it is another.
Omnichannel and personalisation are very closely related. Campaigns need to be conceptualised for different customer segments and various iterations of content need to be created for different moments of the journey on different channels. It’s an incredibly iterative process and requires huge amounts of content and testing for which elements of automation will be essential. The whole process needs to be smooth to ensure that the customer experience is constantly evolving.
Some organisations want to implement technology, but don’t want to change. From the outset, this is a formula for failure. Brands need to remember that the technologies are only there to enable them to do new things. Historically marketing teams may have been orientated around specific channels. If that’s still the case, even the best technology isn’t going to help to join the dots along the customer journey. Organisational change is absolutely key – without the right people, teams and processes, executing on a multichannel strategy will be extremely difficult.
The episode unpacks so much more around the challenges of omnichannel marketing. Download the episode now to hear more!
09 July 2020James Scott-Flanagan & Olivia Caetano
04 June 2020Kieron McCann
28 May 2020James Scott-Flanagan
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