From billboards and advertisements on TV to pop-up notifications on your handheld devices, the field of marketing has witnessed a major leap. Prominent brands have blended offline and online forms of marketing and achieved consistency with quality customer service. Seamless customer experience is the requirement of the hour, and brands like Sephora, Target, and Disney have leveraged omnichannel marketing to achieve the same.
The recent era of marketing doesn’t have customers strictly watching an advertisement and walking into stores anymore. It requires them interacting with multiple platforms, seeking multiple reviews before making a purchase. The journey involves pauses, feedback, decisions, and finally, a purchase.
This might seem like a challenge to retailers when they are required to interact with customers with more than just an advertisement. However, this poses as an opportunity for retailers to go beyond just pitching for the product, to maintaining their brand reputation and engaging with a loyal customer base as well.
Why is the omnichannel imperative?
Nearly 71% of consumers who’ve had a good brand experience in social media are likely to recommend omnichannel marketing to others. While the statistics speak about the importance of social media, brands need to realize that it is where most of their customers are present.
Switching to an omnichannel platform help brands to deliver a consistent, tailor-made experience to their customer base. Switching to an omnichannel method of marketing would refer to using various sources to reach out to your customers. Social media platforms to interact with the audience, smart packaging used in case of direct to consumer stores, interactive posters, and flyers that help bridge the gap between offline and online engagement, and using technology like QR codes and NFC to obtain and track analytics are some of the popular channels used in the case of omnichannel marketing.
Omnichannel marketing requires implementation of tools and technologies and a wider range of marketing platforms. Tools to manage your customer base, relationship, content and other analytical tools help cater to customer requirements. Doing a thorough analysis of the methods that can be used and which works best for your business is the first step.
Omnichannel marketing allows you to take charge of your content, via different methods.
So how can brands seamlessly maintain a personalized form of marketing with all these channels present? This approach can allow retailers insight into customer’s shopping experiences and help them tailor a more personalized experience for the consumer. The design and launch of these omnichannel experiences are up to the brand, but delivering a seamless customer experience must be the goal to achieve.
7 ways brands can leverage omnichannel marketing for better customer engagement
Customer engagement forms a major part of the entire marketing process. The way they are being responded to queries, how effective and seamless their conversations are with support are just a few of the things that brands must keep in mind. Ensuring that your customers receive a personalized experience throughout can ensure good use of omnichannel marketing.
Here are some methods brands can get a headstart with omnichannel marketing in 2020,
Maintain your brand equity, across multiple platforms
The idea of omnichannel marketing involves various platforms that have their own diverse communities and ways of engagement. Platforms may have visual, text, or video-based content. What brands need to understand is investing in any form of content is a good approach, while maintaining engagement, experience, and message.
While there are several things that make up a brand’s image and authenticity, visuals play a very important role. Incorporating your branding elements in a way that it leads to instant recognition is the sign of a good brand image. While change is a need, maintaining a good brand visual across various platforms leads to customer acquisition, engagement, and can boost brand equity.
Understand your customers
Every brand has its own unique selling point that is easily identifiable by its customers which focuses on its product, marketing, sales, and customer support.
Marketing materials such as QR codes, NFC can be used to analyze and track data. QR codes can be used in cases of smart packaging, where they are effectively placed in product packaging. Customers scan the QR code to be directed to additional information on the product, a survey, a review form, or even discounts and vouchers. QR codes could also be used on interactive flyers, business cards, brochures, and so on. From these QR codes, analytics regarding customer behavior is obtained and this helps predict customer needs before their approach. In a post lockdown scenario, surveys and forms are a great idea to enable feedback collection and understand the modifications required for customer retention and acquisition.
With omnichannel marketing, the feedback is not just from one website, it is from multiple sources. Keeping track of these provides insight on which platform performs better. It also helps maintain a record of answering customer queries on respective platforms and related marketing efforts on others. Consistent service helps in acquiring a loyal customer base.
A reward system for customers
Omnichannel marketing is quite the game-changer, for it has allowed brands to interact with a customer throughout the journey, rather than just pitching the product. A creative marketing style combined with brand authenticity can help brands move ahead in the digital marketing race. While discount coupons and personalized emails work their part, an important aspect of customer service is post-purchase.
Brands can creatively make use of post-purchase engagement to maintain and increase the loyalty of their customer base. The customer is usually the most receptive to a brand’s message during the post-purchase engagement. Consider adding a package insert thanking them for their purchase, and even offering a reward like free shipping on their next purchase. Content tailored towards the customer for feedback, discounts, and brand-related messages increase customer satisfaction.
Online forms, surveys, vouchers serve as great reward systems. An example would be the addition of QR codes on gratitude cards sent to customers. Companies like Coca Cola have started incorporating QR codes on product packaging to encourage customer engagement and to provide information about the product.
Brands could create QR codes that could further lead to creative options such as quizzes, spin the wheel for vouchers or surveys that thank customers with discounts or answering a question, a referral code, and so on. Brands can get creative with their post-purchase engagement and also apply these strategies during the customer journey as well.
Offer seamless support on various devices
As a brand with a website, a priority would be to devise a mobile-friendly website. Current customers use a variety of devices to browse across the web. Besides making sure that your website is user friendly and responsive across devices, the visual appeal and the content play a crucial role.
Customer service via mobile can consist of chat services, live support, easily accessible dial for support option, and so on. Along with the interpretation of customer journey data, the data acquired from customers that reach out for queries can also be of good use to brands. Analytics can predict the possible challenges faced by the consumer and help create a solution accordingly.
Regardless of the purchase phase that the customer is in, support through all stages can help welcome new customers, keep them engaged throughout the process, make sure they face fewer hassles, re-engage customers who may be inactive, and build a loyal customer base. Planning and deploying this strategy effectively allows smarter segmentation of the audience and effective handling.
Innovative ways of customer service like audio text messaging, personalized emails instead of automated ones can help improve the quality of a brand’s digital presence. Improving the quality of digital presence via changes over time leads to better omnichannel management.
Advertising mainly gives us an insight into analytics and market research and customer requirements. A major part of advertising is also the creative brainstorm that goes behind the scenes. To stand out in a creative crowd of brands and advertisers, one might have to really make heads turn, with their brand authenticity and way of advertising.
The components that go behind advertising not only help engage with customers that are already a part of the base but also help in acquiring new customers. To make an impression with customers and also maintain the brand identity is a goal that can be achieved with proper communication, and effective team of designers, and proper tools and platforms.
The importance of creativity while advertising is reflected in the response from the target audience. Using elements that pique their interest, have them coming back to check more products or updates, and creating a unique experience for them through omnichannel customer reach out can help brands engage better with their customers.
Prioritize your customers at every stage
The era of digital marketing has brought a spotlight on consumers. Personalized advertising is the new norm, where customers are seen to associate and react to a brand better. Customers crave a model of business that is best suited to their needs and convenience and when brands provide the same, customer satisfaction is a guarantee.
The brand’s service must be customer-centric, empathizing with customers and letting them know that they’re a priority. Smaller things such as automated messages and chats can be replaced with an actual human customer representative instead of a chatbot, which helps change customer insights. This also helps build customer loyalty and their perception of the brand.
Bridge the gap between offline and online
Social media plays a pivotal role in customer acquisition and engagement. Besides having an active customer base on social media, a strategy that helps with customer acquisition is a brand response to trends. However, it is important to determine which trends are relevant and worth advertising and on which platforms.
Bridging the gap between offline and online platforms with tools helps create a wider and diverse customer base. With effective tools and marketing, suitable platforms, and flexible designs, a brand can constantly improve their marketing methods and adhere to the trends as well.
Even though there are changes made within promotional campaigns and advertising or product, consumer response tracking is of utmost importance. With omnichannel engagement, the response time is faster and can be tracked efficiently as well. With its perks, omnichannel customer engagement also requires a set of efforts that have varied targets, constant change, and customer-centric marketing.
So why go the extra mile with omnichannel marketing?
The entire process of omnichannel marketing might take extra effort, but the reasons for implementing the same are simple. The higher the customer engagement levels, the higher the customer satisfaction, and customer retention. Higher customer engagement fosters brand loyalty and establishes trust between the customer base and the brand.
The leap to a customer-centric approach in digital marketing is established and here to stay. The trends may change, but the fact that customers do indulge more when the messages are personalized is a factor that can be leveraged by brands.
Although omnichannel customer engagement requires communication via various channels and platforms, not every platform available needs attending to. It’s the platform that contains the target audience and the right tools that might just help the brand climb the success ladder of mastering omnichannel customer engagement.