It would be best to build a winning marketing strategy to connect the customers, employees, and marketing channels to a seamless and personalized experience for all users and stakeholders involved. Did you know that most B2B marketers use a combination of six different tracks in decision-making?
The B2B buying journey is hard to predict. With the prospect’s path to purchase spanning across many devices and channels, from live chat to emails and desktop to mobile optimization, many marketers are left to question the difference between omnichannel marketing and multi-channel marketing.
If you’re in this boat, then keep reading. In this article, you’ll learn the critical differences between an omnichannel experience from a multi-channel one. You’ll also learn how to leverage this powerful marketing trend in your SaaS company.
Before we begin, what is omnichannel marketing? Let’s dive in!
Table of contents
- What is Omnichannel Marketing
- Why is Omnichannel Marketing Important?
- Omni-channel vs. Multi-channel Marketing. What’s the difference?
- Why Omnichannel Over Multi-channel?
- Benefits of Omnichannel Marketing
- Steps to Developing an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy.
- Omni-channel Marketing Best Practices
- Is Omnichannel Marketing Right for Your Business?
What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing uses different channels to communicate with customers, enabling them to have a more seamless buying experience. This form of marketing focuses on delivering a personalized and ordered experience for buyers across all channels and devices. Each channel and device work together to provide a unified message, voice, and buying experience for your customers.
This is a significant shift in B2B marketing. Instead of having the buyer deal with the stress of using only one means to pay or buy a product. The buyer can now communicate with a company through live chat, email, customer support, mobile app, or social media. They can even access a product by calling a company’s phone line through their smartphone or tablet.
Why is Omnichannel Marketing Important?
Omni-channel marketing is essential because it enables you to create a seamless buying experience for your users at every stage of their lifecycle and create a positive reputation for your brand.
Without omnichannel marketing, a user may need to wait for hours before accessing a product or service. If a customer is stuck at the payment processing page of your website, wouldn’t it make sense to provide an alternative means to communicate with the customer on how to fix the issue?
The inability to communicate effectively with a brand may cause the customer to lose interest in the company. As a result, the company could experience low engagement rates and possibly a poor brand reputation.
Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Marketing - What's the Difference?
In multichannel marketing, the user has access to several communication channels. However, these channels work independently of each other and aren't synchronized in any way.
On the other hand, Omni-channel marketing provides access to multiple communication channels that are connected and synchronized, hence giving the user a more seamless buying experience.
Here are the key differences between omnichannel and multichannel marketing:
- Since multichannel marketing works with separate channels, customers would need to visit each specific channel to find the information they need. This process can get overwhelming and may even get the customer frustrated along the line.
Omnichannel marketing works with a different approach. Since the channels are integrated, the customer can communicate with a company through their marketing channels.
- All omnichannel experiences rely on multiple channels, but not all multichannel experiences are omnichannel. Your brand may have a well-built mobile app, active email marketing platform, engaging social media accounts. But if these channels work independently, then your brand doesn't create an omnichannel experience for your customers, which means that you could lose out on an opportunity to give your customers the best buying experience.
Why Omnichannel over Multichannel?
Most B2B companies still apply the multichannel marketing approach. They provide customers with separate channels such as social media, website, blog, or email to engage with their brands. However, this process doesn't result in a seamless buying experience for the customer.
Customers want their buying experience to be as easy as possible. They prefer to buy from a company that uses each channel to synchronize different features. This lowers the barrier to entry and also saves the customers' time.
Applying an omnichannel marketing strategy is especially important in the B2B industry. Most B2B buyers use a combination of up to six channels in the decision-making journey.
Additionally, over a third of online purchases span across multiple devices. Most online shoppers now begin their purchase on a single device and complete the purchase on other devices.
Steps to Developing an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy.
To give your customers a great Omnichannel experience, you need an effective omnichannel marketing strategy.
Here are the ways you can get started:
- Analyze customer data and understand them:
It wouldn't make sense to build a strategy if you don't understand your customers. If you want to create a great omnichannel marketing strategy, your customer data will come in handy. Data is everywhere; you need to know the proper means to obtain it so that you can learn everything possible about your customer.
Here's how you can begin:
- Gather customer feedback: your customer's words are a goldmine when used right. Since you'll be getting information straight from the horse's mouth, you'll have the chance to deliver a more personalized experience to your customers. Ask your customers for feedback during their lifecycle. You can offer an incentive to encourage responses.
- Get information from customer support: get in touch with your customer support team to help evaluate your customer buying journey.
2. Segment and apply personalization to your messaging:
You may lose them if you don't treat your customers right. 66% of consumers say they're likely to switch brands if they feel treated like a number, not an individual, which is why having customer data is more important than ever. Rich customer information regarding your customer's preferences, intent, attributes, and buying behavior can completely transform how you communicate with your customers.
Once you analyze customer data, you can easily segment your users into smaller lists based on their common buying behavior. As a result, you'll be able to create a personalized buying experience for each journey. For example, you can set up automations to trigger as soon as a user performs a specific action.
So, you can send the message that will help your user move through the sales funnel easier. With personalized messaging, you can expect higher retention rates since customers that use your product would continue using it because you provide them with an enjoyable customer experience.
3. Plan the experience of the customer:
Identify the channels your customers frequent the most, understand their needs and behavior on each channel. Then work on a plan that will help you figure out how you want the customer experience to flow across each touchpoint.
4. Leverage customer data as you build your strategy:
Customer data you obtain from social media, mobile app analytics, CRM data, and web analytics can help you understand your customer's buying behavior. This way, you can create a solution that addresses your customer's needs and pain points.
5. Adopt mobile-friendly communication:
An effective omnichannel strategy serves to deliver a meaningful and valuable experience to customers. Incorporating a mobile-friendly approach is one way to achieve that. According to smart insights, 50% of B2B queries are made on a smartphone, which means mobile optimization is no longer an option; it's a priority.
There's nothing more annoying than a site that isn't optimized for mobile. Your customer could get stuck on a pricing navigation page. Any website that isn't optimized for mobile will most likely get abandoned by users before they complete their action.
6. Test and measure everything:
The best way to know if your strategy is working is to test it. Your Omnichannel strategy would improve over time as you analyze customer information, and this means that you need to A/B test different messaging, email subject lines, images, and social media posts.
As you test each marketing channel, identify the customer segment that responds to a specific message. When you track and measure your customer data consistently, then you'll be able to build a winning omnichannel marketing strategy.
7. Use the right automation tool:
Once you've understood your customer's buying behavior, intent and preferences, you must choose the right automation tools to communicate with them. Due to the vast number of automation tools on the market, it can get a bit overwhelming to choose the tool that would fit your organization's needs. However, you can consider the following:
- Customer relationship management software
- Data analytics software
- Customer messaging and marketing automation tools
Omni-channel Marketing Best Practices
You have now learned how to implement a strategy for omnichannel marketing. Let's move on to some of the best practices you can apply during your strategy.
1. Choose the Right Channels: while some multiple channels and platforms exist, you can't be on every one of them else; you'll be spreading yourself too thin. Besides, most of them may end up ineffective with little to no result. So, you must choose the ones that your audience frequents the most.
Understand these platforms and how they operate to deliver a more personalized messaging to your audience.
2. Respect your user's space: you most likely wouldn't want to receive a sales message just when you're in the middle of work activities. Imagine your user in a similar situation. They'll most likely ignore and fail to engage with your message. So, you must send the right message to the right customer at an appropriate time through the right channel. This way, you'll get a higher engagement rate and conversion.
3. Engage with your customers: a CRM tool can help you get a bird's eye view of your customer data and help you and your team leverage the information for essential marketing purposes. For example, you can send relevant, personalized marketing campaigns, respond to your customers' feedback and conduct your referral program. This way, you can consistently engage with your customers on the channels they frequent the most.
4. Optimize your content: create and deliver personalized content that helps customers at each stage of their buying journey, which means that you need to understand your customers' needs, pain points, buying intent, etc. Then create content that addresses each of these needs. If a customer has previously engaged with your marketing campaign, you'll need to consider that in your strategy.
Or, if a customer didn't complete the payment process on your site, you can tailor a personalized message to address that action. For example, an email containing a short video clip showcasing your product solution in action. You can also recommend other products. The options are endless!
You also need to ensure that your content is optimized for your audience channel and device.
Is Omnichannel Marketing Right For Your Business?
When you consider the time and effort required to analyze customer data and create a seamless experience for customers, most businesses may doubt the effectiveness of this marketing trend. However, omnichannel marketing works when implemented the right way.
Studies have shown that marketers experience a 250% higher engagement rate with omnichannel strategy than other single channel marketing. So if you want to leverage this powerful marketing trend, you'll need to collaborate with other team members in your company to develop a winning strategy. Look into the following departments when building your strategy,
- Customer support
This process may involve you and your team diving into a large volume of data to create an effective marketing campaign. However, the results of your efforts will positively influence your customer's buying journey. Besides, the ultimate goal is to have a satisfied customer who won't hesitate to tell others about your great product and service.
To understand your target audience, and power your multichannel or omnichannel marketing strategies, you need to power your entire marketing campaign with a marketing automation tool.
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