Omnichannel Marketing: Is Multi-Channel a Part of the Past?

by Caroline Barrow Figaro Digital

Initially, omnichannel and multichannel marketing appear similar. However, as multichannel marketing is quickly being seen as antiquated, omnichannel is increasingly being adopted by brands as their go-to marketing strategy.

Achieving effective omnichannel marketing is difficult, but worth the effort put in. Below, we discuss what omnichannel marketing is, as well as some of its best examples.

What is Omnichannel Marketing?

Essentially, omnichannel marketing is a sales approach which prioritises customer experience. The approach is best explained in opposition to multi-channel marketing as they’re often confused.

Multi-channel marketing refers to interacting with a variety of customers on distinctly different platforms.

So, a person may interact with a brand through several different mediums on their customer journey: on a billboard, on social media, on mobile, then via a Google ad.

By contrast, omnichannel marketing refers to interacting with a variety of customers on different platforms, except it makes a concerted effort to ensure this experience is seamless.

So, while multichannel marketing can sometimes create a disjointed experience, omnichannel marketing ensures each marketing platform supports the other.

Multichannel aims to maximise exposure by occupying every channel, whereas omnichannel aims to make sure each channel forms a cohesive marketing whole.

The former is about being seen, the latter is about creating a brand and relationship-building experience.

The Benefits of Omnichannel Marketing

According to Worldpay, omnichannel shoppers spend 50-300 per cent  more than traditional shoppers. This is thanks to the several benefits omnichannel marketing has when used correctly:

  • Improved ROI – A more cohesive customer experience builds up brand loyalty which, eventually, translates to higher purchase value. The improvements in customer engagement and the fostering of brand awareness results in better ROI for businesses.
  • Better Brand Recognition – With omnichannel, customers are consistently receiving a tailored and seamless experience of a brand. As a result, a business can guarantee that they’re improving brand recognition in a way that puts customer experience first.
  • Integration of Data and Communication – By having multiple communication channels that intertwine, businesses who use omnichannel are exposed to more streams of information. When combining this with analysis, brands can quickly understand and improve all aspects of the customer journey across channels. With omnichannel, every transaction is tracked as each channel is carefully managed. Those who have more data tend to win and omnichannel provides data from every channel possible.
  • More Precise Measurement – Omnichannel allows for more precise measurements for the effectiveness of campaigns. Instead of measuring each individual campaign on clicks or engagements, an omnichannel dashboard allows for better data to be shown. Barometers of success like live audience reactions and specific metrics can be recorded and displayed easily.

Examples of Stellar Omnichannel Marketing

Some of the world’s biggest brands have seen major wins by subscribing to an omnichannel model:

Starbucks Online and In-App Ordering

Coffee shops may have started as the most brick-and-mortar business out there, but modern inventions from companies like Starbucks places the industry at the forefront of digital omnichannel experiences.

The Starbucks rewards app acts as a microcosm for how to use modern omnichannel marketing. Firstly, the rewards card is free with any purchase, except Starbucks ensured that customers could top up the card via phone, online, in-store, or via the app itself.

This means that rewards, top-ups, and deductions all happen at the same time across devices and channels.

So, if a customer is headed to the store to make a big order, they can top up their card in advance in the queue or before leaving their home and by the time they reach the cashier, the balance on the card will be sorted out for them. The app also allows for orders to made, thus consolidating the whole process.

IKEA Helps Customers Find Their Way

Getting lost in the showrooms of IKEA is always good fun, but when you’re desperately trying to find a specific product, it can be a little annoying.

IKEA recognised this, so it created an app that works as both an e-commerce platform and VR tool so customers can get a showroom-like transactional experience at home.

Not only is this useful for customers who don’t fancy a shopping trip with a side of meatballs, the app also has the ability to add items on a shopping list which then directs them to where that product is stored.

Glade Shows the Depth of Omnichannel Marketing

Glade really pushed the boundaries of omnichannel marketing in 2016 with its campaign ‘Museum of Feelings’, an installation experience that explored the link between scent, human emotion, and memory.

While the pop-up installation received plaudits for its visual creativity, the real star of the show was how Glade intertwined this experience with other channels.

At the end of the installation, it was revealed that each room people explored had a smell from one of Glade’s new lines of products. Customers were then taken to a room with a smelling table and a candle-lined wall to hook in impulse shoppers.

Despite not focusing too much on digital, Glade ensured it provided an experience so unforgettable that it positively impacted the rest of its marketing channels.

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