Three Essential Steps toward Omnichannel Success
Modern consumers are tech-savvy channel agnostics in a constantly expanding world of digital devices, touchpoints, and channels. Despite behavior that defies traditional linear concepts of the customer journey, one need remains a constant: the insistence on personalized experiences.
Succeeding in omnichannel requires marketers to roadmap the customer journey, cultivate a comprehensive customer view, and embrace new channels. With a holistic approach, omnichannel orchestration will leverage the most relevant and appropriate channels and interactions to deliver a seamless experience reflecting the individual customer’s tastes, habits, purchasing patterns, and more.
Build a unified customer view
Developing a complete view of each customer is the foundation for all successful omnichannel strategies. More and more, brands are harnessing data to develop 360-degree views of each individual customer. It is certainly an aspirational goal to completely understand every customer and their individual paths to purchase, mostly because it requires seemingly endless amounts of customer data from both businesses themselves and myriad other sources.
It’s virtually impossible to build a holistic customer view without consolidating customer data in a central location. This empowers brands to efficiently analyze and glean valuable insights into audience preferences, propensities, and behaviors. The data can be utilized to identity the channels a consumer frequents and the routes taken to complete a purchase. A unified, constantly updated profile allows brands to establish where, when, and how to engage with customers in meaningful and relevant ways.
Plotting the roadmap
Omnichannel doesn’t mean “every channel every time.” In fact, flooding every user channel with potentially irrelevant messages can annoy audiences and lead them to disengage.
Omnichannel’s true purpose is to provide customers with a meaningful experience at all points of a seamless journey, not overwhelm them with generic messaging. When implemented well, omnichannel is about putting power behind the channels that work for you and your customers. From awareness to engagement to conversion and loyalty, marketers should demonstrate a deep understanding of what their customers want and need.
Brands need to remain consistent and timely across the various channels and touchpoints their targeted audience frequents. In doing so, they can create meaningful conversations that keep the customer engaged, connected, and intrigued.
Marketers can now easily identify a customer across all channels, both offline and online. Brands can also apply their findings to craft personalized messages to the individual’s preferred channel, interactions, intent and lifecycle stage. This may sound simple, but many marketers are challenged when implementing the available technology to do this well.
Embrace new channels one step at a time
New technologies are emerging quicker than ever, and brands must monitor and strategically adopt new channels, or revamp existing ones; otherwise, they risk falling behind. Marketers and brands, beware: Effective omnichannel orchestration doesn’t suggest a one-size-fits-all approach. Successful channel adoption strategies will take into account the diverse habits and tastes of the brand’s unique audience mix.
A relevant example of an emerging channel is digital voice assistants (DVA), which are moving from attractively exotic, ultra-hyped technological novelties to commonplace in households around the world. The majority of consumers currently seem to limit their use of DVAs for simple yes-or-no questions or to complete routine household tasks. The more adventurous, however, are actually making basic purchases by speaking to sellers directly through this technology.
DVAs bring new experiences to consumers and a completely new touchpoint for marketers to explore and exploit. Amazon Prime members can order nearly anything from the ecommerce titan using Alexa. Marriott also adopted Alexa, allowing hotel guests to access various amenities like ordering room service, requesting more towels, or asking the concierge for recommendations.
Consumers have limited time, detectable habits, and preferences about how they interact with brands. Marketers have become increasingly empowered to know and respond to these preferences on all channels.
As brands leverage opportunities offered by omnichannel marketing and further embrace the technology that unlocks each channel’s capabilities and insights, they will give customers the personal experiences they crave. Beginning the journey toward true omnichannel can be daunting, but the immense value it creates for both customers and brands far outweighs the rethinking, reinvention, and innovations it demands.
Redickaa Subrammanian is co-founder and CEO of Resulticks.