Neil Patel

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What Is Omnichannel Marketing? Expert Tips Included

A graphic that says "What Is Omnichannel Marketing?"

Remember when marketing was a lot less complicated? There are a lot more channels to choose from now, and customers have become more diverse in their shopping habits.

Today, users interact with brands on multiple devices and separate platforms—often simultaneously. Even in-person and online shopping, which used to be distinct events, are no longer completely separate due to the rise of trends like buy-online-pick-up-in-person. 

But how do you give your customers what they want and deliver a better experience? With omnichannel marketing.

Research from Capital One shows that 73 percent of shoppers are omnichannel buyers.

A great example of this strategy in action is Target. It added Pinterest’s Lens to its app so smartphone users can take pictures of images that catch their eye, and the Target app then offers a similar item for them to buy. 

In this piece, I discuss omnichannel marketing and detail seven strategies to help you get the most from it.

Let’s get started.

Key Takeaways

  • Omnichannel marketing is the practice of creating a seamless customer experience across all marketing channels. It’s unique because of its consumer focus and the seamless experience it offers.
  • Customer journey mapping is essential in identifying the most important channels for omnichannel marketing campaigns. 
  • Omnichannel marketing can improve the user experience and drive sales for your business by meeting the evolving expectations of customers interacting with brands on multiple devices and platforms. 
  • Creating a customer journey map, leveraging marketing tools, and prioritizing customer personalization are some strategies you can introduce. 
  • 73 percent of shoppers are omnichannel buyers.

What Is Omnichannel Marketing?

Omnichannel marketing means delivering a customer-focused experience that combines a brand’s various channels.

The idea is to ensure every interaction flows smoothly and delivers a seamless experience regardless of where and how the shopper buys.

When everything comes together uniformly, customers feel connected, engaged, and satisfied, which increases their likelihood of returning.

Now, let’s look at the fundamental principles of omnichannel marketing:

Delivering a seamless experience: That simply means giving customers a hassle-free experience as they connect with a brand through various channels, like seeing a product on TikTok, buying in-store, and then following up on social media if they’ve got questions.

Channel integration: Businesses need to bring together their websites, apps, brick-and-mortar stores, and other platforms to create a smooth and connected customer journey.

Consistency: In this context, consistency means communicating the same brand messaging, values, and overall vibe across all channels. This ensures customers feel they’re engaging with the same business, regardless of the platform.

Convenience: Customers want the freedom to browse and buy in a way that suits them, making their shopping experience as enjoyable as possible.

What’s the Difference Between Omnichannel and Multichannel?

It’s easy to confuse the two, but there are some significant differences between omnichannel and multichannel marketing.

Omnichannel marketing uses a customer-centric approach to deliver consumers a harmonious, personalized experience. It integrates various channels, including email marketing, retargeting, and physical stores.

In contrast, multichannel marketing does pretty much what it says on the tin. It uses multiple channels to reach customers, such as email, social media, and direct mail. The main focus of multichannel marketing is enhancing customer engagement, and it’s product-centric.

Omnichannel marketing is also more complicated than multichannel, because it relies on integrating channels, while multichannel marketing doesn’t. 

Why Is Omnichannel Marketing Important for Your Business?

When implemented correctly, omnichannel marketing offers many benefits for brands and customers. 

According to Emarsys, companies focusing on omnichannel strategies benefit from higher margins, improved customer retention, and more meaningful customer interactions.

A bar graph showing the benefits of omnichannel strategies to customers.

Other benefits include:

  • Improved user experience: Omnichannel marketing centers the customer experience, providing a better experience for customers no matter where they interact with your brand.
  • Better brand awareness: Creating a consistent experience across platforms (including in-store) makes it easier for customers to recognize your brand.
  • Improved business data: Omnichannel tracks interactions across platforms, channels, and in-person sales. This highlights which campaigns (and channels) are most effective at driving leads and sales.
  • Increased sales and revenue: Marketers that use three or more channels in one campaign see a 287 percent higher purchase rate. Omnichannel campaigns also have a higher order rate.
  • Higher conversions: Brands with robust omnichannel customer engagement see up to 9.5 percent year-on-year revenue growth. In contrast, retailers with weak omnichannel customer engagement have an average of 3.4 percent growth.
  • Increased customer loyalty: With omnichannel marketing, brands can collect customer-first data like purchase history, buying frequency, and preferred buying locations. This lets retailers personalize the experience to buyers and increase customer loyalty.

7 Expert Tips for Successful Omnichannel Marketing Strategies

Implementing an omnichannel marketing strategy can seem like a massive undertaking. That’s why I’ve put together some tips to guide you in crafting an effective marketing plan. Whether you’re an established marketer or at the beginning of your career, these tips will act as your roadmap to success.

1. Map the Customer Journey

You must understand your customers’ purchasing path to create a consistent customer journey.

And as Matthew Santos, SVP of Products and Strategy at NP Digital, explains:

“It all starts with your customer journey mapping. This is a step that a lot of businesses miss because they launch too prematurely into their marketing efforts. Customer Journey Mapping involves visualizing a customer’s various touchpoints with your brand, from initial awareness to purchase and beyond. By understanding these touchpoints, you can identify which channels are most important at different stages of the journey.

.Here’s how to create your map:

  1. Identify your customers: Identify your customers’ names, addresses, and other demographic information. Look in your CRM or use a current buyer persona.
  2. Understand their pain points: What drives your customers to make a purchase? What challenges do they want to solve?
  3. Find out where they hang out: What platforms do your customers use during the purchase process?
  4. Track the conversion path: How do most of your customers convert? Their path is unlikely to be straight. They might visit your business in-store, convert online, view your Instagram reels, and then visit your store. Aim to define the most common paths.

Your completed map might look something like this:

A customer journey map.

Once you’ve created your customer journey map, look at your conversion tracking data to find areas where customers drop off. Depending on how you track, this might be in Google Analytics or your sales platform. Customer satisfaction surveys may also provide insights for your omnichannel marketing strategy.

2. Integrate Your Channels

Integrating your omnichannel digital marketing channels lets you connect your website, mobile app, social media, physical stores, and other platforms.

For example, if you’re promoting a product on Instagram or TikTok and your customer decides to visit your store to purchase, they should be able to do that easily. Likewise, if a buyer sees a product online and has a question about it, they should be able to get an answer in-store, if that’s where they ultimately buy. 

It’s all about making life easier for customers. By smoothly connecting these platforms, your shoppers get a smooth ride however they interact. 

3. Create a Consistent Brand Presence

Creating a consistent brand presence is a small part of an omnichannel marketing strategy, but it is crucial. Ensure all platforms use similar branding, tone, colors, and marketing messages.

Next, look at customer surveys (or create one!) and reviews to find out where customers aren’t happy. For example, you might find your website is too hard to use, or your app is glitchy. Users might open every email you send but never engage on social media.

Once you see where your message doesn’t resonate, make plans to improve it. Does your audience prefer a different format or more helpful content?

Remember, the goal is to be consistent, not identical. For example, make sure the information, including things like what is in stock, is consistent where it is available. You don’t want a customer to see something is in stock online and then show up to the store to find it is sold out.

4. Personalize the Customer Experience

A Segment report discovered that 56 percent of consumers become repeat buyers after a personalized experience. That’s a 7 percent increase year on year. Plus, 71 percent of today’s shoppers expect a personalized experience, and a staggering 79 percent get frustrated when they don’t get one.

The takeaway? You can’t ignore personalization—it’s increasingly popular, and customers expect it. Luckily, omnichannel marketing can help you leverage the strategy more effectively.

Personalization is the key to a successful omnichannel strategy, but it’s about a lot more than using the name tag in your email marketing. Rather, omnichannel marketing leverages data about customers to deliver ultra-relevant marketing messages at just the right time.

What does omnichannel personalization look like? While it can vary by brand and industry, here are a few examples:

  • When a customer adds an item to their cart but doesn’t check out, you send an email later with a link to their cart, a discount, and a reminder to complete their purchase.
  • Using segmentation, you email different product recommendations to customers who purchase children’s clothing versus adult workout clothing.
  • A customer tells an e-commerce chatbot what types of cleaning products they are interested in. Later, a customized popup promotes a special on those products.

Here’s an example from Spotify:

Spotify's personalization options.

5. Prioritize Mobile Optimization

There’s no getting away from mobile, so it’s crucial to ensure you set up your website and mobile apps for an easy mobile experience. This is especially important because search engines like Google use a mobile-first approach.

What does that mean? Well, Google mostly looks at the mobile version of a website when it’s deciding how to rank it. That means you need to focus on one of the following:

  • Making sure your website adjusts to various screen sizes (responsive design).  
  • Having your site use the same URL no matter what device someone is using (Dynamic serving).
  • Using different URLs and HTML for different examples (Separate URLs).

Mobile optimization means you can deliver an omnichannel digital marketing experience for your shoppers. For example, Starbucks uses its mobile app to let people order, collect rewards, and then collect from the store.

The Starbucks app.

6. Leverage Omnichannel Marketing Tools for Automation

Omnichannel marketing requires gathering and leveraging data—and developing different funnel paths for different types of customers. And that means using tools. Your stack will vary by channel, industry, and company size, but there are a few key platforms to consider.

  • Data collection: Omnichannel marketing uses data to understand customers’ paths and deliver a better experience. If you don’t have Google Analytics 4 set up, now is the time. Consider using a business intelligence tool like Power BI or Google Looker Studio to analyze data and create reports.
The Google Ads interface.
  • Marketing automation: To build an effective omnichannel marketing strategy, you need marketing automation tools to engage more on social media, send scheduled emails, or move users through the conversion process. Many tools you already use, like email marketing, CRMs, and social media management, have built-in automation features. You can also use a tool like Zapier to build custom triggers.
A Zapier workflow.
  • Segmentation platform: One of the key benefits of omnichannel marketing is the ability to offer a more personalized experience. To do that, you have to segment your audience. Depending on your industry, this might mean using dynamic landing pages or a tool like Omnisend to send more personalized emails, pop-ups, and even push notifications.
An Omnisend workflow.

7. Test and Optimize Your Omnichannel Campaigns

Building an omnichannel marketing strategy isn’t a one-time endeavor. To be effective, you must constantly test, retest, and tweak your strategy. Over time, consumer behaviors change, and you need to be ready.

The segmentation tools I mentioned in the previous section often offer testing features, or you can use Google’s Optimize or Optimizely to test audiences, content, landing pages, and even button color changes.

If you’re new to testing, this guide to A/B testing will get you started. It can feel overwhelming at first, but I think you’ll uncover really interesting data if you stick with it. Testing and optimizing drive ROI, so you’ll build a better campaign and continuously improve your strategy.

Conclusion

The future of marketing is connected. Unlike multichannel marketing, which seeks to push out similar messages on multiple channels, omnichannel marketing focuses on bringing experiences together into a seamless experience that customers love.

Omnichannel marketing works just as well for businesses. It allows them to improve customer loyalty, increase conversions, and increase revenues.
Before you get started, understand who your customers are and look for marketing automation tools to help you build a stronger omnichannel campaign. You can also work with omnichannel marketing agencies to get the most from your advertising.

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