Imagine the perfect day, walking in your customer’s shoes. They open the morning paper and your ad commands a full page. They hear about your exclusive offer on the radio as they drive to work. When they search for you on their smart phone, your offer is the first thing they see. When they get home and turn on the TV, they see your outstanding offer again. They’re ready to order, and it doesn’t matter if they turn to their tablet, PC, or they pick up the phone. Because they’ll get the same flawless experience from every device and buy from you again and again.
That synergy, the seamless integration of all channels and devices, is called omni-channel marketing. It’s actually being called a lot of different things: Crucial for any business. The ideal customer experience. Common sense in action. The future.
For a business owner, a very different string of words may come to mind: Expensive. Unattainable. Overwhelming.
Because how do you develop a strategy with flawless cross-channel synergy without doing everything yourself? Where are you going to find time to come up with creative for all of the various channels without breaking the bank on production costs? How are you supposed to know what media to buy, and negotiate a rate that doesn’t drain your budget? Who’s going to look at the data to identify what’s working and what isn’t? How are you going to handle the calls? Is your website equipped to deliver a matching offer? Will your fulfillment keep up with demand?
For most businesses, omni-channel marketing is a challenge so massive that even taking the first step sounds impossible. Before you throw in the towel, here’s the first part in a series to help you get the ball rolling toward the omni-channel experience your customers demand.
Don’t Always Reinvent the Wheel
It’s a tempting pitfall. Launching a new channel feels like embarking on a sea voyage. The excitement may make you want to cast your existing marketing overboard and look to the horizon for anything exciting and different. However, throwing in too many variables right away is a sure-fire way to wind up shipwrecked.
Don’t bury your winners on a desert island just because you’re tired of hearing or seeing them. With a new channel comes a brand new audience that’s hearing your message for the very first time. Everything you say is still fresh for them.
A key to having a successful omni-channel marketing strategy is to have a unifying, overarching message. When you discover a winning message that taps into a deeply human truth, you’ll find that the delivery method doesn’t matter. It will resonate anywhere as long as you can successfully translate it from one channel to the next. That translation is an art. It isn’t always easy. However, you’ll discover quickly that as long as you can successfully tell the same story, your marketing efforts will snowball across channels to enable rapid growth and elevate your entire business to the next level.
Once you’ve established a baseline in the new channel based on your existing omni-channel message, that’s when it’s time to set sail in search of fresh ideas on distant shores. Blue-sky thinking and aggressive off-the-wall testing are crucial for finding the new angle that separates you from your competition. With a new channel at your disposal, you’re armed with new opportunities to discover a game changer. One that can surge through the rest of your business, causing another cross channel breakthrough, and redefining your omni-channel message. Each new channel acts as a building block to lay the foundation that enables you to grow into even more channels.
If omni-channel marketing sounds too massive or expensive, we should talk. We’ve helped companies of all sizes construct their marketing experience brick by brick, fast-tracking their efforts in the process.