Brands must break down online and offline silos to meet consumer expectations.
As the old adage goes, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” The same principle applies to effective consumer marketing. A powerful broadcast campaign can multiply the impact of other marketing activities, from increasing your website and search traffic to boosting your social media engagement and public relations buzz.
Savvy marketers have realized this for years and deployed multimedia strategies to take advantage of the benefits. However, simply aligning your creative across various channels is no longer enough. In today’s hyper-fast, uber-personal, any device marketplace, consumers are driving a new evolution: omnichannel.
Anytime, anywhere, any device engagement
Consider how consumers engage with brands today. Most Americans still flock to television, only now it’s with the remote control in one hand and a smartphone or laptop in the other. We tweet, text, post, search, follow, chat and shop simultaneously with our favorite shows. The same scenarios exist in real-world activities when consumers visit a retailer, restaurant or service provider.
Consumer behaviors have changed significantly over the last decade; brands must evolve as well. Experiences now flow across channels, locations and devices, with the expectation that brands will not only recognize us, but allow us to move seamlessly back and forth, from TV ad to website, from online chat to store, from app to call center, all with the same caliber of personalization and service.
Omnichannel customers deliver more value
It’s a tall order, to be sure, especially when industry disruptors set a high bar for innovation and frictionless engagements. However, the rewards can be great. A recent Harvard Business Review study of nearly 50,000 retail consumers found omnichannel customers—those who engaged via both online and offline channels—were far more valuable to the brand. They spent more, both online and in-store, visited the retailer’s brick-and-mortar locations more often, were more loyal and more likely to recommend the brand.
To improve your omnichannel engagement, follow these best practices.
Design a channel-agnostic experience. Instead of thinking about your mobile experience, your in-store experience and your desktop experience separately, reorient your perspective. Identify what the ideal touchpoints and messages should be, regardless of where a customer reaches out to you. Everything you design should address this simple question: How can you make your consumer’s life as easy as possible?
Break down organizational silos. The best omnichannel experiences have simplicity at their core. Consumers view a TV spot, text an SMS code to conduct an online chat then move seamlessly to an in-store order, with all three channels working in harmony.
In reality, achieving that level of coordination can require moving mountains, especially when different departments vie for control. True omnichannel experiences come from cooperation and collaboration, with data, systems, creative, staff and leadership in alignment. The digital, brand, service and store teams must move beyond arbitrary, in-house boundaries to put the customer experience first.
Get serious about your data. There’s no way around it. It takes rich data to power omnichannel engagement. And just like your leadership structure, your data must integrate beyond organizational boundaries. That means databases and systems that can support a 360-degree view of your customers and share consumer interactions, in near real time, regardless of device or channel.
Put another way, can your consumer request the SMS coupon featured on your TV ad and load up a shopping cart from their smartphone? Will the digital team realize it in time to deliver an online ad or targeted email the next day? And when your buyer returns to their cart to purchase, this time on a laptop, will the brand experience be cohesive?
Pivoting your company culture to that of a true omnichannel organization takes time, but every step forward puts you closer to answering “yes.”
Work smarter, not harder. An effective omnichannel campaign takes a holistic approach: one where media, creative and conversion work in harmony. At Marketing Architects, we’ve pioneered this three-in-one, turnkey approach for years. Contact us to discuss how it can transform your next broadcast campaign.
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