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A Guide to Omnichannel Marketing in 2022

Wilson Lau

Sr. SEO Marketing Manager @ AdRoll

Today’s shoppers are more confident and demanding than ever, and brands that want to stay relevant and keep conversions flowing need to find ways to meet their customers where they are. With so many device types, browsers, marketing channels, and content types available to users, consumers now expect their favorite brands to maintain a presence across all parts of the ecommerce ecosystem. That’s where omnichannel marketing comes in.

In this omnichannel marketing guide, we’ll run through how it works, why your brand should be using it, and some tips for making the most of your marketing resources across multiple channels.

What Is Omnichannel Marketing?

Omnichannel marketing is a strategy that connects various marketing tactics under a holistic strategy intended to provide a seamless, integrated customer experience. The idea is to offer shoppers a variety of ways to engage with the brand, learn about products, and make purchases while also creating bridges between channels and content types that help the customer navigate smoothly to the end of the conversion funnel. 

Here are some basic examples of omnichannel marketing in action:

  • A customer receiving a text message with a link to a brand’s shopping app after signing up for promotional messages

  • A customer browsing posts on Instagram and following in-post links to the brand’s ecommerce store

  • Ads that retarget a customer with reminders and related products when they leave items unpurchased in their shopping carts

Why Omnichannel Experiences Matter

Reason 1: Expand your reach and grow your audience

This one is simple: the easier it is for consumers to find your brand online, the easier it will be for you to grow your business. With omnichannel tactics, you’re no longer limited to posting individual campaigns on individual channels and hoping shoppers find you. 

Email, display ads, organic search, content marketing, social media, physical retail, SMS, and even physical mail are all useful channels for finding new customers and growing your audience. By connecting the dots between those channels, you’ll make it easier and more intuitive for shoppers to go from the first touchpoint to the conversion.

Reason 2: Delight your customers and increase customer loyalty

Churn (the turnover rate of customers ending their interactions with the brand) can be devastating, especially for smaller ecommerce brands that need to capitalize on every opportunity. Several factors can drive churn, including frustrating customer experiences, a lack of personalization in ads and content, and inconsistent service. 

An omnichannel marketing approach can help mitigate all of these risks. Shoppers become frustrated when they run into bottlenecks or disconnections in the experience. For instance, some 90% of consumers switch between different devices during the day, affecting how they shop. If a customer puts several items in their shopping cart on their phone and then arrives at their desktop computer to find their cart empty, they may become frustrated and exit the shop entirely in favor of a brand that offers a cohesive experience.

Omnichannel advertising also makes personalization more effortless and more effective. By synchronizing your data across channels, you can better understand what motivates your audiences. Knowledge of shoppers’ interests, browsing behaviors, values, and other preferences makes it possible to provide highly relevant content that leads the customer farther down the conversion cycle.

You can even improve customer service with an omnichannel approach: with a brand presence on the web, email, social media, live chat, and elsewhere, it’s easier for customers to get help when they need it, without becoming frustrated with the brand.

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel

Omnichannel marketing refers to a cohesive strategy of bridges and connections between channels that work together to deliver the right ads at the right time and place. It enables users to move between browsers, devices, social networks, and even physical retail stores without gaps in the shopping experience.

Multichannel, meanwhile, refers simply to the ability to connect and engage with customers on several platforms. It does not necessarily entail the connection and integration of those channels into a seamless experience.

Getting Started With Omnichannel Marketing

Because it involves creating a cohesive experience across multiple channels, omnichannel marketing is a long-term process that you develop as your brand grows. For instance, it might not make sense for a new brand to invest in all possible channels when it hasn’t yet built an audience on those channels. Here are some basic steps for launching an omnichannel strategy for your brand.

1. Collect and organize any data you have

Whether you’re a new brand or an established company with lots of information on your audience, starting your omnichannel approach with data is essential. Organize your customer data by channel and analyze where they like to shop and how they use those channels in concert. AdRoll’s marketing platform is an example of a tool that provides robust data tools to help you understand the customer journey. 

2. Review and refine your audience segments

Audience segmentation is critical in omnichannel advertising — it’s essential to understand what motivates your audiences and how they like to navigate the web. Before getting started with omnichannel marketing, you should have at least two primary audience segments established and thoroughly defined by demographics, interests, behavior, and values. This will help you visualize the customer experience from start to finish. 

3. Map out the customer journey

Use your data to create an illustration of how customers navigate your brand’s ecosystem. This should include every channel you’ve used for advertising and communicating with customers, up to and through the point of conversion. Make sure to include steps after the purchase, including customer service interactions and retargeting to push related products to shoppers who’ve demonstrated interest.

4. Unify your creative elements

Because customers will find and interact with your brand on many platforms, it’s important to make sure that your brand is identifiable across channels. You don’t want to confuse shoppers with variations in your brand’s visual creatives and messaging. Keeping a consistent set of brand guidelines will also make it easier to test and identify areas for improvement on different channels.

5. Optimize continuously

Any digital marketer knows that a campaign never really stops — it just gets refined and improved and optimized over time to account for shifts in audience behavior. Invest in a solid omnichannel attribution software that can help you identify where your approach is working and where it needs work. Decide on a set of KPIs that matter to your business and keep watching them as your omnichannel strategy grows.

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