The consumer of today is omnichannel. What this means is that when they’re interacting with an e-commerce brand, they’re constantly jumping around different channels. Think about it — people rarely make an online purchase during the first site visit. This is why it’s critical to build customers’ trust by creating a seamless buyer journey, from the first touchpoint to the last, with omnichannel marketing. 

These days, marketers understand that customers find companies’ services and products from a wide variety of people, places, and things. You can respond to these zigzagging behaviors by developing a robust omnichannel marketing campaign. 

Let’s go over how to develop and maintain an omnichannel marketing campaign.

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel 

First, let’s distinguish the difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing. While they’re often confused with each other, they both address different issues. Omnichannel marketing is all about the customer — the main goal is to ensure that a customer’s interaction with a brand is consistent and seamless, no matter the channel. Whether it’s a social media post, digital ad, or a visit to a store, the key thing is that no part of the customer journey feels out of place. Multichannel marketing concentrates on the channel strategy — from social to mobile, every channel has its own goals. 

Creating the Framework 

With that out of the way, let’s begin creating the framework. Because an omnichannel marketing campaign takes into account all channels, the framework is much bigger and more complicated than most channel-specific marketing campaigns. 

There are five steps to creating a basic framework for an omnichannel marketing campaign:

  1. Begin with your customer and their needs
  2. Select a small variety of tools and methods most likely to connect with your customers
  3. Segment your customers
  4. Personalize the customer experience
  5. Spread that personalized experienced throughout your channels of choice

Begin With Your Customer and Their Needs

Omnichannel marketing campaigns are built to be customer-centric. The success of these campaigns is dependant on genuinely understanding a target audience and then creating an experience that will resonate with them. That understanding starts with your customer and their needs. To do this, companies need to change or tweak their understanding of their customer journey to make it customer-centric. 

Start by creating a customer journey map with this template. This will help orient your company around customers’ needs and keep everyone (from product to marketing to sales and customer service) on the same page.

Select Tools and Methods Most Likely to Connect With Your Customers

The next step is selecting a starter pack of tools and methods that are both customer-centric and viable for your business. This is where most changes will inevitably take place in all marketing campaigns, although omnichannel campaigns don’t typically change as much.

  • Content management system (CMS): This allows you to create, store, and publish content in one place. For example, find a platform that will enable you to publish customer-centric posts and view metrics.
  • Customer relationship system (CRM): If you’re a small business owner, you know how meaningful your customer relationships are to success. On top of storing customer information, look for a CRM that can help make more customers happy with intelligent help desk solutions.
  • Quantitative and qualitative analytical tools: You can set up your digital marketing analytics here

Segment Your Customers

Segmentation is an integral part of marketing, and each company does it a bit differently. To complicate matters, the ways that you can segment customers are almost endless. What are some specific ways to segment your customers as a part of an omnichannel strategy? 

Depending on your needs, some audience segments that may make sense include:

  • Customers that leave items in their shopping cart
  • Customers that haven’t purchase anything within the last six months
  • Customers who visit a certain product page on your website
  • Customers who subscribe to your email subscription

Personalize Your Customer Experience

Marketing personalization has been around since marketing began. However, it’s worth noting that the personalization in an omnichannel marketing campaign needs to tell a cohesive narrative across every channel used. There are a few things that marketers should do to ensure their personalization efforts are successful:

Spread That Personalized Experience Throughout 

Finally, it’s time to pull everything together and spread your personalized, targeted, and segmented marketing throughout all the channels that you have available. 

When it first goes live, it’s natural to feel relief. But not so fast — to take your omnichannel marketing from good to great requires two more phases of growth before you can move into simply maintaining your efforts.

Testing and Building 

Once the framework is in place, that’s the time to test out everything. Is social media really the place you should focus on? Do your landing pages need more work? Are all the colors the same across the board? How about the messaging? Your testing will show you all these things and more. 

After you’ve run your first round of tests, you may want to add in more and different marketing channels. Before you start, it’s worth noting that “omni” doesn’t mean that you should try to use all the marketing channels available to you. It means that of the channels you use, the experience should be all the same or as similar as you can make it. 

Calibrating and Adjusting

Finally, after your framework has been set up, your testing rounds have been completed, and your omnichannel marketing campaign is underway, all that’s left to do is to calibrate and adjust it as needed. Maybe an image size needs to be tweaked, or a channel needs to be scrapped. Perhaps your website needs to be a little more optimized — the list of possible changes goes on and on.

Unlike the testing and building phase, the calibrating and adjusting phase is focused on keeping your marketing fresh, up-to-date, and in front of your customers, and loyal advocates. It’s the least complicated part of the process and possibly the most rewarding.

For a Little Inspiration

Warby Parker is an excellent example of an omnichannel brand. Sure, they’re famous for their chic frames, but Warby Parker is also known for providing an excellent shopping experience. Their physical locations aren’t only stylish, they’re useful. Need to check your eyes? Don’t worry, you can use their on-the-spot eye exam. Waiting on a friend to choose the perfect pair of specs? No problem, just grab a book from their many bookshelves (they have partnerships with several publishers). 

Or, let’s look at what their online store offers. Need something from the shop straight away? No sweat, request their direct-to-door service. Not sure whether you can buy glasses online without trying them on? Guess what — you can choose five frames, and they’ll ship them to you to try on for free. 

Both their store and website work together to provide a seamless buyer experience. By investing in a strong omnichannel marketing campaign, they’re able to address customers’ questions and concerns proactively. 

Gavin Flood
Author