Omnichannel marketing – this term has (at last) become more than a much-misunderstood buzzword in the marketing world.
The proliferation of smartphones and different channels has led to this new avatar of marketing.
Gone are those days when customers were willing to forgive an online experience radically different from offline ones.
Today, brands are focused on integrating the online and offline channels to create a unified experience for the customer to generate synergies and new opportunities. So, no matter which channel the customer interacts with, the marketing experience remains consistent and in line with the brand’s overall strategy.
That kind of marketing is called omnichannel marketing.
HubSpot defines it as a type of marketing that seamlessly integrates the different channels that businesses use to communicate with customers. Brands use this grand avenue to deliver a consistent message to its customers.
Omnichannel marketing offers several benefits:
- It improves the brand’s visibility as it helps spread an appropriate message about the brand across all platforms.
- It helps in increasing revenue. A study by HBR showed that omnichannel shoppers spent 10% more money online than shoppers who used just one channel.
- It can increase customers’ lifetime value and convert them into long-term customers compared to those who use one channel.
Although omnichannel marketing offers multiple benefits, it also poses particular challenges that stop marketers from leveraging it to its full potential.
Biggest Challenges Of Omnichannel Campaigns
Considering that omnichannel marketing integrates offline and online channels, the data is distributed and available in a fragmented manner. Integrating the data into a single platform becomes an arduous task. It becomes even more challenging as the volume of data grows. Marketers also face challenges in matching different data formats. The quality of data gets compromised in the process of standardizing and integrating it. Sometimes the context gets lost. Data is the unshakeable foundation of a successful omnichannel campaign. Hence, all data collected from offline and online sources must be standardized, error-free, and of good quality.
Lack of expertise is one concern that marketers have while planning omnichannel campaigns. Although marketers have access to all types of data and tools to manage it, they cannot leverage it to the full extent due to a lack of skilled resources. A survey by eConsultancy shows that the lack of skills was one of the significant barriers to the effective use of marketing technology. One way to solve this challenge is by training marketers to learn how to use technology to plan and implement successful omnichannel campaigns. They must also learn how to use data from different channels to their advantage.
Omnichannel marketing campaigns also require people from different teams to work together to create a unified experience across all channels. This is possible only when companies break down the silos and promote collaboration. Working in silos makes data sharing difficult, and that poses a challenge for marketers as they do not get a complete picture of the customer’s journey. 80% of marketers report that silos within marketing prevent them from having a seamless view of campaigns and customers across various channels. They end up with incomplete or wrong information, which derails the entire marketing effort. Working in silos also leads to a lack of transparency between different teams. This can become a significant roadblock in the campaign’s success. Companies must build a data-driven culture and eliminate silos to optimize omnichannel capabilities.
According to a survey by Target Marketing, marketers admitted that a lack of budget is one of the significant challenges in implementing omnichannel campaigns. Omnichannel campaigns require multiple channels to work in sync to provide a consistent experience to customers. This is possible only if companies have enough financial resources to implement the omnichannel marketing strategy. However, there are some tools available that help marketers optimize their budget by using tactics such as real-time bidding. Using SaaS-based tools further helps reduce costs.
The silos between the teams can also have an impact on consistent brand messaging. In omnichannel campaigns, each channel must speak the same language linked directly to the value proposition of the brand. This is possible only when the teams have access to comprehensive customer data across the entire customer journey. They need to understand the triggers that move the mission forward and when and where those events occur. This is essential to be able to personalize the messaging across the channels. A lack of integration could lead to inconsistency in messaging and will eventually result in bad customer experience.
Companies need a robust and integrated data ecosystem that can lead them to create successful omnichannel marketing campaigns. Robust technology-driven solutions that help companies offer a seamless and frictionless experience to customers through digital IMC solutions provide a great option.
Such solutions enable companies to:
- Get complete control, flexibility, and transparency on bidding
- Access predictive win rates to optimize their bidding strategies on omnichannel marketing
- Access demographic, behavioral, location and Trigger data for better segmentation and targeting
- Set campaign goals better and build a quality audience
- Deliver hyper-personalized ads using an integrated marketing platform
However, before leveraging such tools to optimize omnichannel marketing, look for gaps in data, tools, and team structure. Plug them to create and manage successful omnichannel campaigns that ensure brand success.