Omnichannel is the future of marketing. Mckinsey offers an explainer:
The prefix “omni” means “all,” and “channel” is a reference to the many ways customers might interact with a company—in physical stores, by surfing the web, on social media, and in emails, apps, SMS, and other digital spaces. And this omnichannel approach can be a powerful way to meet your customers where they are, providing them good service in line with their preferences and needs. (Note that, in this article, we use the terms “customers,” “consumers,” and “shoppers” interchangeably in referring to omnichannel marketing in both B2B and B2C contexts.)
More and more, customers move across all channels—in person, online, and beyond—to get what they want. But not every customer is looking for the same thing, and omnichannel marketing acknowledges that. Some people want more services for certain transactions; others prefer low-touch, 24/7 interactions. Effective omnichannel marketing, then, happens when companies provide a set of seamlessly integrated channels, catering to customer preferences, and steer them to the most efficient solutions.
So why is omnichannel marketing important? Research on the omnichannel experience shows more than half of B2C customers engage with three to five channels each time they make a purchase or resolve a request. And the average customer looking to make a single reservation for accommodations (like a hotel room) online switched nearly six times between websites and mobile channels. If these customers encounter inconsistent information or can’t get what they need, they may lose interest in a brand’s products or services.
And this can translate into business outcomes. Omnichannel customers shop 1.7 times more than shoppers who use a single channel. They also spend more.
Here is a graphic from Netcore which explains the shift from multi-channel to omnichannel:
A Netcore explainer shows the differences between multi-channel, cross-channel and omnichannel marketing:
From Netcore: “Omnichannel marketing creates the brand’s presence across all channels–seamlessly tied to show the same or similar products across channels. With each interaction, the user proceeds towards a specific goal via your defined user flow. This is a compelling way to nurture leads across different channels and create an excellent customer experience instead of showing the same advertisement via different channels and leaving it to the users to define their journey. Omnichannel marketing solutions collect and process customer data from various channels allowing the brand to re-target customers with relevant, engaging, and contextual content. This kind of content builds a strong personal relationship with the prospects and eventually increases customer loyalty.”
Among the new channels which will come to the fore in 2023 are Email 2.0 and WhatsApp. Both can serve as alternatives to the brand’s website and app, and bring the conversion funnel closer to the user. For the marketer, the advantage of these two push channels is that marketers can now get greater control on initiating customer journeys in an extremely customer-friendly way.
Omnichannel, combined with profitability, personalisation, predictions and progency, completes the 4PO framework – giving marketers the right saber to win the Customer Wars!
As an aside, here is my take on new titles for the Star Wars movies to bring to life the marketer’s new universe:
- The Phantom AdWaste Menace
- Attack of the Clones Martech
- Revenge of the Sith Big Adtech
- A New Hope Stack
- The Empire Marketer Strikes Back
- Return of the Jedi Profits
- The Force Loyalty Awakens
- The Last Jedi Marketer
- The Rise of Skywalker Profipoly
May the Force Customer (always) be with you!