Editor’s Note:
You may (or may not) have heard the phrase “Omni-Channel experience” and wondered what new marketing strategy is that?  It’s not really a marketing strategy.  An omni-channel experience basically acknowledges the fact that your customers engage with your brand with a variety of channels; print, mobile, website, and yes, even face-to-face.  All of these are channels and your customers want all of them to work together in order to help them get the outcome they count on you for.
multi-channel customer experience

You are an multi-channel marketer, and you don’t even know it.

If your customers are using mobile apps, mobile devices and purchasing online, they are expecting a multichannel approach from you.

There is no more question about whether the internet is a fad or whether or not you need a website or even if you should be on social media.

Customers are purchasing online and online.  They still appreciate a physical store, but marketing through single channels isn’t enough anymore.

 Omni = Everywhere

Your customers want to see you where they are and they are on multiple channels — and that’s what omni-channel marketing means.

Think of it as a wheel with your brand at the center.

Communication is the outside of the wheel and its spokes are the channels that share your messages. Each spoke attaches to a certain part of the wheel, so unfortunately your marketing initiatives do not always reach your entire audience.

If you want to extend your reach to your entire audience, it’s time to learn how to give your customers an omni-channel marketing experience.

Omni-Channel marketers find greater success; they understand that customers are the core of every business. Instead of placing your brand at the center, the customers are actually at the center of it all.

Take a look at these 3 steps to implementing a highly effective omni-channel marketing strategy to help you retain your customers and drive your ROI to new levels.

Create Buyer Personas to Connect With Ideal Customers

Have you thought about doing buyer personas and then decided that it was silly to waste all that time or figuring out who your ideal customer was when you really wanted to sell to everyone?

How has that been working?

Not to well.  Because when you try to sell to everyone – you end up reaching NO one.

Invest the time to work through this buyer persona expertise because it will help you focus your marketing on just those people who value your product or service the most,

For insights on what displeases and delights your audience, create customer identities. Create buyer or customer personas full of information about behaviors, buying habits and other preferences such as how they prefer to communicate. Brainstorm beyond your typical customer to come up with a diverse collection of buyer profiles.

You should also focus on the buyer’s journey and identify the purchase frequency, how purchases are made and where the traffic is coming from. Once you understand the journey, you can build a premium customer experience for every stage and persona. 

Invest in Customer Support

The importance of excellent customer support is clear. According to Conversion, 54 percent of millennials, 52 percent of baby boomers and 50 percent of Gen Xers will stop doing business with a company because of poor customer service. Customer service is a cornerstone in your omni-channel marketing strategy. From implementing a loyalty program to implementing an optimized POS software, make sure your marketing and customer service teams are in close contact and aim to find ways to enhance your customer support.

Prioritize Channels and Devices

One thing that needs to be clear is that an omni-channel marketing strategy does not mean that you must use every form of modern communication. Narrow it down to the channels and devices your customers prefer and invest in those experiences. Make sure you’re where your customers are and do not waste your time on the other channels. Search for visual marketing ideas to make your business stand out; a VentureBeat study shows that the average human attention span is just 8 seconds. Make every single second count.

In order to identify what is working, make sure to listen to what your audience is saying across channels. You can find out where your time and efforts are best spent through social monitoring and marketing analytics.

For inspiration, think about large, successfully companies such as Starbucks. The coffee retailer wanted to appeal to the youth market, so it added a rewards app to its omni-channel presence. By recognizing that its customers have gone mobile, the premium coffee retailer has improved its brand experience and cemented loyalties all while expanding its market. It’s no longer an option to provide a seamless customer experience; this is how leading brands are continuing to rise in the digital era. Keep ideas like this one in mind as you strive to give your customers an omni-channel experience.

Today’s marketers are empowered by additional data and improved integration between communication channels. This means they can target every single customer to offer support and value. As a result, businesses see stronger loyalty, better customer retention and higher revenues.