Retail has evolved. Brick and Mortar store has evolved into online stores. This evolution has bestowed the customer with a lot of options at their fingertips. With retailers coming up with new marketing strategies – voucher codes, loyalty discounts, membership plans, service channels et al – to steal your customers, the question isn’t if you should adopt omnichannel marketing, but rather how to do it efficiently and effectively.
With exponential digitization, consumer’s expectations have also increased manifold. They are looking for more value out of the purchase and a smoother resolution of their issues after the purchase. Experience matters more than ever in the past.
Add to that a quick review of their experience with you through social media with a few simple clicks. Customers can increasingly influence your future sales. Is your business ready for that level of attention?
How you respond to your existing or potential customers can be decisive for your business. Whether it is through social media, email marketing, Outdoor ads, in-store events etc; the modes of reaching out to the customers are rapidly evolving. If you want to stay in business, you’ll have to develop an omnichannel strategy to stay connected.
7 Actionable B2B Omnichannel marketing tips
Listed below are the essential elements of how your business can implement an actionable omnichannel strategy.
1. Understand your customers
Who are your customers? Why do they shop? What makes them spend? These are the questions you must ask yourself to better understand your customer. Listed below are some pointers that can help your understanding:
- Who are your most profitable segments?
- Which segment displays the most loyalty towards your business?
- What are the touchpoints where a customer can be engaged to make a purchase?
- What are the things customers look out for in their buying journey before they make a successful purchase?
Getting to know your customers can help you build strong relationships with them. It is the foundation of any healthy profitable business. When followed by prompt after-sales service, it ensures customer retention and repeat-buying.
2. Analyze your data
Businesses collect consumer data from more sources than ever before. These sources can include data from Google analytics, insights from social media or even personal interviews through feedback forms at brick and mortar stores.
This data, when analyzed, can bolster communication at customer touchpoints and improve the buying journey. The data from your point-of-sale (POS) systems, CRM system et al can help plan stocking inventory, coming up with marketing strategies, managing customers, and forecasting yearly budgets.
When collected and analyzed correctly, the result will lead to more enhanced, satisfying retail experiences for your typical customer.
3. Identify the customer’s preferred channels
Once the invaluable consumer data is analyzed, understanding the preferred channel of your target audience wouldn’t be difficult. Furthermore, you will also have other meaningful insights like how your customers are using those channels and how much time they spend on each of these channels.
For example, is your target segment active on Instagram? Or are they engaging with you more on Facebook? Insights like these can help you tweak your plans and optimize your marketing strategy.
When your omnichannel marketing strategy is in planning, it is pertinent that your consumer’s favorite channels are the focus of your attention. Later, as the strategy for these channels settles down, additional channels could be explored to engage more potential customers.
4. Streamline your content
To publish scalable content, the content from various functions must be streamlined and centralised. This content is your marketing plan’s lifeline.
A lot of excellent usable content is produced across functions such as HR conference videos. This content can also be at the forefront of your marketing strategies.
Once clear responsibilities and workflows are defined, there would be no need for weekly follow-ups to check if there is enough content for your target audience in each team. The different functions can operate more efficiently once this is achieved.
5. Precise planning of content
Now we have analyzed the user data goldmine and their preferred channels to engage. Next, we look at the heart of your communication: the content.
As already discussed, the first step for us is to identify the most relevant customer touchpoints. For example, if you have a blog for freelancers, the most relevant touchpoints could be the website, email, and newsletter.
Next, you observe and analyze the different phases of your customer’s journey that defines their experience. What are the most prevalent problems faced by your customers? What questions do your users most frequently ask? Based on these insights, the next task is to come up with solutions to these gaps in their journey by tweaking your communication strategy.
There are hundreds of options that can help you come up with the right topics for your consumers. Some of the most popular ones are Ubersuggest, Buzzsumo, Quora, and Hubspot Blog Ideas Generator.
A precise content plan is hence indispensable. It is also important to integrate this plan uniformly across channels so that the message across channels remains consistent. Inconsistency can frustrate the consumer and you might lose them to a competitor.
6. Don’t just be a seller, Be a storyteller
A study by Walker – a consulting firm demonstrated that the price and the product will be outdone by customer experience as a differentiating feature by 2020.
It is now proven that customers are more excited to engage with brands that have vibrant personalities. More engagement means more purchases. But how do we achieve this?
With storytelling, Stories can magically transform your dry sales pitch into an emotional rollercoaster for your audience. Stories add credibility to a brand’s persona. Additionally, stories can invoke curiosity and capture the imagination of consumers.
But is it easy to find a good story around your brand? No. But the good news is that it evolves with time and experience. Stories need to be tweaked on how users are responding to it.
Good stories are made of extraordinary circumstances, memorable encounters, or fascinating rewards. You have to think of your brand as a person and create a personality! You can find these stories within your friends and family and how they imagine your product or service.
7. Create a uniform brand presence
With so many options of different online, offline, and social media channels available, there is hardly anything like a typical customer journey anymore. You will often come across situations where your customers are checking you different channels or platforms.
With an omnichannel marketing plan on your side, you can approach your prospects and cater to their needs irrespective of the channel. This would provide them with a unified brand experience across all the channels and enhance their experience.
The familiarity with your brand, once you have a unified presence, will build trust. You want a clear message to be communicated to your customers and without confusing them. Their seamless brand experience can be ensured by giving them a consistent brand experience across channels.
So, whether you are communicating through a graphic, a text, or a design – you need to make sure your message remains coherently unified.
You need to invest time and research into knowing your customer. You will do just fine if you put in that extra effort in understanding your customers. It will pay rich dividends in optimizing your omnichannel marketing plan.