How to Build an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy for Your Small Business

Omnichannel Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses
Raul Harman
  • May 16, 2019
  • Comments Off on How to Build an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy for Your Small Business
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Omnichannel Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses

As technology keeps evolving, the line between the online and offline world is beginning to blur. Namely, with the rise of social media, automation tools, and AI, your customers have become more demanding and tech-savvy. They now expect you to provide them with real-time feedback and services.

Still, just building your brand presence across a plentitude of channels won’t help you increase user experience. Namely, Google’s statistics claim that 85% of online buyers begin their purchase on one device or channel and finish it on another.

That is why you need to focus on integrating your marketing and customer support channels into a seamless, omnichannel experience people can rely on whenever they want.

The Importance of Collaboration between Marketing and Sales Teams

Just like it was mentioned above, omnichannel marketing integrates multiple channels (both online and offline) you use to communicate with your consumers. By uniting the strengths of each marketing platform and channel, you will increase the consistency of your brand messaging.

Now, building the omnichannel marketing strategy is a complex procedure that requires the collaboration between your organization’s different departments, including marketing, sales, product, and customer support teams.

Your first goal is to ensure that everyone knows the goals of an omnichannel approach to marketing. Speak with employees, from project managers to junior customer satisfaction representatives to help them understand the purpose of this customer-centric approach. They need to know how their actions impact customers and what they should do to collaborate more proactively.

Build your Strategy on Accurate Data

A solid omnichannel marketing strategy is based on understanding a customer. Collect customer information and feedback from multiple resources to learn more about your customers’ needs, demands, and problems. Observe their behaviors – their purchasing habits, social media discussions, user profiles, interactions with a customer support team, chatbots, and CRM software.

Based on the data you collect, you should segment your audiences into groups. This is the only way to understand their buyer journeys and be able to personalize them. For example, if someone is at the top of the sales funnel, you shouldn’t send them bottom-funnel messages. Instead, you need to familiarize them with your brand and gradually guide them towards making a purchase.

Create a Cohesive Online-to-Offline Marketing Tactic

You need to centralize your branding, marketing, and customer support channels to provide a consistent omnichannel experience. It’s good that businesses are starting to see the importance of omnichannel customer experiences. According to the Target Marketing report, over 75% of them claim that this is an important, fairly important, or very important part of their online presence.

First, Provide a Cohesive Multi-Channel Customer Experience Online

For starters, prioritize the importance of customer experience. Make it easier for them to find you online, learn more about you, and buy from you.

Build a visually-appealing and highly responsive website that provides seamless customer experiences, irrespective of the device they use.

Then, leverage the power of social networks. Use social media monitoring tools to stay on top of your customers’ conversations and take part in them actively.

Implement AI technologies like chatbots. Chatbots are becoming the nerve center of any successful on-demand marketing strategy. They let your customers ask questions, stay on top of your brand news, browse products, and make purchases all from a single platform.

At the heart of any solid omnichannel marketing technology stack is CRM that helps you record each buyer journey, track your customers’ purchasing habits, and personalize your services in the future.

Then, Integrate Online Marketing Tactics with Offline Ones

Traditional marketing still matters. Statistics show that 40% of consumers are still influenced by offline ads when making online purchases.

Sure, when I say “offline,” I don’t necessarily mean TV ads, magazine ads, business cards, or billboards. For example, using promotional printing is one of the oldest and yet most effective brand promotion tactics. According to the Advertising Specialty Institute, 86% of consumers memorize brands that gift them a shirt or a cap. This is a great way to increase your brand awareness and turn your prospect audiences into paying customers.

Directly mailed catalogs are one of the most effective offline marketing effort with a high open and response rate. Research shows that 54% of customers want to get printed catalogs in their mail, while 56% of consumers that responded to direct mail also visited the brand’s offline or online store.

So, how to integrate online and offline marketing?

There are numerous ways to do so and here are some of them:

  • Use QR codes

Quick Response codes are a kind of barcodes, containing details about your business that can be read on mobile devices. Namely, you can use them on different offline marketing materials, such as business cards, flyers, direct mail, product packaging, storefronts – any type of printed materials you use to promote your brand.

A while ago, JC Penney launched ‘Santa Tags.’ Namely, a customer could wrap their present into a wrapping paper that has a QR code on it. Once they scanned the code, recipients could hear a personalized message a gift giver recorded.

  • Launch ‘to be continued’ campaigns

In other words, your goal is to spark your audience’s interest in your brand. For example, you could create a strong narrative in a form of a TV ad, radio ad, magazine article, or billboard to inspire users to visit your website to learn more about you. Always include QR codes and links to make it easier to find you online.

  • Digitize customers’ offline experiences

Why not create an app and let them reload their card both in-store and online? That is exactly what Starbucks does. When you’re in line waiting to get your pumpkin spice latte and you see you don’t have enough money, you can simply reload your balance through your app instantly.

Disney also takes the omnichannel approach very seriously. They’ve created a tool that can serve as a hotel room key, food ordering software, and a photo storage platform.

  • Implement near-field technologies

Just like their mere name says, near-field technologies provide contactless communication between a mobile device and another compatible device. You could use it to increase in-store customer experiences.

This is what Timberland does. Namely, they provide each shopper with a tablet they can press against the chip to find all product details they need. Moreover, as consumers keep searching for different kinds of items, the personalization tool on the tablet will recognize their needs and offer personalized product recommendations.

Over to You

Omnichannel marketing gives you the opportunity to provide seamless user experiences, regardless of the channel your customer use. You just need to implement it according to the needs of your brand and audiences.

Hope these tips will help!

About the Author, Raul Harman

Raul Harman

My name is Raul, editor in chief at Technivorz blog. I have a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. You can find me on Twitter and Facebook.

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