Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Achieve Effective Messaging with Omnichannel Marketing," examines how omnichannel marketing effectiveness produces a cohesive brand with selective channel investments. Before we get started, we would like to wish all a Happy Valentine's Day! Love is the great healer, and we need to practice it more abundantly! Omnichannel is the next iteration of multichannel. Multichannel is the art of placing advertising and marketing collateral on every channel that the brand can afford to invest. In contrast, omnichannel is the art of putting marketing collateral in multiple media (including all channels a brand can afford), focusing on relevance, consistency, personalization, and the overall marketing communication strategy!
Conversely, single-channel marketing generally lacks personalization and frequently fails to achieve said goals when competing against omnichannel approaches. In 2020, an omnichannel research report stated marketers that invest in three or more channels in a single campaign enjoy a 287% higher purchase rate over and above those opting for a single-channel campaign; to experience the best results, all channels must get the right integration. Furthermore, the omnichannel process has now branched out with divergent applications and meanings.
Our Quote of the Day: "In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute." — Thurgood Marshall, the 1st African American Supreme Court justice
Separating Omnichannel from Multichannel
Throughout many marketing discussions, a debate occurs about the similarities and differences between multichannel versus omnichannel marketing. Some believe that the two strategies are similar; however, nothing could be farther from the truth. While both approaches utilize multiple channels to engage customers and prospects, they are distinctly separate concepts.
By definition, most think that multichannel marketing means engaging with prospects across various media platforms. One popular description that floats through the marketing halls of academia states that multichannel strategies focus on the where, with campaign channels consisting of publishing to areas such as a print ad, direct mail piece, website, retail location, event, word-of-mouth, and product packaging. That said, multichannel strategies are less concerned with producing seamless customer experiences. In most cases, multichannel tactics take place in a silo, with the marketing team members focusing on individual channels. In short, the multichannel approach is limited to focusing on getting the messaging out to the most channels that the brand can afford.
By contrast, omnichannel marketing merges consumer engagement personally, keeping the entire customer experience outcome in mind. Savvy marketers achieve this by ensuring that every marketing touchpoint is consistent from the consumer's perspective. That consistency can help place the brand on solid footing in terms of the customer and brand relationship. Multichannel is good and can be useful. However, omnichannel is so much better. Brands that develop excellent omnichannel customer experiences perform better overall. Some reports suggest that these organizations have, on average, a retention rate of 91% YTY versus brands that opt to forgo an omnichannel marketing strategy.
Marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk is a huge proponent of omnichannel marketing concepts. Mr. Vaynerchuk has famously provided proof of omnichannel results with a video demonstrating how marketers can repurpose a single piece of video marketing content into 30 plus pieces of content for 30 plus marketing channels. Mr. Vaynerchuk suggests that omnichannel marketing is the way to go from a customer viewpoint. Although, he'd be the first to admit that brands benefit equally as well. Brands and marketers that utilize content repurposing better position the brand to create seamless customer experiences. Brands can use all marketing content and collateral for videos, email marketing, direct mail marketing, social media, mobile, brochures, websites, podcasts, and any channel under consideration, even outdoor.
Omnichannel Brings Consistency
The multichannel marketing experience can deliver marketing collateral to multiple marketing channels for advertising. Insofar as having unified collateral for those marketing channels, multichannel strategies incorporate the omni concept to a point. However, because the marketing teams tend to work in silos, the customer experience may fall by the wayside or, worst, land on the proverbial experiential back burner. Ultimately, the effect can be disastrous if not thoroughly thought through.
For example, how many times have you purchased a product online only to receive a bevy of promotional email offers that ask you to repurchase the very same product? This type of marketing is a signal that the marketing is multichannel, not omni. When this happens, it generally means that the marketing team is not paying attention to the purchase data and are more than likely responding to emails that a CRM tool captured. It is also an example of marketing teams working in silos, who may lack the benefit of a comprehensive internal strategy designed to avoid these types of customer experience errors.
That said, organizations that are using an effective omnichannel strategy take significant steps to ensure that all internal departments (even beyond marketing) have been educated and are on board with all campaign marketing messages. This internal department buy-in generally includes social media, video, sales, customer service, customer support, and public relations. Internal buy-in and consistency are must-haves to execute a successful omnichannel marketing campaign.
Omnichannel Has Different Meanings
Some Omnichannel initiatives fail while others succeed. The key that reflects success is grounded in the process behind the omnichannel definitions.
Trader Joe's grocery chain has risen to the highest sales per square foot above all grocery chains in America. Stephen Dubner's Freakonomics podcast recently took a deep dive into the particulars behind TJ's success. Dubner discovered that not only is Trader Joe's low-tech, but it is "aggressively so." Imagine operating in an age where digital technology is taking over, and TJ's have no self-checkout aisles, void of online ordering capability or store side pickup. It gets even more profound, as TJ's doesn't have a customer loyalty program. The final kicker, TJ's does not collect a significant amount of customer data. Dubner interviewed an ad executive, Mark Gardiner, who worked for TJ's. Mr. Gardiner stated, "They don't market. They have a pretty good website now. But for years they had a rudimentary website. They had almost no social media presence. They had almost no kind of public relations." TJ's decided to focus on their most important links with the customers, reducing the number of 'channels' in the mix but doing them very well. In Tj's case, they changed the omnichannel definition from media outlets and data collection to people who shop. For example, while customers shop, TJ's teams stock shelves during the daytime to maximize customer interactions. TJ also uses an old-school paper announcement called the Fearless Flyer, which focuses on divergent product selections such as the new Dark Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Cups Jackfruit Cakes. The well-written product descriptions make the Fearless Flyer a channel.
The 2021 Omnichannel The following mediums are the preferred omnichannel mediums for 2021:
Television (if the budget can accommodate it)
B2B Omnichannel Marketing
B2B marketers mostly reject commentators that suggest B2B marketing should emulate B2C marketing concepts. Selling delicious treats in a grocery setting is a far cry from making tech operations as appealing as food choices. B2B marketers can learn from their B2C counterparts that B2C folks are at the forefront with customer messaging. B2C brand marketers generally understand how to maximize messaging. B2B executives and decision-makers are people too, and they respond to messages that resonate, from food to cars, to homes, to travel, tech, and the list goes on.
Therefore, just adding a myriad of channels that contain improperly messaged content may not raise the ROI bar. It's not the number of channels, but how one manages the channels and what key messaging is within each channel.
The pandemic's ongoing impact has put a significant strain on a variety of business models, including B2B, B2C, and D2C sectors. Therefore, as we continue to adjust our marketing considerations for 2021, including the channels we use, it is paramount that each business takes a look at key marketing messages within each of those channels. With omnichannel, the focus will always be on delivering the right content, at the right time, with the right set of channels, to provide the customer with the most value and a seamless experience, regardless of the medium. Remember, at the end of the day, content is still king, irrespective of the channel where customers consume the message. Happy Valentine's Day! Thanks for reading "Achieve Effective Messaging with Omnichannel Marketing!"
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