The term “omnichannel marketing” is rising in popularity among marketers. But what does it actually mean?
Although it may feel like a fad or a buzzword, the concept behind omnichannel marketing isn’t new. Stemming from what’s known as multi-channel marketing, omnichannel marketing seeks to take all of a company’s marketing channels and interconnect and personalize them for a seamless, high end brand experience.
First, we need to understand multi-channel marketing.
With the current marketing landscape being heavily social media focused, many people’s first instinct is to assume that this means using multiple social media platforms. While technically this isn’t incorrect, an effective multi-channel strategy goes even further.
Different channels in a multi-channel marketing strategy might include:
- Social Media (Resource: Planning Social Media Content for 2022)
- Email Marketing
- Your Website (Resource: Must-Have Pages For Your Business Website)
- Paid Digital Advertising
- Events and Tradeshows
- Professional Groups
- Referral Programs
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but the idea is to demonstrate how diverse a multi-channel strategy can be both online and offline.
Omnichannel marketing takes multi-channel marketing and interconnects it all, creating a customized response based on each unique individual
This sounds great, but the actual strategy behind how to make it work can be complex and requires a holistic overview of the different paths a customer might take to purchase.
As an example, let’s look at what that might look like for a real estate agent.
- First, you need to raise brand awareness. This might include sharing information about yourself and the market through social media, paid ads, or mailers. These channels would ideally direct traffic toward your website in order to distinguish who is interested in real estate services. This would kickoff the beginning of the customer journey.
- Once the lead clicks through to your website, you can begin to create different paths based on their actions. For example, when a lead visits your listings page, you can create ads to retarget them and offer to provide updates as soon as you have new listings available. If they visit your about page, you can create a retargeting ad introducing yourself. You can then use those ads as an opt-in to request their contact information.
- From there, you can utilize communication channels such as personalized emails, texting, and calls. Once you understand their goals, you can continue to personalize your marketing even more.
This is of course very simplified as we only considered a few different directions that the lead might go. However, it still demonstrates the personalization at every stage along the customer journey.
The biggest differentiation between multi-channel and omnichannel marketing is that while multi-channel utilizes the reach of multiple marketing channels, omnichannel marketing customizes the experience based on the actions of each individual.
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