Today, marketing is undergoing major transformations. It's moving away from mass, "push"-based marketing, and towards more personalized, 1:1 communication with consumers, through the many channels and on the many devices that they use. Today, customer engagement requires much more effort than merely broadcasting to the masses. The lines between what we do online and in real life have begun to blur, and brand experiences need to remain consistent.
The effectiveness and return on ad spend of print media, television ads, and blast email campaigns are on the decline. Unfortunately, when it comes to omnichannel, multi-device marketing, the expectations of today's consumers are way ahead of some marketers.
Omni-channel/multi-channel marketing is often referred to as the seamless integration between online and offline customer experiences. The term "omni-channel" refers to a significant shift. Consumers can now engage with a company in a physical store, on an online website or mobile app, through a catalog, or through social media. In fact, more than 85% of millennials and 75% of baby boomers are ready for omnichannel interactions, and six out of ten luxury sales are now swayed by digital approaches such as researching online before purchasing offline. These interactions include how consumers use multiple devices, across multiple channels, and media outlets for news, social interaction, job searches, shopping, and solutions for work, business, and life. Today, consumers can access products and services by calling a company on the phone, by using an app on their smartphone, or with a tablet, a laptop, or a desktop computer. This multi-channel sales approach provides the customer with an integrated shopping experience. Each piece of the consumer's experience should be consistent, complementary, and seamless.
A strong digital presence across multiple platforms is imperative to reaching searching consumers. Consumers today interact with brands across multiple channels and increasingly, consumers are turning to their smartphones as their first point of contact. In fact, mobile apps have "converted 200-300% higher than mobile sites", which means in addition to establishing more engagement with shoppers, brands can generate significant lift in revenue by closing the conversion gap. For example, as voice search becomes an increasingly popular method of customer discovery, businesses should continue to invest in campaigns across channels to ensure that their omnichannel/multichannel marketing is accurate and up-to-date so that these investments are not only efficiently driving foot traffic but increasing sales.
It's important to distinguish how your business is adapting to this change in marketing. In a Hubspot article, author Aaron Angius writes that "all omni-channel experiences will use multiple channels, but not all multi-channel experiences are omni-channel". It is important to realize that you can have amazing mobile marketing, engaged social media campaigns and a well designed website but if they all don't work together, you're not taking a truly omni-channel approach. Omni-channel companies align their messaging, goals, objectives, and design across each channel and device. They'll have online channels like a website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter and physical ad space. They use each of these platforms to engage and connect with customers. That knowledge is then used to deliver a seamless, integrated experience.
Interested in integrating an omnichannel approach to determine a cross-channel strategy for your brand or business? At Yext, we take your online presence and optimize it to perform at its best! To consistently engage your customers across any platform, check out The Yext Answers Platform. Our platform acts as the single source of truth for the public facts about your brand and puts you in control of those facts across 100+ digital services globally.