Omnichannel Marketing the “Unicorn” that Business Strategists Need to Tame
The rise of fragmented consumer markets due to technology and communication changes is making it more challenging for the traditional marketer. The days where advertisers could invest their media budget into one media channel are long-gone. In less than twenty years, more than three generations have shifted the way they consume information. In the past, it was easier to predict the channels people would interact with.
The traditional marketing channels of television, print and radio exposed businesses to thousands or even millions of consumers who would be triggered to learn more, purchase or recommend products or services that were advertised to them. Their daily behaviour were often predictable, since most people would follow routines such as consuming information through a newspaper, television or radio during breakfast, lunchtime or dinner on most days.
Fast forward to 2017 and you will find people proactively searching for content and information that is tailored to their interests on-demand. Even though people still consume information through traditional sources, there are different touch points that will influence the actions that they will take. Scrolling through a social media news feed and being presented with an ad or having them download an application to their smartphone that will enhance their experience and increase their loyalty to a brand. The rise of omnichannel marketing has been impressive and it is here to stay. Advertisers that haven’t jumped on board will not only lose their competitive advantage, but they stand to play ‘catch-up’ in a crowded and rapidly changing marketplace.
How should advertisers start incorporating omnichannel marketing in their strategy?
Australian agency The Shannon Company, who specialise in behaviour change recommend that advertisers develop a cohesive story across all of the marketing communication channels that consumers interact with. Advertisers must leverage ad delivery platforms, data management, silo marketing tactics and and analytics suites in order to reach and customise experiences for their target audience.
Advertisers must work towards developing a seamless experience through their purchase journey.
Advertisers need to develop processes that will predict the behaviour and touchpoints that the customer will experience. It’s important that advertisers not only trigger the intent for the consumer to take action, but that they continue to nurture the outcome of the conversation with the customer by communicating with them though the platforms that they interact with. Advertisers need to know where their consumers are consuming information. For example, are they consuming information through:
- Social media
- Search listings
- News feeds
- Traditional media
For example, a young lady looking for her perfect wedding ring might be presented with an wedding ring video advertisement based on her relationship status. She visits the retailer’s website, but decides not to take any action.
However, the retailer’s site has dropped a pixel on her. She then gets retargeted through Facebook and their audience network, which includes Instagram. She is also targeted through paid search retargeting ads on Google Adwords and also on Google’s Display Network.
The emotional video content compels her to sign-up for an appointment and gets onto the retailer’s email list. She visits the store where she is also presented with an app that shows the different rings and they use augmented reality to let her show her friends when she is not in the store.
Traditionally, advertisers relied on the customer having a direct response to a siloed marketing channel. Even though it worked in the past (and in some cases, it still works), it is clear to see how omnichannel marketing needs to be used in advertising campaigns nowadays. Teradata published an article that shows how Disney, Sephora and Starbucks used Omnichannel marketing in their marketing campaigns from 2016.
Omnichannel marketing is necessary nowadays to narrate consumers through their consumer journey. For businesses operating in today’s tech savvy, crowded and fractured marketplace, Omnichannel is the way for businesses to capture, retain and motivate consumers behaviour.