From the billboard on your work commute to the shopping cart reminder in your email, notable, everyday brands are successfully using omnichannel strategies to provide the most value to consumers.

As defined by Marketing Evolution, omnichannel marketing creates a seamless, impactful customer experience by developing strategic branding, messaging, and online and offline touchpoints to enable consumers to move down the sales funnel.

These days, for example, I’m feeling particularly targeted by one specific luggage company after Google searching possible holiday destinations for the upcoming season. Sound familiar? Yup, that ad you saw on Instagram was not a coincidence.

In this omnichannel world, it is critical to not only give customers what they want and when they want it but to predict what their needs may be and meet them where they are at. There is no doubt that in today’s information age, the physical and digital worlds are so complexly intertwined that the use of both must be strategized for bare minimum success.

With large organizations and multinational corporations having this concept on lock, smaller businesses are faced with the challenge of standing out among giants and providing more value to consumers. All too often, though, day-to-day operations prevent small business owners from seeing the bigger picture, putting the customer first, and unlocking the same potential in their marketing efforts. An investment into a well-developed omnichannel marketing strategy, however, will be the key to facing this challenge, especially as technologies and consumer needs evolve.

To help you, I’ve asked five experts to share insight on the value implementing an omnichannel approach in your business strategy. From corporate to small business, they make the argument for embracing a customer-first approach.

“It’s hard not to have an overall plan where the customer is receiving your brand in a way that caters to them and solves their problem before they even know it.

For example, my client is on their way to launching an app in 2022 to help integrate every aspect of the business. As their marketing director, it’s also up to me to make sure a special, new menu item, or announcement is told on every possible platform so our audience is fully informed. Whether is social media, Yelp & google business, the in-store posters and TVs, magazine ads and the website, it’s important that the message is the same across the board so customers don’t have to wonder what’s going on – it’s already there.

I have clients who will only want one service of mine but once they see that they actually need every piece of the pie, my job gets more fun and cohesive that way. It’s time consuming and takes a lot to set up but once you get in that groove of that mentality and have everything set up, it’s a lot easier to manage and the results are way better.”

“Embracing a customer-first approach includes understanding the role storytelling plays. Your ability to do this effectively is what is going to have you stand out among the rest. To story tell your brand effectively, you will want to follow these three simple steps:

– Know your customer base

– Be genuine

– Design with sharing in mind

Not everyone will be a right fit for your brand. Defining your customers and curating a genuine experience for them is key. Lastly, as you are curating content, make sure to design something share-worthy to create momentum.”

“An omnichannel strategy, especially for a small business, helps remove the friction points. Focusing on this approach is key because it brings the product or service to the customer where they are rather than having unique experiences across multiple channels. Setup may take a little more time, but an investment in it would make business easier in the long run.” 

“As someone who designs websites and leverages this as a key communication tool for companies, the pandemic has helped shift how companies approach their website. Companies are finding new ways to communicate with their customers via chatbots or AI to find additional touchpoints in the digital customer journey to be able to answer questions or give direct feedback in real-time. Allowing for this additional communication channel helps make websites much more interactive and ultimately can provide invaluable help to consumers if needing additional guidance.”

“I specialize in creating unique customer experiences by automating my company’s marketing processes. The channels we use like email and chat bot messaging not only maximize our efficiency but make it easier for our customers to get connected with us immediately, find what they need, close the deal, and get on their way.

So, while technologies have advanced rapidly over the last ten years, forcing marketing efforts across the board to become more dedicated, there are also tried and true strategies that help businesses, no matter the size, to maximize their potential. Larger organizations like ATP set an example for how small businesses can scale similar efforts to their needs. It’s just all about putting the customer first.”

Today and as we approach the future, it will become more important than ever for small businesses to learn the strategies of larger corporations and become more intuitive to consumer needs to be successful.

Omnichannel marketing is everywhere – try standing on the shoulders of these giants to make your way.

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