What does omnichannel mean?
Omnichannel means integrating every channel so that you recognize the same customer across various channels and devices. It’s different from a multi-channel approach, which uses multiple channels but does not connect them, resulting in a disjointed customer experience and leaving marketers with data silos.
How to leverage omnichannel marketing
To implement an omnichannel marketing strategy at scale, you first need a tech stack that automates marketing processes like data collection, data cleansing, identity resolution, and digital campaign execution.
Collect customer data
It's not a matter of collecting just any customer data, but data that helps you achieve your business goals and create personalized customer experiences. For example, if you have a SaaS product and want to increase conversions from free trial to paid subscription by 10%, you’d collect data about how customers use your software, engagement levels for different features, complaints raised about your product, and the like.
To collect customer data, you need to get website visitors to sign up for an account and give you their name and email address, so you can recognize them when they use your site or app. Think of other data sources that you need to connect to your data platform as well. Aside from the obvious marketing channels, you can get first-party data from customer support chats, sales interactions, service requests, and brick-and-mortar retail records. Integrating all of your data sources lets you build a single customer view that reveals each customer’s journey with your brand so far.
Data analysis lets you go beyond surface-level personalization, like just using a person’s first name in a message. By digging into the how and why of customer behavior, you can yield insights like what channels a customer prefers for specific interactions during certain times of the day, as well as which marketing activities are effective in achieving your goal (e.g., boosting conversion rates).
Create customer journey maps
Customer journey maps are visual representations of those interactions across every stage of the customer lifecycle. By building these maps, you’ll learn more about the role each channel plays in product discovery, conversion, customer loyalty, and other stages.
Support your brand identity
An omnichannel approach lets you deliver on your brand promise. Walgreens, for instance, wants to be the go-to brand for pharmacy and health products, so buying from them should be a breeze. They revamped their prescription refill process to achieve just that. A customer can use the Walgreens app to scan the barcode on their medicine bottle, automatically generating a refill request from a local store. Walgreens also sends email reminders that come with an order form when a customer is due for a refill.
Test, test, test
A/B tests reveal which channels—and which actions and content within each channel—are most effective in helping you achieve your goal.
For example, to increase free trial conversion, you’d test things like:
Whether making a certain feature available to free trial users will get them to convert faster
Which marketing channel is most effective for re-engaging free trial users who have not used your product in the last five days
Percentage of converted customers who completed your product tutorial