How to Build an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
How to build an effective omnichannel marketing strategy.
Every customer interaction, no matter the device or channel it takes place on, provides key insight for businesses: that is, the context needed to deliver a continuous and personalized experience. Or in other words, an omnichannel experience.
Omnichannel and multichannel marketing are often confused with one another, but it’s important to point out a key difference. In a multichannel marketing strategy, a business utilizes multiple channels to connect with its customers, but these channels aren’t automatically connected (e.g., an interaction between a user and customer support agent could be unbeknownst to a product manager).
Omnichannel marketing, however, hinges on a single customer view to provide a unified experience across channels (whether it be in-store, online, email, social media, etc.). As a result, an omnichannel marketing strategy depends on having the right tools and data infrastructure to not only gain this consolidated view of a customer, but to engage with users in real time.
The tools needed to implement an omnichannel marketing strategy
There are several tools available to collect, manage, and analyze the data you need to deliver omnichannel experiences. Whether it's to personalize the customer experience, optimize your messaging, or employ automation to streamline marketing efforts, each tool plays an important role.
1. First-party data tools
First-party data is information you collect directly from your customers. We believe this data is the most valuable, not only for its accuracy, but because it speaks to your unique customer relationship. Not to mention, first-party data will help future-proof your business strategies as third-party cookies continue to be phased out.
There are a few different ways to collect first-party data, like with on-site forms (where people can enter email addresses, create an account, etc.), quizzes (e.g., customer satisfaction surveys, onboarding surveys), or from tracking behavior like clicks and page views on your website or app.
With a customer data platform, you can consolidate data from users’ behavior on-site or in-app, along with the data collected in your various marketing, customer support, sales, or product marketing tools.
2. Customer segmentation tools
A key element of omnichannel marketing is personalization: or ensuring the right message reaches the right person, at the right time. This is where customer segmentation comes into play, when you divide your audience into different segments based on shared behaviors or characteristics. This allows you to customize marketing communications, and deliver best-in-class experiences.
For example, you can tailor email campaigns based on someone’s recently viewed products or the industry they work in. Or, for premium members, you can ensure customer support prioritizes their request (as specified in your SLA).
Many tools have customer segmentation capabilities built in (like in various email marketing platforms). But with a solution like Twilio Engage, you can go a step further, creating highly nuanced audience segments based on a person’s entire history with your brand.
An example of creating a specific audience, based on user behavior, in Twilio Engage.
3. Email marketing tools
Email is a highly popular marketing channel that allows businesses to strengthen their customer relationships in a “one-on-one” format. Email marketing can also help automate customer interactions based on behavior that takes place on different channels (e.g., triggering a cart abandonment email).
You can try a variety of different tactics with email, like:
Tailoring newsletter content based on customers’ shown interests
Offering a discount for products they’ve viewed recently
Re-engaging users who’ve tapered off in recent weeks
A tool like Twilio Sendgrid can help scale your email marketing strategy, and monitor the performance of each campaign.
4. Live chat & support tools
Live chat has become increasingly popular among customers, especially when it comes to engaging with a brand (42% of consumers said live chat was their preferred communication channel, when compared to email or social media). It’s also become a staple of customer support, helping to prioritize incoming requests and solve problems at a faster rate.
Live chat and support tools are crucial resources for businesses to better understand their customers, their needs, and how to improve their experiences. Tools like Zendesk and Twilio Flex help businesses manage incoming requests and scale support.
How to construct a successful omnichannel marketing strategy
Once you have the right tools in place, follow these best practices to craft a winning omnichannel marketing strategy.
1. Consolidate your data into one place
Omnichannel depends on having a holistic, real-time view of your customer and their behavior across channels. This means data consolidation is an absolute must for businesses. With a customer data platform, businesses can automate data consolidation and cleanliness at scale, to ensure one source of truth exists across the organization.
An example of a unified customer profile in Twilio Segment, which updates in real time and shows a person’s behavior from across channels.
2. Segment your customers based on the channels they use
As we said before, customer segmentation is a critical step when trying to personalize an experience. Should you be promoting paid ads to existing customers? No, that’s inefficient and a waste of ad spend. Do you want to offer a discount to a customer who’s engagement rates have been on a decline? Yes, it’s a great way to hopefully bring them back to your business.
It’s important to segment customers based on what channels they use and prioritize. Once you know the medium, you can adjust the message, and ensure you’re not wasting time and money on channels your customers don’t frequent. Here’s how to automatically message a person on their preferred channel.
3. Customize content, messaging, and CTAs across channels to meet customers where they are
Today's consumer researches, browses, and shops on a variety of channels. Part of providing a successful omnichannel strategy is reaching your audience at all these touchpoints with a customized message. One example of this is making your website mobile-friendly, to ensure content doesn’t alienate a person browsing on their smartphone.
Another is adapting your copy depending on the medium: for Instagram, it might be all about the visual, whereas LinkedIn might provide more of an opportunity to tell a story via text.
Create a consistent omnichannel customer experience with Twilio Engage
Built on top of a customer data platform, Twilio Engage is a customer engagement solution that pairs unified customer profiles with communications APIs and hundreds of integrations. This empowers businesses with the ability to understand a user's complete customer journey and interact with them on their preferred channels in a personalized way.
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