Omniscient omni channel marketing: Finding customers where they live

Finding customers

Envision a scenario in which a customer sees your product in a TV ad and stops by your website to research its attributes. The next day one of your ads pops up on his smartphone with a related coupon, after which he clicks a button to contact your call center and make the purchase.

That’s an example of omni channel marketing put to effective use, and it’s a growing trend in an era in which 66 percent of Americans own at least two digital devices and 98 percent alternate their use in a given day. These days, 68 percent of customers use between three and six touchpoints on their journey toward making a purchase, compared to 17 percent in 2000.

Optimizing multiple channels to get your message across offers you several advantages, including the ability to keep your product at the top of customers’ minds and the ability to fine-tune ads to different demographics attuned to different channels. Research shows such strategies pays off: in one study, companies with very strong omni channel customer engagement realized 9.5 percent annual revenue boosts and those with strong engagement realized 7.5 percent boosts, compared to weak-engagement firms with 3.4 percent boosts.

Still, a recent Experian study reports 81 percent of companies worldwide have been unable to achieve a single customer view across channels, primarily because they lack the technology to integrate multiple internal and external data sources and use them in real time. That’s a pain point for customers, 61 percent of whom said in a recent study they’ve been unable to shift channels for customer service purposes and 90 percent of whom simply expect such inconsistency.

“Brands that have implemented strategies to successfully meet consumers’ expectations understand that fundamental to this success is data — the right data, integrated in real-time,” states a related study on “Internal first-party data sets must be enhanced with additional third-party demographics. Basic characteristics such as age, income level and occupation must be augmented with richer insights into needs, wants and attitudes.”

Consider how these other suggestions may help your omni channel marketing strategy:

  • Segment. Become clear on exactly who you’re targeting and which channels they prefer for their day-to-day communications and business interactions. Some of the best marketing platforms on the market can get you started by streaming behavioral data from points of interaction with your brand.
  • Create. Decide on your marketing message, establishing different versions to appeal to your target customers — while upholding the guidelines of your brand image — across multiple channels. A/B testing as you launch your campaign can help determine which versions are most effective.
  • Choose channels. Your mix should depend on the research-based preferences and behavioral patterns of your target audiences.
  • Automate. Seek technology tools that can automatically send personalized, segmented content and messaging, allowing you to touch base with your customers every two to four weeks via email, mobile, phone, direct mail, social and/or targeted ads. The most efficient systems incorporate decision points for evaluation and execution of next best actions, sending messaging at times and intervals slated to achieve optimal success with consumers. “Modern brands like Netflix, Uber and Airbnb are already taking this personalized approach to marketing,” advises Fayyaz Younas on “They understand the needs of their consumer and communicate with them in a way that doesn’t feel like the old marketing style, but instead truly shows that they know each consumer on a personal level — making them feel like they’re not even being marketed to in the first place.”
  • Integrate. Avoid consumer confusion or disappointment by ensuring your channels work collectively to offer customers the same information, providing 360-degree customer views so each department understands what’s going on elsewhere in the company.
  • Hasten. Aim for speed of response to meet the expectations of time-starved customers, regardless of the channels they choose. Avoid any friction or service interruption that might cause them to abandon their purchases.

Research shows omni channel strategies can go a long way in fostering loyalty among customers. One study determined omni channel shoppers represent a 30 percent greater lifetime value than single-channel customers while spending 4 percent more per purchase and 10 percent more online.

“Brands across all industries are sitting up and taking note,” writes Alice Chen on “It’s all about the customer journey now — one that is unified, responsive and agile. Give consumers a consistent, simple and frictionless experience, and they will give you their business.”