20 May 2020

The extensive options for online advertising and how to meet different audiences’ expectations seems to be very confusing at first. But here is a quick guide to help you out when choosing the best channel to amplify your message.

Online vs. offline. Should I really think that way?

Let’s say you craft and sell vegan soap bars. Because you are responsible for the whole production and sales, selling your products online is convenient. You develop a logo, a nice website and an effective ecommerce platform, sales are going well and you can predict which scents are the most popular ones. You are on top of everything.

Now, imagine you’ve been invited to display your products in a local market. It’s time to think about your stall, how you will display the different items and where your logo will be positioned.

In those different scenarios the products are the same, your brand has the same name, but on top of that, you want your potential clients to acknowledge your company both in the online world and at the market.

The visitor’s experience of your stall will be maximised once they try your soap, but the next contact they may have with your brand could be with your online store.

That’s a simple example of why the line between the online and real worlds has been diminishing. Brand awareness will not be built just in relation to types of channels, but the result of understanding your customer journey and how you can use many relative channels to promote your business.

“The best deal isn’t relevant if you are not talking to the right audience.”

Not long ago, marketing and communication strategies were all about spreading the same message across multiple channels. However, thanks to the internet and digital developments, brands are now capable of optimising marketing investments and communicating in a smarter way.

Imagine you own a pharmacy and you are planning a massive price reduction of a specific brand of nappies that hasn’t been selling well. Should you communicate it on radio and free to air television? Or maybe an in-store campaign combined with online targeting of people who have been searching for similar products located in your neighbourhood would give you better results?

Something else you should keep in mind when choosing the best channels is what are the digital information and data collection practices in today’s world. Have you noticed that once you search a product on Google, you keep seeing ads related to your search? Well, your customers have noticed it as well. And they are expecting you to be there for them. People are getting used to receiving desired content only. For example, Spotify delivers suggestions based on what users are listening to. Same happens with YouTube. So, if your ad is not relevant to a specific person, not only won’t you reach your marketing and business goals, but also, your brand can become a little bit annoying.

“Connecting online and offline and using multiple platforms.” But how? Omnichannel is what you are looking for.

Omni is a Latin word meaning ‘all’.

It’s all about focusing on your customer experience, keeping consistent across all your communication channels and how your services and products are offered.

Customer services

Improving your customer support and their overall experience is essential. For example, Metapack consumer research found half of Australians abandoned their online carts because the delivery options didn’t meet their needs. Other researches around the world have discovered important indicators about the importance of customer services:

  • 54% of millennials will stop doing business because of poor customer service. 50% of Gen Xers and 52% of baby boomers say the same. – Conversion
  • 67% of customers have quit a brand because of bad customer service. But only 1 in 26 unhappy customers complains – Kolsky

Keeping that in mind, it’s time to build your omnichannel strategy.

How to build an omnichannel strategy

First of all, think about your audience as a single person. We call them personas.

Try to identify what is this person’s demographic information, what they do for work, what is their marital status, if they have kids, their age, income and education. Then think about what this person’s favourite type of communication is? For example, is it blog posts, eDMs or social media?

Next step is to think about their personal or professional goals (according to the type of product you offer), and what are the biggest challenges they face every day? How you can help your persona to accomplish their goals and beat the challenges?

After picturing your persona, it’s time to prepare your message. Please keep in mind it needs to be relevant and problem-solving.

Having your message in hand, you can start thinking of different channels and how to deliver relevant content in a continuous way. You want to ‘stick’ to your customers in every step of their buying journey as you build a narrative. Don’t forget it includes the in-store experience, support, and any way your customer chooses to get in contact with your company.

Now it’s time to choose channels and different devices. A great way to decide on how to use them is monitoring. Have a look at how your target audience has been interacting online, how they behave in store, what your competitors have been doing and where. Research blogs and case studies. Get inspired!

Evaluating your campaign results is critically important. Make sure you keep an eye on your channel reports and customers’ feedback, and from time to time, make the adjustments to increase your performance.

I believe omnichannel marketing is the best way to translate the value of what you do best – your product and service – to your preferred audience, at the right touchpoint and intersection. Simple and effective.

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