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Omni-Channel Marketing: Seamless Customer Experience Across Channels

02 Jun
Images showing multi-channel commerce

“Omni” is a Latin prefix that means “all,” while “channel” refers to a way that a person might engage with a brand. When a business interacts with customers over multiple channels, using whatever channel consumers prefer—at a physical store, through SMS or email communication, via social media or over a brand’s mobile app—that’s omni-channel marketing.1

With over 50% of customers using three to five channels to interact with a business, providing a seamless cross-channel experience has become a necessity. Today, customers expect consistent brand information and interactions, regardless of how they engage with an organization.2 Read on to learn strategies and technological tools companies can use to implement omni-channel marketing.

What is an omni-channel marketing strategy and why is it important?

An omni-channel marketing strategy involves creating a unified customer experience across all channels, online and offline. The goal is to keep a brand’s message consistent and make it easy for customers to interact with a business however they prefer.3

To build an effective omni-channel marketing strategy, marketers need to create a seamless customer journey map. The map shows how and where someone interacts with a company from the moment they discover the brand to when they buy the company’s products.4

The omni-channel approach can be a powerful method to meet customers where they are and serve them via the channels they prefer.1 Other benefits of omni-channel marketing include:5,6

  • It helps an organization create personalized messages and provide tailored experiences for its audiences, no matter where prospects encounter the brand
  • It ensures that a brand’s presence and messaging are consistent across all marketing channels, to avoid confusing consumers and increase customer satisfaction
  • By catering to diverse channel preferences, it enables firms to reach new customer segments

Cross-channel engagement is the new expectation in marketing, but that doesn’t mean it's easy to achieve. After all, the more channels people use to interact with a company, the more complex a brand’s customer journeys are.7 So, what strategies can organizations use to improve their omni-channel efforts and foster customer loyalty?

Omni-Channel Marketing Strategies

Organizations can leverage the following strategies in their omni-channel campaigns.

1. Deploy Advanced Data Integration

Data integration is the backbone of omni-channel integration. Suppose a business has siloed customer data: consumers’ website activities in one data storage system, social media interactions in another and in-store purchases in a third. The disconnection among these data points makes it difficult to understand the complete customer journey.8

Data integration solves this problem by bringing together a business’ customer data from multiple channels—website, app, social media and more—into one central platform. As a result, it creates a single source of truth that provides a complete picture of how each customer interacts with a brand.9

Tools such as Zapier and MuleSoft unify consumer data from multiple sources to ensure that actions, such as adding a product into an online cart, reflect in a customer’s profile on every channel where the individual interacts with a brand.10

With a unified view of customer interactions, businesses can personalize campaigns based on a person’s behavior, preferences and purchase history across channels. This can improve the impact of omni-channel marketing.10

2. Implement Consistent Messaging and Branding

Consistent messaging involves using the same brand tone, logo, colors and voice across all promotional materials, social media platforms (where the organization has a presence) and channels (online or offline).11 Consistency across all platforms can help build a brand identity that people can trust and easily recognize. Because this uniformity is also vital in meeting customer expectations, it can enhance the omnichannel customer experience.12

Strategies for providing a consistent experience for customers through branding include:12

  • Creating a comprehensive brand guide that covers all branding aspects of an organization, including visual elements, voice and messaging tone; businesses can use it to inform all marketing efforts to ensure consistency in promotional content and materials
  • Regularly updating brand elements as old graphics, fonts and colors may no longer resonate with customer preferences and market trends; revamping them with modern options can change a brand’s look and feel, helping to keep it relevant across different channels
  • Training marketing teams to understand brand guidelines; effective internal communication plays an essential role in making sure every marketing professional in an organization has access to the same training materials

3. Ensure Seamless Transition Between Online and Offline Interactions

When offline and online customer touchpoints are well interconnected, they can provide customers with an immersive experience. They make it possible for someone to start interacting with a brand online and seamlessly continue where they left off in a physical store–or begin an interaction offline and finish it online.13

Take geofencing, for instance. It’s a marketing technique that bridges the gap between online and in-store purchases.14 It involves creating virtual boundaries, or geofences, around a brand’s physical locations and leveraging digital technologies, such as GPS, mobile networks and Wi-Fi.15 When target customers who have downloaded the brand’s app enter these boundaries in the real world, they automatically receive personalized offers designed to persuade them to visit a nearby store and make a purchase. Starbucks is one of the brands that uses geofencing most effectively.15

BOPIS is another example of an omni-channel retail strategy with a seamless transition between online and offline customer interactions. The abbreviation stands for "buy online, pick up in store." It involves customers purchasing an item online and picking it up at one of the brand’s physical stores.16 This allows them to collect their orders whenever and wherever it is convenient for them. Consumers are also able to examine their online orders in store, so if there are any problems, they can instantly exchange the products for something else.16

Lead the Field as a Marketing Expert With an Online MSM

Today’s marketers have multiple strategies, platforms and technologies to learn. The Online MS in Marketing program from the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University equips candidates with the skills to run successful marketing campaigns in the modern age.

Become proficient in integrated marketing communications to create unified brand messages that resonate with your target audience across channels. Graduate with in-depth knowledge of digital marketing strategies, such as social media advertising, search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising.

Whether you aim to become a marketing manager, chief marketing officer or director of digital marketing, the flexible online program will prepare you to take on new roles with more responsibilities. At the same time, you can balance your education with your work and life.

Don’t wait to upskill and advance. Contact an admissions outreach advisor today to learn more about taking the next step in your professional development.

  1. Retrieved on April 12, 2024, from mckinsey.com/featured-insights/mckinsey-explainers/what-is-omnichannel-marketing
  2. Retrieved on April 12, 2024, from mckinsey.com/capabilities/operations/our-insights/redefine-the-omnichannel-approach-focus-on-what-truly-matters
  3. Retrieved on April 12, 2024, from blog.hubspot.com/service/omni-channel-experience
  4. Retrieved on April 12, 2024, from omnisend.com/blog/omnichannel-marketing/
  5. Retrieved on April 12, 2024, from advertising.amazon.com/library/guides/omnichannel-marketing
  6. Retrieved on April 12, 2024, from salesforce.com/eu/blog/omnichannel-strategy-benefits/
  7. Retrieved on April 12, 2024, from martech.org/3-steps-to-navigating-the-complex-customer-journey/
  8. Retrieved on April 12, 2024, from zendesk.com/blog/ways-data-silos-impact-business-knock/
  9. Retrieved on April 12, 2024, from ibm.com/topics/data-integration
  10. Retrieved on April 12, 2024, from forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2023/12/18/mastering-omnichannel-5-strategies-for-seamlessly-integrating-your-retail-channels/
  11. Retrieved on April 12, 2024, from indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/consistent-messaging
  12. Retrieved on April 12, 2024, from streamgo.events/articles/the-importance-of-brand-consistency-in-omni-channel-marketing
  13. Retrieved on April 12, 2024, from sproutsocial.com/insights/omnichannel-customer-experience/
  14. Retrieved on April 12, 2024, from forbes.com/sites/jiawertz/2017/11/22/how-geofencing-marketing-optimizes-the-online-experience/?sh=7cefbd7e4031
  15. Retrieved on April 12, 2024, from semrush.com/blog/geofencing-marketing/
  16. Retrieved on April 12, 2024, from fabric.inc/blog/commerce/bopis-guide-for-omnichannel-retail