Omni-channel Marketing and Multi-channel Marketing Explained
The goal of marketers hasn't changed over the years - to reach customers who might be interested in their products or services. What's changed is how marketers accomplish this goal. With technology, marketers have a crazy array of tools to identify and reach these customers, with varying levels of success. But customers have gotten more savvy and demanding as well, and have increasingly high standards in their experience. In today's competitive landscape, today's successful marketer must be using omni-channel marketing to reach the right customers, with the right content, in a consistent brand experience that is seamlessly integrated into their digital life.
Omni-channel is the next evolution of multi-channel marketing. With multi-channel marketing, the focus is on the platform or channel that you're using to reach customers. So you might have an email marketing plan, and a social media marketing plan, a Google ad marketing plan as well as other non-digital channels such as events and print ads. You create specific content for that channel and send it to a group. Then you do the same on another channel, but the process and targeting of the first channel is completely irrelevant. Each channel is its own silo of information or targeting.
Omni-channel marketing flips this model, putting the customer at the center of the process instead of the channel. Instead of using your channels to find your potential customers, you're using your potential customers to find their channels. You identify the target customer first, so you can understand them and create marketing content that resonates with them. Then you deliver it to them everywhere they are online. That ideal customer sees your message multiple times, as they move between electronic devices and from social media channels to websites to their inboxes.
The advantages of omni-channel is greatly increased efficiency. Marketers want to make the most out of limited budgets: why spend 3x as much to reach only a few people with poorly resonating content' With multi-channel marketing, you must create different audiences on every channel, hoping for some overlap, to reach those highly sought after target customers. That elusive goal of brand awareness and familiarity is tougher when you're just hoping your targeting on different channels will capture the same person. With omni-channel marketing, you are reaching those top targets multiple ways across multiple channels, ensuring they see your message multiple times.
Here's an example of how it works: let's say you're a B2B marketer, trying to reach customers for your company's payroll software. You might build or buy email lists and send out a drip campaign to raise awareness. At the same time, you might advertise on Facebook, using their targeting tools to find accounting professionals at the ideally-sized companies. You might also buy some display ads on Google ads, targeting some popular accounting keywords. This is a typical multi-channel marketing strategy. If you assume that a small subset of each of those audiences is the actively interested customer, the odds that they would be in two, much less all three, of those audiences is relatively small and gets smaller as your marketing spend on each channel goes down.
On the other hand, let's say you've identified your ideal customer is a C-suite executive in the finance department at companies with between 100 and 500 employees. With Versium REACH, you can:
- Build an audience of the most likely customers.
- View the Visualization to understand who they are - firmographic and demographic data, their most used social channels, their devices of choice, and more.
- Export the audience and upload them to your marketing campaigns to target them on the most popular channels they use.
Now you can create marketing campaigns that find them, over and over again, on the most popular channels they use. They can see your brand when they login to Facebook or LinkedIn at home, when they check their email on their phone, when they go online to shop.
Marketing campaigns centered around the customer: that is heart of omni-channel marketing. The most efficient use of a marketing budget is to find the right customers and deliver them your marketing message as consistently and often as possible. If you're still doing multi-channel marketing, you are probably spending far too much for far too little results. Omni-channel is the data-driven and efficient method for today's B2B marketers.