Starting 2022 in a third year of a global pandemic, we must concede the reality that we now operate in a world in which adaptability reigns supreme. As we welcome this mentality within our home and work lives, so too must we embrace it in the marketing world in how it is slowly dominating consumer attitudes, preferences, and behaviour.
This flexible mindset has made it even more difficult to predict the consumer journey. It has created further branches in the paths to purchase beyond the ever-increasing number of channels available. It is no longer a question of how many channels marketers must be present within, rather it is a question of how we can ensure that user journey flows between the brand touchpoints in the most consistent way possible, through the preferred times and channels for that individual user.
We see that this need for agility that is driving user behaviour necessitates that marketers move beyond multi-channel towards omni-channel marketing.
Multi-channel vs Omni-channel
With the many branches of the path to conversion already existing, most brands naturally utilise multi-channel marketing, where we are present in as many touch points as our budget allows. However, this often leads to us evaluating each channel for its own merits and in some cases, measuring channels through its own metrics. It also creates silos such as retargeting funnels that are solely concerned by engagement from that channel; or does not consider the existence of other channels as it builds frequency unnecessarily and claims conversions. This type of marketing also often communicates a singular message or offer oriented for the best practice for each channel but all directing the same engagement from the user, and therefore discounting the flexible mindset.
On the other hand, omni-channel marketing takes a step back and lets the user define their journey themselves. This is about getting the user within the ecosystem with the message they choose to connect through while the relationship with the brand is then built through a web of interconnected channels. It is not about being present in as many channels as possible rather it is about creating a seamless and consistent user experience irrespective of channel. It must be noted that omni-channel is a deliberate strategic approach as it requires investment in data and the development of interconnectedness of channels in order to foster the consistency in user experience desired.
Omni-channel fits the flexibility mindset best
In the same way that flexibility in our daily lives mean that we must be adaptable and responsive to the vastly different needs and expectations around us, the omni-channel approach asks marketers to go beyond intercepting users with the same message through many touchpoints to making users the centre of communication. This requires the thoughtful building of a consistent experience regardless of where they may fall in the user journey or the vehicle they choose to get there. This involves communicating different types of content across channels, accepting that we must offer journey options, be as agile as the user, and allow them to discover us in their most preferred way.
Its time to be adaptable and use our knowledge of cross-platform experiences to enhance the user journey. Get in touch with your ADMATICian to discuss how you can take your campaign strategy to the next level with an omni-channel approach.