The Benefits of an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
One thing that holds back modern marketing strategy is, well, time and resources. There’s seemingly a million different ideas you could pursue and every day there’s a new long-form on Medium or Forbes saying how marketers 10x’ed their ROI with their email strategy or built a 1M-person list in 18 days through social channels.
Ultimately, there are only so many hours in a week, and a certain amount of people and resources that you have. Many marketers face the challenge of dividing their time and resources among their marketing channels.
The big buckets
For most organizations—with some variance, of course—the big buckets of marketing efforts go towards:
- Social Media
- Display and retargeting
- Direct Marketing/Mail
- Email Marketing
- App/Mobile Marketing
- Event/Trade Show Marketing
Some marketers look at these channels as almost competing with each other. And there is some truth to this—each requires time to build out and time dedicated to one is effectively time away from another.
Broadly, however, they do not. That’s what “omnichannel” is all about—maximizing your efforts on each channel to draw the most people into your brand. It’s not about one singular channel, but instead about how they can best interact and encourage each other.
Everything should complement each other.
App / Social / Email
Because these three are inherently tied to a person’s phone, they are often grouped together. Some brands will over-focus on Instagram, for example, because it’s “hot” right now among millennials and Gen Z. Having such focus on a brand’s social channel may take away from the time and resources from app strategy.
Or many brands have spent years building a strong email list and devote all of their energy into their email strategy. But without social and app channels, these brands miss out on entire audiences within their market.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. These channels can all work together and encourage the others. Here’s how it could look, for example:
Big event: A wireless provider launches a new product.
- The Social Strategy: Build a community around what you can offer. Let’s say it’s a notification system for wireless customers regarding their data usage. On Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, post videos and solicit stories of data fails—data running out before an important deadline, family arguments about who uses the most data, hitting your max just before the Super Bowl winning touchdown—we all have our worst case scenario. Build a discussion around “This is a pain point and here’s how we can solve it.” Social is less about the overt sell and more about building traction with a community to establish trust so that the eventual sell is more natural.
- The In-App Strategy: Redesign the app so that the new feature is front and center when customers enter. Have a quick referral button so they can tell their friends how cool this new notification system is. Send push notifications to users when the feature drops, and send again when they clear 2 GB of usage, to remind them that the feature is on-going. Consider using web push, too, in order to reach those not explicitly in-app.
- Email Strategy: Send one big email announcing the new service. For those that engaged with that email, set up a flow explaining the service and up-selling other services. Plan a two-week email campaign based on whether people are still clicking into later emails. For the people who didn’t engage with the initial email, resend it 7-10 days later and put them into a drip campaign based on their subsequent actions. Make it easier for people to share and forward any interesting services or tidbits.
In this way, social is designed to build community, the app is designed to be a hub for user action, and email is a way to drive current and potential users into both the social community and the app.
All three complement each other and none step on the toes of the other two.
The end result of an omnichannel strategy will be far greater than any singularly utilized channel, for both the end user and your brand.