With web content, social media, design, paid media, search engine optimization, demand generation, and more falling on marketing’s plate, marketers at companies of all sizes certainly have their work cut out for them. And with more customers expecting to have a consistent, personalized experience across all channels, it often feels like it would take a miracle to get all your tasks done without more resources. This year, many marketers are unfortunately finding themselves in a conundrum.
Budgets are being slashed or staying stagnant across the board due to the current economic position, leaving little room or time for adopting new technologies. Still, teams must innovate to remain competitive and ensure their content stands out from the noise. Despite stagnant budgets, there are still many paths you can take to establish personalized, omnichannel experiences without burning yourself out. Before we discuss how to build an omnichannel strategy with constrained resources, let’s go back to basics and build our understanding of what an effective omnichannel strategy looks like.
What Does a Great Omnichannel Marketing Strategy Look Like?
Every successful omnichannel marketing strategy should be:
Customer-centric: All design and messaging should be based on your customers’ preferences, behavior, and feedback. If your approach doesn’t prioritize their needs and wants as well as solve their toughest problems, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
Seamless and consistent: No matter which channel your customers are engaging with you on, they should be able to gain value from your content without interruptions or searching in multiple places.
Personalized: With so many brands competing for customers’ attention, personalizing your messaging will help your brands stand above the rest. Using the right mix of data and technology, you can begin to personalize each interaction based on individuals’ preferences, history, and behavior.
Data-Driven: Each touchpoint should be designed and implemented based on the customer data and insights you gain through your first-party data-capturing strategy. That way, you can measure success and continue to optimize strategy when necessary.
Collaborative: Your omnichannel marketing experience needs to be developed alongside other key players within the organization. Collaborate with marketing, sales, customer services and success, and others to ensure a consistent and seamless experience no matter what lifecycle stage a customer is in.
Measurable and Adaptive: Your strategy should include clear goals, KPIs, and metrics that help you measure success. Ensure your strategy and processes are flexible and adaptable enough to leave room for change based on customer behavior and market trends.
How to Establish an Effective Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
Knowing what makes an omnichannel strategy successful is just half the battle. To ensure your strategy is successful, you must analyze your current marketing strategy and the technologies powering it. If there are certain key pieces of data you are unable to act on due to information silos, then it’s time to consider revitalizing your data infrastructure.
Implementing an omnichannel and personalization strategy doesn’t always have to involve getting the newest and greatest marketing technology. Fortunately, with the innovative tools found within most digital experience platforms, such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Adobe Experience Cloud, you can begin to digitally transform your marketing operations to enable more personalized, consistent omnichannel experiences. It pays to be intentional and find functionality within your current MarTech stack that improves the customer experience.
1. Rethink Your Data Capture and Utilization Strategy
Capturing the right data and being able to deliver it to different tools within your MarTech stack is foundational for developing an excellent omnichannel strategy. If your customer data is spread out throughout informational silos, there’s no way to effectively distribute that data and make decisions from it. Capturing data, for many marketers, has become a greater challenge due to stricter compliance standards.
With data compliance laws, such as Europe’s GDPR (Global Data Protection Regulation), many tech companies are eliminating third-party tracking. Apple has already blocked cross-site tracking via email and Safari if users opt out. Google is following suit with phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome by 2024.
These decisions are making marketers rethink how to capture data, leading to many discovering that they’ll have to rely on and improve their first-party data capturing strategy. This means some are starting to use a variety of internal tools to track engagement, such as using content management systems to track how their audiences are engaging with content on the site, social media platforms to gauge user activity, and marketing automation platforms to monitor email and other engagement activity. Still, it’s hard to truly understand audiences with this information stored in separate platforms.
Fortunately, customer data platforms (CDPs) enable marketing to unify all their customer data and create a single view of their customers.
Benefits of a Customer Data Platform (CDP)
Provides pre-built connectors to common data sources, empowering the ingestion of data in real-time.
Organizes and unifies data by matching contacts’ known identifiers with any anonymous data you have on them, helping you to establish a comprehensive view of your customers.
Makes it easier to build rich customer segments without being reliant on developers or IT teams to write SQL statements.
Assists in activating segments to tools, like Salesforce Marketing Cloud, pulling data downstream throughout different marketing tools, making it easier than ever to automate personalized customer experiences. And because many activation tools can feed engagement data back to the CDP, marketers can continue to drive ever-increasing value with segment enrichment.
2. Pull Centralized Data into Existing Technologies to Enhance Personalization
With a centralized view of your data, it becomes easier to level up your existing MarTech stack across all channels. For example, Salesforce CDP enables you to easily segment customers with drag-and-drop functionality based on their purchasing history, behavior, demographics, and more. Fields within Salesforce CDP can also be activated and sent throughout Salesforce Marketing Cloud, empowering further personalization opportunities throughout your customer journeys, content, and email. Not having to rely on IT to build elaborate SQL statements enables you to pivot and adapt your strategy based on changes in customer behavior.
3. Prioritize Personalized Nurturing Campaigns
As mentioned in our recent article, "Enhance Your eCommerce Experience with an Omnichannel Approach," it can take up to six to eight engagements before potential customers make a purchase or convert. And acquiring new customers can cost up to five to seven times more than retaining and retargeting current customers. That’s why it is so important to continue to nurture your current customer base and ensure that every interaction with your brand brings them joy and solves their toughest challenges.
Here at Lev, we’ve worked with a variety of customers to build better omnichannel journeys. One example is when we assisted a regional grocery store chain in increasing their foot traffic into stores. We worked alongside their marketing team to build a birthday journey that provided customers with a free gallon of their favorite ice cream if they came into one of the chains on their birthday. By providing this simple promotion, they made their customers feel special and cared for. As a result, the chain saw an increase in sales by 1.7% and a return on investment of 6.5%
Coming up with creative campaigns and finding unique ways to make those experiences special can go a long way toward increasing customer loyalty and retention.
4. Create Evergreen Content That Can Easily Be Repurposed
Besides technology, another piece of a strong omnichannel strategy that can drive up costs, if you are not careful, is content. With the demand for more personalization, we’ve seen some marketers feel the pressure of having to create unique content for each of their segments. While it’s necessary to have content variations for some segments, it may not be as large of a lift as you may think.
Each segment of customers has diverse ways of consuming content. A small group may love to dig into your blog and read all the latest updates, while others may just check your emails and see your posts on social media from time to time. Those larger pieces of content, such as blogs, eBooks, and case studies should be repurposed into bit-sized pieces of content that cater to your segments' different preferences.
5. Foster Cross-Departmental Collaboration
Crafting a consistent customer experience doesn’t stop at marketing as prospects and customers also communicate with many key players throughout their life cycle. Marketing, sales, and customer success should work together to ensure customer engagement is seamless across channels and teams. That’s why establishing a strong data foundation is so critical.
When your sales and customer success team have all of a customer’s engagement data logged in one place, they can personalize their response depending on a customer’s particular need. Whether a customer reaches out across social media, email, directly on your website, or even via texting, establishing a single source of truth for customer data will guarantee a seamless experience.
Power Your Omnichannel Strategy by Maximizing the Value of Your Current MarTech Stack
Customer expectations are always changing, so a certain strategy may be effective one day, and ineffective the next. So, as marketers, we need to keep our ears to the ground, always looking to innovate and improve the customer experience. But implementing an omnichannel customer experience doesn’t have to mean stretching the budget.
Modern DXPs, such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud, offer many of the tools you need to centralize your marketing operations, either in its base configuration or as a paid add-on. For example, Salesforce Marketing Cloud offers MC Intelligence Reports out of the box with standard dashboards for email, journeys, and MobilePush, so you can track the performance of your omnichannel strategy and adjust when necessary.
So, whether you are looking to improve your personalization strategy, email marketing, or data infrastructure, you may already have access to the technologies you need. And while they require some implementation expertise, with a trusted marketing partner, you can begin to provide next-level customer experiences without exhausting team resources.
Discover how you can better connect with your customers and make their experiences with your brands unique without breaking the bank by checking out our newest eBook, A Marketer‘s Guide to Maximizing the Value of Your MarTech Stack. In this guide, you learn how you can fully utilize your MarTech stack to fulfill your strategy, automate manual, day-to-day tasks and enable deeper, personalized experiences that will keep your customers coming back for your brands, products, and services.