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December 12, 2019

Simplifying Omnichannel Marketing for Greater Impact

Omnichannel marketing has been shown to improve website conversions and more organizations are starting to see the positive impact this approach has with repeat visitors. Google Research has reported that 98% of Americans switch between devices on the same day, having a constant experience at every step of the user journey is critical. With millions of organizations competing for billions of dollars users in both the for-profit and the non-profit sectors each year, the pressure is mounting.

5 Key Factors when Building Your Omnichannel Experience

Even the most seasoned marketers can become buried in the details of each user’s touchpoint with a given campaign. With your website being your source of truth, organic search, paid search, email, tv, and social media are some of the channels that feed off of that. Once we take into account desktop, mobile and tablet experiences — and the variations of each — there is a lot to manage. Here we’ll break down 5 pieces of this puzzle to make your marketing pathway a bit more clear. 

Know your users

We’ve grown past the Marketing 101 approach to understanding our user base. Demographics alone don’t give us insight into who your users are and, more importantly, why they are visiting your site. Add to that, demographics are predicted to slowly change; from baby boomers and Gen Xers to Millenials and Gen Z, more socially mindful generations are born into the online world. This will change the level of directness vs connection users will expect from their user journey.

There are countless variables but there are ways to get to know your users. 

  • First, ask them! Utilize online surveys and focus groups to talk to your users and find out why they make the choices they make when navigating your website.
  • Look at the cultural and social-economic climate of the regions that bring you the most traffic and look for influencers there.
  • Send personalized thank-you notes that include open-ended questions to encourage a continuous two-way communication with you.
  • First, ask them! Utilize online surveys and focus groups to talk to your users and find out why they make the choices they make when navigating your website.
  • Look at the cultural and social-economic climate of the regions that bring you the most traffic and look for influencers there.
  • Send personalized thank-you notes that include open-ended questions to encourage a continuous two-way communication with you.

And from this build well-defined personas that are inclusive as well as nimble to help your team speak to your audience on all your channels.  

Define the path they are taking vs the optimal user journey

When driving most new places, I open my Google Maps app and look at the different ways to get where I want to go. When planning larger road trips, I enter specific stops along the way to break up long stretches of highways or avoid city traffic at rush hour. At the end of my trip, my app records the path I took. This same methodology can be applied to your users’ journey. 

When driving to most new places, I open my Google Maps app and look at the different ways to get where I want to go. When planning larger road trips, I enter specific stops along the way to break up long stretches of highways or avoid city traffic at rush hour. At the end of my trip, my app records the path I took. This same methodology can be applied to your users’ journey. 

I often recommend starting backward. Instead of identifying what your users are doing first, jump right into what you want them to be doing. It comes back to the simple strategic premise that you can never achieve success until you define it. So, let’s define it.

When driving most new places, I open my Google Maps app and look at the different ways to get where I want to go. When planning larger road trips, I enter specific stops along the way to break up long stretches of highways or avoid city traffic at rush hour. At the end of my trip, my app records the path I took. This same methodology can be applied to your users’ journey. 

I often recommend starting backward. Instead of identifying what your users are doing first, jump right into what you want them to be doing. It comes back to the simple strategic premise that you can never achieve success until you define it. So, let’s define it. 

  • How do you define a macro-conversion on your site?
  • What is a micro-conversion?
  • How would you like a series of micro-conversions to build to a macro-conversion?
  • If a user isn’t a target user, at what point in the journey should they determine that?

From these endpoints, build backward to each of your channels.

Now put that aside and map how your users are really traveling through your site from various touchpoints. Add tracking variables as needed/permitted to help break this down.

How close is your actual users’ journey to the optimal one? With this data, you can identify tweaks and nuances that will redirect users along the path instead of trying to start from scratch. You can customize whole campaigns to ramp up a specific channel or just optimize CTAs to promote engagement. Either way, it’s typically easier than starting over.

Optimize your voice

Your brand’s voice and tone are designed to communicate the purpose and build trust. Promoting empathy helps to build that trust and keep users engaged through and beyond conversion. But not every user needs to be spoken in the same way. 

There are countless personalization options out there and they have great results, but before you take that leap, you can start by optimizing your voice per channel. I don’t speak the same way when I’m texting my spouse from the grocery store as I do over a family dinner. Similarly, your users do not expect the same content from social media to your website, but they do expect the same voice speaking to them. 

Do a content audit on your site, in a sampling of your emails or direct mail pieces, your TV or radio spots, and on your social media: is your message and tone ringing true while speaking specifically to that audience? Analyze and adjust as often as needed to make the most of what you’re already doing. 

Utilize system integrations for seamless pathways

Your team is likely extremely busy, especially in key periods such as the end of the year. Use the tools at your disposal by integrating your website with outside CRMs, automation, and email tools. The best approach for this will be determined by what systems you’re using and how.

Reimagine success

Marketers are inherently creative, it’s what brought most of us to this space at the start. Your team already knows that your website is the source from which all other channels feed and where all other journeys meet. But when buried in data, campaign details, and the various touchpoints, it can be hard to see how you want that truth to be. It’s time to stop and step back and start using your imagination again. Visualize the user experience as you did the heroes’ journey in a favorite book. Look at channels like doorways and touchpoints as plot devices. When organizations utilize the omnichannel experience to its fullest, they can guide potential conversions to become the protagonist on their journey to conversion and in the end, build a stronger relationship and a greater likelihood for repeat visits.

With the countless channels and variables, your website is at the heart of them all. The strategy builds your user experience and the truth you put out there. Technical excellence allows users to access the intended journey from all angles. You may need outside experts to offer a fresh perspective as you continuously grow your site. From focused engagements to incremental improvements, your site needs to evolve to meet the needs of this changing digital landscape. Find out if our approach is right for you.