Chances are, if you’re even casually involved in your company’s marketing, then you’re at least tangentially aware of the importance of planning your marketing with mobile devices in mind. They’re everywhere and always on, so it makes sense.
There is a relatively new strategy brewing that takes mobile to the next level — Omni-Channel Marketing. This is a multi-channel approach, where multiple device usage is assumed, and then targeted simultaneously. Your customer ought to be able to seamlessly begin a transaction on their phone and complete it on their PC, tablet or wearable. In fact, they’re already doing it. Now is your chance to outshine your competitors with a marketing strategy that fires on every cylinder.
1. Measure, Measure, Measure
Data is your best friend here, as with most marketing, so you’ll want to collect as much info on the behavior and usage habits of your consumer as possible. Know which ads work and for which demographics. Analyze the data for patterns that can be funneled into targeted strategies. If your target uses mobile and tablet far more than they do a PC, then your marketing should reflect that.
2. Review and Adjust
Ride the rails that you’ve built for your customer from time to time. Experience things the way they see them and look for anything about their exposure to your ads and shopping experience that might inhibit or obstruct the process — then fix it. The more steps you create, the more likely that you’ll lose them along the way, so get them from ad to shopping cart as efficiently and as intuitively as possible.
3. Divide and Conquer
Use the data that you’ve gathered and refined to break down your audience into segments. Consider wildly successful tools like marketing automation to turn your disparate data points into actionable user profiles. For example, you might discover that females of a certain age range are more likely to click on colorful ads that feature a female model. Knowledge is power, but you have to use it.
4. Personalize the Experience
By tracking user activity on your site, you can learn new ways to engage your consumer and lower drop-off at different points of the funnel. You can follow up via email regarding the shopping cart they left abandoned when shopping on their desktop. This kind of targeted one-to-one follow up makes the consumer feel that they are important and gives you a chance to encourage the sale of an item they were already considering.
5. Expand Your Approach
Your marketing department is only one part of the equation. Use your data to affect your sales, customer service, and product merchandising teams. In true omni-channel fashion, gearing every facet of the experience toward reaching the consumer gives you the best chance of guiding them directly toward a sale.
6. Seamless User Experience
The key to an omni-channel marketing approach is to create a seamless experience. This means the shopping carts and wish lists are synced across devices. If they have to hunt down the last item, or worse, the entire cart, you may lose a few sales to frustration where continuity was expected.
7. Use Social Media
A lot of your word of mouth advertising will likely come through social media. It’s important that your landing pages reflect their origin location to provide immediate confirmation to the visitor that they’ve arrived in the right place. Keep your social media colors and design choices in mind when evening out the seamless experience so that even if you don’t have control over the layout of your social media site, you can still provide some familiar aesthetics to create a visual continuity, regardless of the device or the site they click from.
One of the main benefits of omni-channel outreach is that it gives you access to your customer while they are on the go. Brands like Starbucks and Chipotle provide a mobile supplement to their customers that allow them to customize their order or refill their account balance before they even reach the register. In-store shoppers might benefit from the ability to scan physical items into their cart, or for live comparison purposes. You could even give them access to a digital gift card on your site, using a template like Shopify’s, which they can immediately use within the app or in-store.
Omni-channel marketing needn’t be limited to where your customers view your ads. You can flex your creative muscles and find new ways to shape your brand and user experience to edge out your less creative competition on every device at once.
About Our Guest Blogger
Nick Andrew Rojas is a self-taught serial entrepreneur who has worked with various startups as a business consultant. He’s also a journalist focusing on technology, marketing, and social media. He loves meeting new people online and being challenged with new projects. He also loves to connect so reach out on Twitter!