The Omni-Channel Challenge
Omni-channel marketing may be a buzzy term lately, but it’s a big deal. Marketers are learning more and more about the importance of creating seamless experiences across channels and devices. Consumers are engaging with brands in physical stores, websites, apps, and social media– and they expect a consistent, cohesive experience throughout. The new standard is seamless and complimentary.
So, with that said, do all of your channels flow easily from one to another? Is a consumer having the same experience with your brand when they’re on your Instagram feed and clicking through your website? Many marketing teams are struggling to stay on top of this new expectation, but you don’t have to do a top-to-bottom rebuild immediately. There are a few things you can do to get started that ensure you’re implementing changes that will really make a difference.
Crawl, Walk, Run
First, define your north star metric. What are you hoping to achieve? What’s the first, immediate goal, and where do you want to eventually get?
With your goals in mind, take a look at the data you’re capturing and make sure you’re getting what you need to track your successes. Omni-channel retention often starts with an understanding of your users across all channels. Look at data that tells you how a user is responding to email messages, push notifications, in-app messages. Capturing the right data is critical to both validate your testing and personalize messaging in your strategy implementation.
Data will also tell you what kind of relationships you’re building with your customers, and help you develop bonds based on both aggregate (cohort or personal level) and user-level behaviors. You need to know who your user is in any channel, at any point in their journey, and have systems in place that follow them from channel to channel– if a customer added something to their cart on the desktop site, it should appear in their cart on the app as well.
…And Then Sprint
Another thing to think about: sprint planning and working in sprints isn’t just for product teams! Develop a framework that supports iterative testing and learning for your omni-channel marketing objectives. What are some things you’d love to learn (or ideas you’d like to reinforce) about the way your customers react to your marketing? Put those things into a backlog that you can continually groom and pull from.
Then, identify a period of observation that will give you enough time to reach statistical significance for your tests (3 weeks, 6 weeks, etc), nail down a test or two for your next sprint, and watch the results come in. After that, hold a retrospective to go over the results and identify findings that you will act on in your next sprint or a future one. Then do it again.
It all comes back to the data. Testing against defined key metrics helps you move the needle for your business.
Don’t Get Distracted
If comparison is the thief of joy, it’s also the stone cold murderer of steady, healthy growth. When you’re putting new strategies into place, keep your brand and customers in mind. Looking at what other companies are doing may cause you to adopt strategies that aren’t right for your business, or you may get discouraged and give up when you aren’t growing as quickly as you thought you would.
Take your time. Find a strategy that’s right for you, and stick with it. Don’t let the constant barrage of outside (and sometimes inside) messages overwhelm you or cause you to pivot too quickly. Stay the course and measure effectiveness today so that you can adjust after you have a more robust data set based on your users and brand.
A consistent and unified experience across all channels will support your overall marketing efforts, and be a major step toward building stronger relationships with your users.