April 6, 2023
By: Adam Gelling, President, Evoke San Francisco
Omnichannel marketing strategy needs to be integrated across customers and with the brand and commercial strategy to deliver a powerful customer experience. This begins with connection and organization of customer data, development of a content strategy, and optimized execution delivered through an omnichannel plan. Let’s dive in and explore what makes omnichannel marketing truly flow.
1) Data Organization
A challenge with the data required to implement effective omnichannel marketing is that it is often so disparate and disconnected. A single organized view all of the data and customer touchpoints from digital engagements, rep personal promotion, media, email and third party sources is a huge challenge. Connect and curate data effectively to provide a realistic and actionable customer picture – identify valuable insights into customer preferences, interests, and behavior across different channels.
The ultimate goal is to have a holistic view of your customers, with data organized, aggregated and flowing in a single, unified platform. This can then be used to trigger personalized content and experiences across channels. Building or using a third party customer data platform (CDP) is a great way to achieve this objective, however it requires significant resources, changes to business processes and systems, expertise and can take several months to a year or more depending on the size and complexity of your organization. A business and capabilities assessment can help determine the best solution for your objectives.
Break down siloes between to realize the most value and support flow of data. Engage with stakeholders throughout your organization to ensure that you identify all relevant data sources and any barriers to flow that can be addressed with new technology or processes.
2) Content Strategy
To deliver relevant, engaging, and consistent content across channels, developing a comprehensive content strategy is the next key step. Get started with the following:
Define your goals for each segment of your target audience, paying particular attention to their needs, preferences, and behaviors – either defined by personas in your CDP or segments identified in your customer experience mapping.
Perform a content audit. Look at assets across channels. Examine each customer segment, and the stages of their journey. Identify gaps in content and locate areas of opportunity to either improve or generate new content modules or templates.
Ensure that content meets the requirements for each channel and fits the specific context of delivery. Make messaging and branding consistent across channels so the customer receives a recognizable experience of your brand, service or product, wherever you are engaging them.
Overall, it is imperative to keep seamlessness top of mind. Make sure your target audiences, the assets they consume, and the content you create flows effortlessly across channels.
Personalizing content for omnichannel marketing requires creating a greater volume of content, so a significant part of your content strategy should define the process for ongoing content creation and the associated business rules and data attributes for triggering personalization.
Develop modular content. Break down larger pieces of content into smaller, reusable components that can be reassembled to meet different customer needs in a variety of channels. Modular content can help improve your content creation efficiency, saving time and cost.
Another important consideration, to both build and ensure an ongoing optimization of a content strategy, is to have a dedicated content strategist. Content strategy roles are critical to ensure integration, consistent editorial quality, and constant flow.
3) Omnichannel Plan
The overarching omnichannel plan is a roadmap that pulls each aspect together to deliver a seamless and consistent experience across channels. Critical components of the plan include customer data integration, as previously discussed, but should also incorporate channel integration. In addition, along with a content strategy plan, you should outline tools for content measurement and optimization.
Channel integration involves making sure each channel is designed to work together, delivering consistency in messaging and branding—regardless of channel.
Ongoing evaluation and optimization needs to combine content strategy and customer analysis, measuring flow and performance across channels and touchpoints. An extensive data analytics infrastructure is essential for accurate measurement. Establishing clear goals and KPIs for each customer touchpoint and goals are also key to assessing performance for ongoing optimization.
This article explains 3 fundamental opportunities to improve omnichannel marketing and optimize flow in your customer experience. In summary, data organization (complete with customer analysis and appropriate channel integration) and a content strategy outline (including measurement and optimization) are crucial to creating a strong omnichannel plan. A dedicated team of strategists along with committed in-house and agency partners, is important to develop and maintain successful omnichannel marketing – ensuring ROI on marketing investment, increased customer satisfaction, and sustained positive results.
This is the second article in the "Future is Flow" series. Learn more about how to achieve flow in your marketing and customer experiences by reading the other articles:
Article 1: Customer Flow | Article 3: Innovation Flow
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