In today’s world, the customer experience extends beyond the walls of a brick and mortar store. Customers engage with your brand through content that’s spread across multiple channels and accessed by multiple devices. And with so many possible touch points, it’s becoming increasingly important for brands to ensure consistency throughout–especially for their millennial audience.
A survey by SLD, a customer experience software and services provider, revealed that 44% of millennials surveyed expect their experience to be consistent across all devices. In addition, 60% said that they expect the same experience across all customer touch points–from phone service to in-store and digital interactions.
So how do you create that consistent customer experience? Through omni-channel marketing.
Defining Omni-Channel Marketing
Omni-channel marketing is a holistic, strategic marketing approach that aims to provide a seamless user experience across all channels and devices.
Every brand has a story to tell. A message that tells their audiences who they are, what they stand for and how they can be of service in a time of need. And an important part of successfully conveying that message is through creating a positive, consistent customer experience with your brand. How can you build a relationship with a customer if your message is inconsistent? How can you build that trust?
In addition, providing a consistent customer experience contributes to building brand recognition and awareness among your target audience. Remember, your marketing efforts aim to build and nurture your customer relationships.
Best Practices for Omni-Channel Marketing
At TopRank Marketing, we often talk about the importance of an integrated content marketing strategy. One that uses multiple tactics–across multiple mediums–to be the best answer, when and where people are searching for information. The key to all this? A focus on the customer and their journey–which is a natural connection to omni-channel marketing.
Content plays a major role in the customer experience. It’s product descriptions. It’s blog posts. It’s advertisements. It’s emails. It’s social media status updates. It’s a promotional sign hanging in a store’s window. Use omni-channel marketing as another layer to bolster your content marketing strategy–and really your overall marketing strategy.
Other best practices include:
- Use consistent imagery. Humans are very visual beings. We process so much with our eyes. Using consistent imagery contributes to that brand recognition and awareness brands so desperately want.
- Establish a consistent voice. This is your brand voice and it should be recognizable to your customers. Are you serious? More light-hearted? Silly? Educational?
- Personalize. Remember that each channel likely has a distinct audience. Strike a balance between your brand standards and optimizing your message for each medium.
- Put yourself in customers’ shoes. Take the time to regularly review the experience that your customers go through to research, buy and connect with your products and brand. When it comes to your digital interactions, use your analytical tools to identify barriers. Where are people dropping off the site? Which forms convert the best? Where is the most site traffic coming from? Which mediums get the most engagement? Now that you have this information, how can you improve the experience? Is it through new content or better calls-to-action?
Examples of Omni-Channel Marketing in Action
Disney is an omni-channel rock star. From booking your trip on their mobile responsive website to securing fast passes through the My Disney Experience app to accessing your on-property hotel room with a Magic Band, the magic of Disney is consistent throughout.
Another omni-channel heavy weight is one of my most beloved brands: Target. Whether you’re shopping from your PC, your mobile device or in-store, each medium works together to create a seamless, efficient shopping experience (even if you fall down the perusing rabbit hole). Your digital shopping cart can be saved and accessed from either a PC or mobile device, or you can opt to pick items up at your closest store.
Coca-Cola is one of the world’s most recognizable brands. It’s sold in hundreds of countries and it’s branded itself as a deliciously refreshing beverage that delivers happiness in a bottle. From allowing soda lovers to share the love by personalizing a bottle for a special someone to their rewards program to utilizing traditional media to remind customers just how tasty their drink is, their brand is all about customer experience.
What are some of your best practices for ensuring a seamless customer experience? Share with us in the comments section below.
Header image via Shutterstock
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