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Are You Ignoring Your Omnichannel Efforts?


 

“Omnichannel” is a prominent buzzword in B2B Marketing 2017. It is concept that’s become necessary in a business sphere that runs on multiple devices. As businesses branch out to implement desktops, smartphones, tablets, smart watches, and other devices into their business strategies, B2B marketers do themselves a disservice by only focusing on mass marketing. Instead, marketers need to join the shift toward omnichannel marketing – a shift consumers made long since. Here’s how to master your omnichannel before it’s too late.

Are You Ignoring Your Omnichannel Efforts

What Is Omnichannel Marketing?

To capitalize on omnichannel marketing, you must first understand what it is – and what it is not. It is not multichannel marketing. Multichannel marketing publishes content on more than one channel simultaneously. Omnichannel marketing prepares your content for each and every channel. Instead of posting the same block of content on Facebook and Twitter, omnichannel marketing optimizes the post for each separate platform. The Facebook post may have a paragraph of text, while the Twitter post provides readers with a hook and a bitly link.

As the consumer journey continues to evolve, it is of the utmost importance to optimize your omnichannel marketing. There is no telling what devices or screens consumers will access websites of the future from. Consumers are already gravitating toward virtual and augmented realities for online shopping and access sites from multiple devices in a matter of minutes. Just as brick-and-mortar stores had to adapt to sell online, so must today’s B2Bs adapt to embrace changing forms of media. The solution lies in omnichannel marketing.

Marketing for the omnichannel means marketing for all channels in one. Instead of spending time optimizing your marketing for each individual device and platform, omnichannel marketing lets you accomplish the same goal with much less labor. Today’s consumers expect websites to function seamlessly across all devices. For example, a customer should be able to place an item in an online shopping cart via mobile, then go home and finish the purchase from a laptop. Your B2B must tap into the convenience of several perfectly synchronized channels to win the hearts (and business) of modern buyers.

Create a Seamless Omnichannel Experience

Now that you understand omnichannel marketing, the question of how remains. Despite the widely recognized importance of omnichannel marketing, many B2Bs are at a loss as to how to create an omnichannel. Start by transforming your marketing approach. One-on-one customer experiences lie at the heart of omnichannel marketing. Your customers thirst for personalized engagement, and omnichannel marketing can achieve exactly this – when done correctly. Let your buyer control the omnichannel process, accessing your content from whichever device desired. It is your job to make sure the experience remains seamless no matter what.

Drop the traditional sales funnel, and its boxed-in notions of the buyer process. The process is no longer as simple or streamlined as “awareness, interaction, interest, and action.” Today, a consumer may jump around the funnel or skip steps altogether. Stop thinking of customers as leads down your sales funnel. Instead, think of them as people who require a personalized experience with your company. Embrace a marketing technique such as Forrester’s customer life cycle model, which places the customer at the center. This strategy bases marketing on the customer’s view of the brand, not the brand’s view of the customer. Putting the buyer first reshapes all aspects of marketing.

You must engage with your customers on all channels equally. On the customers’ nonlinear paths to purchase, your brand must be ready to connect with them at all angles. This involves personalized offers, targeted promotions, and customer recognition. Boost engagement with an interaction history. Acknowledge users when they access your site, and tailor each customer’s interaction based on recent actions across channels. Drive these actions with data-driven insights into your customers’ behaviors, wants, and needs. Leverage your data to create micro-focused marketing campaigns that work on all devices.

Measure Your ROI to Maintain Your Omnichannel

Marketers are increasingly turning to omnichannel efforts for B2Bs, but a survey by B2B Marketing and Sitecore surprisingly revealed that only 49 percent prioritize measuring returns in investment. In addition, just 21 percent of marketers surveyed thought their omnichannel efforts would produce value. This shows a marked lack in confidence in omnichannel marketing – one not grounded in fact, but in the low priority of measuring ROI from omnichannel marketing. Marketers blame data problems and lack of resources as top barriers preventing ROI tracking.

If you’re serious about omnichannel marketing, you must make it a priority and measure your performance. Otherwise, you will be in the dark about how your efforts are coming to fruition. Measure omnichannel marketing as you would with any other campaign – see what works, what doesn’t, and make continuous improvements. Pay attention to key performance indicators, not vanity metrics such as how many likes your last Facebook post received. Look at how your omnichannel marketing efforts are paying off in terms of lead generations and conversions.

Data is everywhere. It’s up to you to leverage it to your advantage. Focus on individual efforts on multiple channels, then look at your overall success on the omnichannel. Both need to work together to optimize the customer experience. Tailor your messages to be appropriate according to what channel your customers are accessing. Analyze the relevancy of your content, and use consumer data and insights to continue improving. Measuring your ROI is the only way to make sure your B2B benefits from omnichannel marketing.

Leverage Omnichannel Marketing to Increase Conversions

In the end, omnichannel marketing is about sealing conversions. When savvy consumers find that your company understands their browsing and buying habits, they will reward your efforts with their business. If, on the other hand, your application does not work on certain devices, or fails to keep up with consumer behavior, they will bypass you in lieu of a B2B that prioritizes these needs. Consumers don’t just expect the omnichannel – they demand it. Failure to meet their needs marks you as insensitive, outdated, and behind the times.

Stay ahead of the competition by mastering your omnichannel. You cannot ignore this marketing tactic in 2017. There is too much at stake in the competitive business place to delay taking the first step. Consumers are already ahead of marketers when it comes to the omnichannel – don’t be the last brand to join the conversation. Be the marketer who delivers on the promise of a highly personalized, flawlessly integrated omnichannel before others in your field. This is the only way to optimize your brand in the coming years of multichannel browsing.

If you need help tackling the omnichannel, consider hiring a professional. A professional marketer will understand the omnichannel and help your small business take advantage of its full potential. While so many marketers are still in the dark about what omnichannel marketing is and how to use it, you can be the brand that offers this sought-after service to your customers. Working with a professional can make the process simpler, and place you in a better position to see your ROI. When it comes to something as complex and important as omnichannel marketing, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes, hiring a pro is the best thing you can do for your B2B.

The Takeaway

The omnichannel isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it is swiftly becoming the preferred way to market for all B2Bs and B2Cs. To optimize your omnichannel efforts, keep three things in mind: customers want personal interactions, the traditional sales funnel doesn’t apply, and data is your friend. These three mainstays will serve you well during your efforts toward the omnichannel. They are the only way to begin and maintain a successful omnichannel approach in the B2B market.

Your brand must meet customers on their chosen channels – be it social media, text messaging, websites, email, or voice calls. Across every channel, at all times, you need to answer their needs with relevant content. This is possible with advanced data analytics, automation, and an occasional helping hand from marketing professionals. The omnichannel is the wave of the future. Leverage it to boost conversions and stay ahead of the competition sooner rather than later.