Omni-channel marketing is an integral part of most digital marketing campaigns, but getting all the channels to work together effectively and reporting on them as one can often be a challenge, so how do you master the basics of omni-channel marketing and really make it work for your business?
Cedarwood Digital is one of Manchester’s leading digital agencies, working with a diverse array of national clients to enhance their business’ visibility online through organic, earned and paid channels. With 12 years of Digital Marketing experience under her belt, Amanda Walls founded the business six years ago which was recently named the UK Small Ecommerce Agency of the year in 2021, now Amanda shares some hacks on understanding omni-channel marketing.
Create brand guidelines & consistency
Regardless of the brand or service, when approaching an omni-channel marketing campaign, consistency is key. Users can take up to ten touch points before they engage with a brand and if you’re putting your brand in front of your target market, then having a consistent tone of voice, guidelines and material will help to keep that user journey as smooth as possible. Ideally start with a brand guidelines document, one central hub where you keep everything including any graphics, colours, fonts, tones of voice, branding approaches- basically anything to do with how the brand should come across. Remember to refer back to this at each point in the omni-channel journey.
Understand your consumer
Once there’s an understanding of how the brand should come across, the next step is understanding who that is coming across to – who is your audience? Audience profiling plays a key role in omni-channel marketing as, when it comes to building a funnel and identifying the right channel for the right stage, it’s crucial to understand what that audience looks like and most important what their wants and needs are. Audience profiling and building out personas is a great way to start and this can be done through either initial market research, competitor analysis or just your own data and product knowledge!
Plan & identify your funnel
Building out a funnel is essential for omni-channel marketing; the marketing funnel should consist of a number of different stages, usually Top Of Funnel (the research stage), Middle Of Funnel (the consideration stage) and Bottom Of Funnel (The Purchase/Engagement stage). At every stage in this funnel, a different channel or different approach to a channel should be used. In the initial stages, building out a funnel and mapping each channel to each stage of the funnel will help you to identify which funnels you need at which stages and help you to build out an effective overall strategy.
Test your channels individually & together
Test and Learn plays a significant role in any omni-channel campaign; this means looking at each channel initially on an individual basis and evaluating how it works to drive forward your business goal. Once you have evaluated each channel, individually test it in collaboration with other channels; an example here might be utilising Display and Paid advertising together. Display advertising is usually utilised to drive brand awareness but might not be enough alone to drive a conversion; by utilising this together with other more direct channels, such as Paid advertising or Meta remarketing, you can drive conversions. Often you need multiple touchpoints to drive conversions so it’s important to place value on each element within this journey and really evaluate how much value each channel is bringing and how they best work together.
For anyone looking to undertake omni-channel marketing, attribution is key. Each channel will usually have its own preferential attribution strategy but, unless you can get all of these together in one place, you could find yourself over-attributing towards certain channels or under-attributing towards others. Solutions to this can be found through utilising platforms such as Google Analytics, together with additional functions such as UTM codes to help bring together all of the different channels into one platform with one attribution model. In turn, this allows for all of the channels to be shown together and a better understanding of how each is performing individually and also working together with the others.
By following the tips outlined above, you’ll be on your way to creating a successful omni-channel marketing experience!