In the times of digital innovation, the so-called contact points between clients and products/services tend multiply exponentially. Like all great things in life, for businesses across the world, this is both an opportunity and a challenge. Buzzwords like multichannel, consumer journey, integration and automation have been used for years by marketers trying to make sense of this brave new digital world. Now, we have a new entry in our go-to digital marketing vocabulary: omni-channel. It’s omnipresent in marketing articles. So, let`s make sure we understand what this approach can bring to the table.
Omni-channel is the new standard
We will not go too deep into the difference between multi-channel and omni-channel; you can find loads of good articles with a simple Google search. We only what to point out that the difference seems to be a non-issue, at least for 2019. We believe that everything comes down to integration, and the only reason for which this debate became a thing was exactly the lack of integration. In an age of integration and automation solutions, going for a multi-channel strategy is no longer even an option. It is not a matter of choice: everyone wants to unify the buyer experience across platforms and channels, period. Truth be told omni-channel is set to become a good practice and the recommended standard way of conducting business, rather than a mere option. We do have to mention that the multi- versus omni- debate is much more complex. It can imply things that go beyond the purpose of this article, such as logistics, supply, payment methods etc.
The benefits of an omni-channel approach
Since Sether is an advertising integration tool, we will stick to the benefits of a diversified approach to marketing campaigns. The first issue to be addressed is user attention. Back in the days, the client's attention was absorbed by just a limited number of channels, such as television and radio. But with the rise of the social media networks, this attention is disputed among a handful of big platforms and a myriad of emerging ones. As the platforms tend to get more and more specialised (ex. LinkedIn for professionals or Twitter for lightning-fast news awareness) users divide their attention among several such networks. For marketers, this is excellent news: competition between the platforms equals competitive conversion costs. Not to mention the natural segmentation of the audiences and the possibility to test different marketing technique for different platforms.
Properly managed campaigns and calendars across different platforms can (and should) result in a cumulative effect in terms of conversions. More so, a vigorous presence on different platforms builds brand value and trust. As the clients tend to make more informed decisions, the conversion funnel is getting wider and wider. Now, clients prospect the brand and/or product across different platforms: they visit the site and social media pages, watch YouTube reviews, read comments and pay close attention to ratings.
The benefits are obvious; marketers have a tremendous opportunity to build an immersive, truly omni-channel experience. But of course, as we stated in the beginning of this article, opportunities go hand in hand with new challenges. Just like the benefits, these challenges are also more or less obvious. Each platform has its own mechanism for posting, advertising and reporting. One can only imagine what it takes in terms of resources (personnel, time, money) to deploy complex marketing operations on more than three platforms.
Integration and automation are must haves
It should be clear by now that the future for an omni-channel approach is a mixture of integration and automation. The ideal scenario would be an integration system for multiple platforms, which would allow the automation of all operations. Monitor performance and KPIs, keep track of the expenses, interact with the audience, keep an eye on the competition and much more. Everything in the same dashboard. The team here at Sether believes this is the future of digital marketing and our goal is to develop this all-encompassing dashboard, with the help of AI and blockchain technology. Are you curious what we've achieved so far? Give Sether a try and share your experience with us! And yes, it's free of charge.