Go search for omnichannel marketing online and then go look at the images that come up. See anything missing from most of the images in the search results? 

Where are the phones (not just the smartphones), videos and direct mail? Omnichannel marketing and multi-channel marketing are the same thing in that a customer will visit your brand through multiple channels before making a purchasing decision - they'll visit social media, search on a mobile device, visit the store, browse the website, as well as receive direct marketing such as flyers, magazines, and print coupons.

Mail vs Email

Forty-two (42) percent of recipients read or scan direct mail pieces. Compare this to an email campaign which has an average open rate of approximately 20 percent with a two percent click-through rate. The reason why direct mail is one of my favorite channels is that essentially, you are only competing with about 20 pieces of mail per week. I get 20 emails per hour! The other reason why I like direct mail is that while impression rates vary online, mobile ad click-through rates are less than one percent. Also with direct mail, almost 80 percent of people will deal with it immediately v.s. email where they delay reading as well as acting on a call to action. A large downside of direct mail is that it can be expensive. Printing is only cheap when you print at scale and the cost of postage keeps going up. With that being said, there are some cases where direct mail still makes sense: for example, coupons. But how do you track this customer from an offline channel to online channel? Here are some suggestions:

  • Make a code or URL only available to them.
  • Use a QR code in your mailer.
  • Have them “bring in” the direct mailer to your store in exchange for information (phone number, email, social media account).

The Truth about your phone usage

While we’d like to assume everyone has a smart phone, the reality is only 64 percent of American adults own a smartphone. This figure was only 35 percent in early 2011. As a marketer, you should look at your phone’s omnichannel strategy holistically, meaning you should consider whether your customer has a smartphone or a regular phone and how that will alter their experience when they call customer service or go through your website. Including a phone call as part of your omnichannel strategy is important because according to research from ResponseTap, 64 percent of people get frustrated when they are only able to interact with a company online. In addition, phone calls also have a 30 - 50 percent conversion rate. Now, do you still want to ignore your customers on the phone? So knowing all this, how do you collect data from offline efforts? Try these: 

  • Track calls by offering a unique phone number linked to a specific ad or call to action.
  • Integrate call center technologies and CRM software.

Don't forget, video should also be part of your omnichannel strategy, although much harder to track. A/B testing for conversion more likely to play a role with video than “tracking” your customer.

Where does this leave us?

The ideal omnichannel experience will allow a retailer or marketer to seamlessly track the user both online and offline. Each channel appeals to different demographics (like our post on how retailers can appeal to millenials) and services. And, you should learn more about how your customer behaves when making a purchasing decision.

To learn more about omnichannel,  including what you don't know about beacon technology (but should), click the image below.

Download Our Omnichannel Primer

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