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Promises of Omnichannel Marketing

The large proliferation of digital channels has led to a generation of marketers who are as enthusiastic about the technology they use as the information they share with their clients.Omnichannel marketers.

For a long time, many martech vendors have promised brands the advantages of “omnichannel relevance” but have offered nothing more than overhyped “multi-channel presence.”

This over-promising and under-delivering from vendors imply that marketers are frequently using tools that pressure them right into a hamster-wheel of channel-specific excellence, disabling them to deliver a person-centric experience.

This disconnect has sullied what it really means to be truly omnichannel, and we’re here to assist with unpacking all of the baggage.

How Did We Get Here?

The word omnichannel seems to have been created six years ago by Harvard Business Review. Their article detailed a retail-focused method of creating well-rounded consumer experiences using the channels where a customer might engage a brand- “websites, physical stores, kiosks, junk mail and catalogs, sales departments, social networking, cellular devices, gaming systems, televisions, networked appliances, home services, and much more.”

In those days, omnichannel marketing encompassed new methods to distribute messaging to consumers, providing them with a number of options to receive brand communications. From the perspective of a marketer, delivering coordinated information across multiple offline and online channels would be a new method of driving sales.

However, these early marketing efforts were composed for as one-size-fits-all, so nearly all messages that customers received didn’t resonate with them. While these messages appeared to be deployed on a much bigger scale, they still lacked the personalization that captivates and converts.  

Then vs. Now

Forward-thinking marketers have recognized that understanding their clients is much more valuable than merely giving them information. Being accessible on multiple channels was an essential step toward building awareness and engagement, but omnichannel marketing that produces relevance also requires personalization built upon client’s individual behavior.

Let’s take a look at how omnichannel marketing applied to customer experience in the past, and how does it work nowadays.

The Brand Experience

Then: Marketers used to focus on short-term metrics, organizing their teams around individual channels and prioritizing campaign-specific performance more than a holistic brand experience. This produced a distorted feeling of alignment where companies were multi-channel when it comes to their execution, but single-channel in their messaging effectiveness.

Now: Channel-specific metrics are extremely important, but a number of great email promotions aren’t enough to construct an unforgettable brand experience. Consumers ultimately “control their very own destiny” when navigating their individual customer journeys. In order to drive lengthy-term loyalty, marketers have to deliver highly personalized messages across all channels.

The Function of Marketing Technology

Then: In order to transform art into a science, martech vendors provided marketers with methods to make their work more automated and efficient. However, the over-engineering of the profession and explosion of martech platforms has elevated the requirement for significant technical sources and advanced skills needed to complete the job. With the increased amount of time spent on using tools, less time was spent on creativity, ideas, and building strategies.

Now: Marketers already have enough on their plates, and complex tool management isn’t something that should be practiced. Martech at its best applies engineering strength to marketing expertise. That way, marketers have more time to concentrate on the nuance in messaging and magic in storytelling.

Where We Stand

Promising omnichannel experience years back wasn’t an attempt to deceive, however, many brands have finally realized that marketing isn’t just an engineering problem. Data-wrangling and solving intricacies are essential but we shouldn’t forget the passion and creativeness necessary to really understand and get to know our customers.

The way forward for marketing is personalized and responsive. Creating a meaningful dialogue with your customers is crucial to achieving omnichannel relevance.