Last year was what many proclaimed the year of the consumer. At no other time have consumers had more power to make or break a business.
The way we do business has changed a lot. Local businesses used to market through phone calls, mailing coupons, and newspaper advertisements. Now we have emails, websites, social media, and online advertising as our mediums of doing business.
Many small businesses across the U.S. are feeling a financial crunch during these pandemic times. Now many customers hesitate before heading into a brick-and-mortar store, asking themselves, “Is this necessary?” and “Is it safe?”
In fact, a survey by McKinsey found that almost half (47%) of small business owners are extremely concerned about the sustainability of their business due to the pandemic.
As concerns about the pandemic continue, the next step is revamping your marketing plans to bring both past and new customers into your store.
IBM recently surveyed 26,000 global consumers to understand their buying preferences. Though 90% of consumers said they visited a physical store before making their last purchase, 35% of these shoppers were unsure whether they’d make their next purchase in a store or online. And 9% of in-store shoppers used a mobile device during their visit to compare prices and read customer reviews.
So finding ways to allow customers multiple touchpoints in their shopping experience is critical toward gaining their business. Businesses are finding new ways to engage customers through omnichannel marketing campaigns on their websites, social, mobile sites, and mobile apps to increase sales, and build loyalty.
The key is to deliver a seamless, unified brand experience across those channels.
Advantages of omnichannel digital marketing
Old marketing tactics won’t bring in new customers. So finding new ways to connect with customers and bring them in-store is key. Enter omnichannel marketing.
Traditional marketing offers a special offer in one channel. Omnichannel marketing on the other hand takes a broader approach. It utilizes multiple platforms on multiple devices to connect with audiences and sell products. The results are better shopping experiences, greater conversions, and ultimately, more sales.
In a study conducted by Omnisend, omnichannel campaigns earned 18.96% engagement, while traditional marketing campaigns using a single channel only received 5.4%. In that same study, it showed that campaigns using three channels or more earned a 250% higher purchase rate.
The difference with omnichannel marketing is that it analyzes your customers’ interactions across their entire experience and thinks of how your various platforms can play into that strategy.
A few examples of how it works:
- A customer is being retargeted on Facebook if they have left a product without buying it.
- The customer is mailed a coupon to their home address.
- A customer gets a text message about a promotion while in-store shopping.
- The customer is sent an email newsletter that highlights operations changes, safety protocols, and new products.
Gone are the days of one size fits all marketing campaigns. Omnichannel marketing allows us to create more personalized one-on-one communication with customers depending on where they are at in their customer journey. Each piece of the consumer’s experience should be consistent and complementary.
See how these are all messages targeted to the same consumer. But they come through different marketing channels?
Real-Time Results and Conversions
Local ad campaigns give you the capability to track every step of your customer’s process in the buying journey. You’ll have reports that show you if they have filled out a form fill, made a phone call, purchased from your website, or visited your store
Here’s How it Works
Here’s a four-step approach to creating an effective omnichannel marketing campaign.
- Identify and build your ideal audiences. Knowing your consumer demographic and characteristics will help you develop an omnichannel marketing campaign.
- Target and connect with ideal customers across multiple devices and platforms.
- Drive sales through specialized offers and calls to action.
- Generate new customers and measure conversion through in-store visits, calls, and online conversions.
Building Your Target Audience
Build very rich profiles about your customers and the customer journey. You can do this using both online and offline data from 3rd party data providers to enhance your data with more intelligence.
Just like your business has changed dramatically this year, your customers’ needs are constantly evolving.
Step into your customer’s shoes. Make a purchase as if you were a customer. Analyze every step of the journey. Does it make sense? Is it easy? Have someone outside your company test it to get a clearer picture of your customer experience.
The customer journey helps you visualize the experience of interacting with your business from the customer’s point of view. This will provide a sense of your customers’ motivations, needs, and pain points.
For example, recently Signet Jewelers (parent company of the Kay Jewelers brand) recently asked themselves this question, ““Who are our customers, why do they choose our brand, and how do we do a better job of engaging and empowering them in a rapidly changing digital world?”
Ask for customer feedback. There’s a reason companies give you a survey after your purchase. They use your feedback to improve the customer buying experience. Is your store clean? Was everything easy to find? Were the store personnel friendly? Would you recommend this store to a friend?
You want to understand customer buying patterns. Find out what their hobbies are. What triggers someone to buy? Where do they typically shop?
You can gather demographic data such as gender, age, marital status, dependents, geography. What phones and laptops do they have? What tv shows do they watch?
Personalize your Messages Based on the Customer
Oftentimes when you go to the grocery store, it analyzes the purchases you make and gives you coupons for products you are likely to buy. For instance, if the store sees that you purchase organic produce, it may give you a coupon for organic milk.
Another example is an oil change place that tracks your miles and repairs and knows which car services are due and gives you reminders.
Most consumers will interact with a retailer multiple times before making their purchase decision. Reporting helps you track where customers are in the buying process and adjust customer messaging accordingly. For instance, the deal you would give a first-time customer would be different than someone who is a frequent shopper.
You want to find out who is targeted, interested, and connected.
Location Targeting Helps You Reach Customers Wherever They Are
Geotargeting technology allows you to see exactly where your customers are at. Location targeting provides accurate-down to the exact store, lot, and retail block where a customer is.
It’s one of the best methods of connecting with your target audience by personalizing your content, promotions, and special offers in a way that drives more revenue.
Imagine that a customer is driving through your neighborhood and you can send them an offer directly to their phone. That’s a powerful way to drive customers to your store. You could even target it so if a customer is at a competitor’s location, you send an offer they can’t refuse that leads them to your store.
Make Data-Driven Decisions that Grow Your Business
- Provide exceptional shopping experiences for customers who value high-touch over low prices
- 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. – Microsoft
- Deliver the offers that connect with customer needs and wants.
- 59% of customers say tailored engagement is very important to winning their business. – Salesforce
- Provide customers with consistent messaging and service across all touchpoints.
- 95% of customers expect consistency across the multiple channels they use. – Forrester
Optimize Campaigns for Maximum Results
Eliminate the guesswork. Don’t just send people a marketing message and expect the magic to happen. You need to optimize your campaign to boost conversions. If you collect customer data that helps you know your customers better so you can create more personalized campaigns.
Local ad reporting allows you to track campaigns and improve them over time. Just track performance, analyze it, and make necessary changes. This may involve testing different messages, headers/subject lines, images, times, calls to action, etc. Taking the time to optimize your marketing campaign can offer a massive return on investment.
Discover the power of Omnichannel Marketing for Your Small Business
Take a step back and ask yourself whether your business is truly equipped to embrace this new omnichannel approach to marketing. The world has changed in so many ways, and everyone is doing their best to adjust. It’s our job as business owners to listen to and respond to customer needs. More than ever before, businesses are turning to omnichannel marketing to truly connect with their customers.
Be the business that truly connects with your customers. Omnichannel marketing provides an integrated seamless experience across multiple devices and touchpoints.
Local Business Marketing Solutions helps local businesses, like yours, meet your potential customers on their channels of choice so you can exceed their expectations. Find out how we can make this happen for you. Click here and request a free online presence report and take the first step.