Expert: How to develop a better omni-channel strategy
Kristina: There has been buzz around omni-channel marketing for a few years now – what does a solid omni-channel strategy look like?
Jake Athey, VP of Marketing, Widen: A solid omni-channel strategy looks like a board game that’s rigged in favor of your brand. When you examine how people buy products – especially pricey B2B products – it’s a series of moments and choices that seem like rolls of the dice. Why did someone click your page in the Google search results instead of a competitor’s? Figure out why and give yourself more real estate on the dice. Â
Kristina: How is a good omni-channel strategy different from, for example, simply putting the same ads on social and content sites?
Jake: The difference is that a good omni-channel strategy doesn’t follow competitors to the same social and content sites. For example, while many martech brands were locked in digital ad spending battles, a few drove their customers to review sites like G2 Crowd and Capterra. By the time their competitors noticed, it was hard to catch up. Â Â Â Â
Kristina: What does a good omni-channel campaign offer brands – increased revenue? A better experience? A more engaged customer base?
Jake: All the above, but also something counterintuitive: less work. The notion that omni-channel campaigns sap a lot of resources is wrong. Martech has enabled us to craft one stellar campaign then spread it across all the channels we value. Adding or subtracting a channel doesn’t change your workload the way it did in the TV, radio, and print era.
Kristina: For brands who believe they are offering an omni-channel experience but don’t see, for example, increase revenue from a campaign, how do you respond?
Jake: First, I’d say give it time – at least the average length of your sales cycle. If you cut off campaigns that don’t achieve revenue instantly, you’ll never see revenue from an omni-channel campaign.
Second, the omni-channel experience might not be the reason you’re failing to see increased revenue. Talk to sales and service people who speak directly to customers and understand why they buy or churn. Omni-channel campaigns can feel out-of-touch when the marketers aren’t sourcing ideas from people on the front line.
Kristina: What metrics should brands focus on in an omni-channel campaign/strategy?
Jake: Focus on owned web metrics such as direct and referral growth (versus paid), email subscribers, and opportunity volume. A pair of metrics to consider is sales satisfaction and equivalence. Sales satisfaction measure whether buyers feel like they’re getting value, while equivalence measures whether sellers feel like they’re getting appropriate value for their offering. When buyers and sellers don’t see eye-to-eye on value, the resulting disenchantment undercuts your omni-channel strategy.
Kristina:Â How can brands and marketers ensure they’re offering up a solid omni-channel experience?
Jake: Conduct a Service Design evaluation with internal stakeholders. I can recommend the evaluation fromÂ Service Design and Delivery Report CardÂ by Thomas A. Stewart and Patricia O’Connell inÂ Woo, Wow, and Win. It surfaced candid, useful feedback on areas where our omni-channel strategy could be stronger.