Omni-channel marketing: a continuous conversation with brands
The more technology advances, the more it’s integrated into our daily lives. You are surely reading this article on your laptop, your phone or tablet and I am sure that you have several internet-connected devices within arm’s reach: you are probably chatting simultaneously on iMessage or Whatsapp and maybe there is a movie, or a song, playing in the background on another device.
AN OMNI-CHANNEL WORLD
Let’s just admit we are always online: the lines between what we do online and in real life are starting to blur – and brands know that. In fact, they are trying to build a continuous conversation with their customers, on as many platforms as possible. Omni-channel means marketing, selling, and serving customers, no matter where they are and what they are doing. The multi-channel experience is where the majority of companies invest in today. They surely all have an official Instagram, a website with a blog section, Facebook, and sometimes even a Twitter profile. However, especially if we are dealing with a smaller brand, the customer still notices a lack of a consistent messaging in a seamless and smooth way, across all of these channels. The objective is to deliver them an integrated experience: aligning their messaging, goals and design (or as millennials say, “aesthetic”) on each channel and device.
STARBUCKS’ TAKE ON OMNI-CHANNEL STRATEGIES
We all know and love Starbucks and their very beautiful content sharing on their platforms: who has not tried at least once to recreate a Insta post with one of their festive drink? But the company does not simply tells story about itself. Starbucks’ take on omni-channel marketing – which has also boosted customer loyalty and retention – was a very simple app that revolved around not onlyimprove customer experience in the actual coffee shop, but also a way to improve the service itself: available (of course!) for both Apple and Android devices, it allows to place and pay orders faster, even before you step into the cafeteria – people don’t even need their wallet or their cards, all they need is the app logged to their Apple Pay or Google Pay. What’s more, you can also register your Starbucks card so you can earn reward points and track your bills.
NOT ONLY COFFE…THE BEAUTY WORLD IS IN TOO!
Sephora is another brand that is working really hard on their omni-channel customer experience. With their Beauty Insider Rewards program, they build stronger relationships between consumers and the brand: users, called “insiders”, can tap into the platform via phone or desktop and have instant access to tons of data. Aside form actual buying and paying, customers can shop, update a favourites’ list, have an archive of past purchases, monitor their rewards points and , scan items in store to see other options available online or get more informations, read some reviews, watch related tutorial videos and so on. They do integrate all of this with constant content upload on their social, be it a little bit more informative on Facebook, a video about an upcoming launch on IG, a tutorial using a specific beauty tool on Youtube or answering some questions on Twitter.
THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF AN OMNI-CHANNEL STRATEGY
The ultimate goal of this strategy is to reach as many touch-points as possible to increase presence and, consequently, awareness and attractiveness. But without web communication and digital tools, it would be very difficult to gather enough data and information for an effective strategy: starting from the email address when we sign up for a newsletter, the telephone number when we log into the apps, to our clicks registered by cookies. What brands are realising is that mass communication is dead and gone: the only way to engage with an audience is having a solid, organic, genuine, consistent, tailored, personalised, 1-to-1 conversation.
Written by: Chiara Estini
Edited by: Erica Blotto