The modern marketer’s greatest challenge is using emerging media to lift metrics across multiple platforms. For every opportunity presented by new media channels, marketers must overcome internal resistance and logistical challenges to transition away from traditional platforms.
Digital media constitutes one of the fastest-growing segments of advertising, making it a must for any campaign. Brands must aim to integrate desktop, mobile, tablets, and even television — not to mention leverage technologies that will cross-perform seamlessly for end users.
But traditional companies have struggled to adapt in the digital age. They gave away digital space for years because they couldn’t convey the medium’s value to clients. They had spent a lifetime persuading clients on the values of print and couldn’t very well say, “Forget everything we’ve told you for the past five decades. We’re going to try something totally new and unproven now.”
Even as digital gained prominence, traditional firms lagged behind. They simply weren’t prepared to grapple with emerging technology, let alone the concept of omnichannel, cross-platform strategies. But they’re finally catching on. They’re reallocating resources to invest in up-and-coming areas, and they’re emphasising mobile and other digital platforms in new strategies. Omnichannel represents the best way for companies to use these technologies to make an impact with consumers.
Although new technologies and analytics systems seem intimidating at first, they offer great opportunities for companies to build their brands. Instead of sending out generic ad blasts, brands can develop personalised campaigns that resonate with their target audiences. Real-time analytics allow them to pivot quickly on strategies that under-perform, leading to fewer wasted resources and more high-quality prospects.
When brands integrate their media channels, they’re better equipped to understand user attribution and optimise their campaigns around what channels are performing best. And that naturally points to the best mix of channels for your particular audiences. For instance, a company might find that the following mix is most effective among its audience: 10% to print, 30% to broadcast, 35% to digital, 15% to digital-out-of-home (DOOH), 5% to over-the-top content (OTT), and 5% to experiential. But another business might use an entirely different blend.
But again, this trend is just now hitting its stride, so many marketers don’t know where to begin. If you’re in that boat, here are three key tips on getting started with omnichannel:
Aim for a seamless cross-platform campaign
“Seamless” here means seamless for the user viewing the marketing campaign, not just for the team behind the scenes. Even though you’re working across separate channels, you shouldn’t be running separate campaigns. The messaging and aesthetics should be the same on all user touchpoints. A cohesive approach enables you to connect more simply and cleanly with potential customers, so encourage collaboration among all divisions of your marketing team.
Use omnichannel’s benefits to drive users down the purchase funnel
When connected, cross-media platforms influence users and guide them toward the purchase funnel. Research shows that omnichannel campaigns lead to lifts in awareness and engagement, consideration, favorability, and purchase intent. Metrics on integrated channels provide context for which ads users have seen and the types of devices they use to view them. You can use that information to serve relevant ads based on each user’s behaviours.
How you target a new prospect will differ from how you reach out to someone who has already clicked on an ad or visited a landing page. But the ultimate goal is to achieve actual purchase through proper analytics and reporting tools. Here’s an example: Let’s say you offer financing products. An omnichannel approach would allow someone to start an application on her smartphone, ask questions of a live representative via a chat service or call center, and complete the process at an in-person location the next day. That’s a seamless, customer-centric experience that guides the customer through the purchase funnel.
Look for partners who can help with integration
The key to full integration is finding the right platform partners who can connect all the necessary distribution channels and their data segments. Targeting and optimisation across channels is key to a successful omnichannel campaign. The industry still remains somewhat segmented for the time being, which makes omnichannel difficult to navigate. Take the time to find quality partners who understand your goals and can help you reach them. Rushed or sloppy omnichannel efforts do not end well.
As investments in digital media increase across industries, omnichannel will become increasingly important to successful strategies. Use your analytics to understand who your ideal customers are and which platforms they frequent. Then build campaigns that meet them wherever they are, serving customised ads, content, and experiences that feel seamless and easy. Leveraging the power of omnichannel is the key to success in the digital media era.