How to Reach the Omni-Channel Consumer

May 7, 2019 Andy Dubickas VP, Global Solutions Consulting

This article originally appeared on MarTech Advisor

Consumers spend a great deal of their time online – upwards of six and a half hours in a single day. Access to the Internet and mobile technology has transformed many aspects of people’s lives, including how they shop.

The availability of new platforms has led 73% of consumers to shop for products and services on multiple channels. These omni-channel consumers also tend to be loyal to retailers, logging 23% more return visits to the brand’s website than single-channel shoppers.

Optimizing marketing efforts to reach this new kind of consumer starts with understanding who they are, what they are like, and how they behave.

Understanding the Connected Consumer

Most consumers today are connected to the internet pretty much all the time—either through their mobile device, laptop or desktop. A recent study showed that 88% of shoppers research their purchases online before buying and 65% compare prices online while they’re in a store.

Those who use multiple channels to conduct product research spend 14% more with brands than single-channel shoppers. Reaching and engaging these digitally connected consumers with relevant messages and offers as they move across channels and devices is the key to a successful omni-channel strategy.

But it’s not always easy, as the customer journey has expanded from a simple funnel to a complex maze that crosses from online to offline and back again. Consumers often search for products online or visit a brand’s website to compare products and prices.

They may click on ads that offer enticing products or sales, or turn to social media for recommendations before ultimately making their purchase either online or in store.

To compete in this landscape, brands need to build a consistent presence across channels and deliver tailored messages and experiences at key moments of opportunity.

The connected consumer is looking for convenience above all, according to a recent Nielsen report. Shoppers turn to e-commerce for an enjoyable experience and time-saving benefits. The more frictionless their experiences are, the more likely they are to convert.

For marketers, this means it is critical to break down traditional silos that divide digital strategies from each other and from offline tactics. Managing marketing and advertising using channel-specific strategies, tactics and metrics is no longer effective.

Sustained growth will come from taking advantage of converged channels, touchpoints and experiences along the path to purchase.

Marketing in the Omni-Channel World

Simply put, omni-channel success is as much about consumers’ unique interests, behaviors and preferences as it is about the mix of channels and tactics used to reach them. As such, marketers need near real-time insight into which campaigns are driving conversions, as well as how their creative messages and offers are resonating at an individual or household level.

To get this granular level of insight, it’s no longer enough to count impressions and eyeballs, or to measure the digital marketing effectiveness on the consumer’s last interaction with a brand. Marketers need to know the impact of each marketing touchpoint in every customer journey, regardless of where (or when) those touchpoints occur.

To engage today’s connected consumer and make the most of their investments, marketers need the ability to combine the profile data they have about their customers and prospects with multi-touch attribution, so they can understand consumer attributes and preferences and how different audiences interact with their brand across all channels and devices.

By combining consumer profile data with tactical marketing performance, marketers can get a holistic view of every marketing interaction that leads to a sale or other desired outcome.

Instead of drowning in a sea of siloed, last-touch data, marketers gain near real-time insight into the marketing tactics that influence specific audiences. By uniting attribute and performance data this way, marketers can optimize their budgets and create the types of relevant and personalized experiences that drive meaningful business results.

Access to the internet, mobile technology and digital innovation have redefined consumers’ every interaction with brands and will continue to enable and disrupt marketing strategy well into the future.

The brands that win the loyalty of connected consumers today and in the future will be the ones who break down silos and continually work to make their messaging as relevant and meaningful as possible, regardless of channel or device.

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