Omnichannel has been buzzing for over a year and still hasn’t lost its ring. Yet, despite the fact that we are surrounded with omnichannel references every day, the concept still seems slightly out of reach. What really is omnichannel? How do we achieve it? What’s holding us back? What about our audiences?
Beyond defining omnichannel and the challenges that accompany it, all marketers need to first and foremost place their omnichannel goals in the context of their audiences. Today, what audiences want most is content, and a seamless content experience across all of their devices. From online shows, to ecommerce transactions, and even social media personalities’ accounts, content has the ability to bridge the gap between brand and audience in this new omnichannel world.
One of the major challenges is that there are still some questions around the meaning of omnichannel. Essentially, omni means “all.” Channel in this context is a “means of communication.”
What Is Omnichannel?
Here is how we characterize it at Paradysz and PM Digital:
- A holistic, comprehensive organizing principle to achieve customer-centric foundations.
- The development of campaigns from the point of view of the customer.
- Content driven by unique customer behaviors and histories.
What Is Omnichannel Not?
Omnichannel is not:
- Multiple channels operating in isolation.
- The development of campaigns from the perspective of the brand.
- Content and campaigns specific to only shopping.
A true omnichannel approach puts customers at the center of a brand’s marketing efforts. Not only will this approach allow marketers to analyze their efforts in context of the whole picture, but it empowers them to build out the right recipe for particular customer segments. It no longer suffices to create separate experiences and silos of content across various subject areas, channels and devices. Consumers demand comprehensive experiences without breakage points, allowing them to seamlessly interact with brands on their terms.
Build a Dashboard
A step in the right direction is the ability to build dashboards that can help you understand programs across channels. Dashboards that are successful have the following characteristics:
- Scale up to executive level, and drill down to campaign, channel and customer segmentation.
- Real-time interactive filters that accommodate questions and issues as they occur.
- Comprehensive displays of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) across goals and budgets.
Developing an omnichannel strategy is complex, but well worth the effort.