Step 1: Get everyone on board.
No one person--heck, no one team--can create an omni-channel strategy on their own. You need to get a whole bunch of marketing teams on your side: digital ads, email marketing, social media, the website, loyalty programs, mobile...the list goes on.
Start with your execs.
And we’re not just talking about your CMO. Since a powerful omni-channel marketing strategy ideally includes a complete ecosystem of touchpoints, you’re going to need to enlist the heads of sales and customer engagement/support, too. But let’s say that first on your list is the leader of your organization: your CMO.
How do you sell an omni-channel strategy to your company’s head marketer? Use the stats we’ve listed in the first chapter. Nothing convinces a marketer faster than hard data. And that’s important, because executive support will be critical to getting other marketing teams on board.
So now you’ve sold your CMO on how omni-channel is going to transform how your company does marketing. Be sure to use the data to get the other marketing/product teams on board, too. Exec support will ensure people come to your meetings, but genuine excitement and buy-in makes all the difference.
Involve the teams you’re working with from the get-go.
There’s a few really important reasons (and benefits!) you get from doing so:
- No one understands a particular channel space more than the people living and breathing it every day.
To create a strategy that works, you want the people who understand the user patterns and team goals in the room.
- You have a much better chance of creating an effective workflow.
Get aligned with each team's timelines and what they need to create the right experience, and your process will be smoother from the get-go.
- You avoid making strategic decisions that could impede what’s already working for a channel.
It’s much harder for people outside the space to anticipate something that could hurt what’s already working for a channel.
Step 2: Map your user journey.
What steps do users take before they become your ideal user; the kind that offers your business the greatest lifetime value (LTV)?
Where do you interact with your users?
Sit down. Take a breath. And list every different way you interact with users (and potential users).
That could include:
Look at each channel, and think about how you interact with users there.
Where do they fall in your funnel?
Obviously, marketing funnels look different for every company. One classic model looks like this:
How well do you know them?
User journeys are complex, especially in an omni-channel world. You have to know who your user is, you have to understand their context, and how their goals and behaviors may differ by channel.
Understanding whether the user is new, a loyal customer, and where they are in their buyer journey leads you to the next critical question: How do users interact with each channel depending on where they are in the funnel? If your app is downloaded by your most loyal customers, you’ll want to interact with them differently than a new user who just discovered your brand--maybe they’re signing up for email. It’s the kind of targeting already proven to boost your marketing, and is key to omni-channel.
Because omni-channel marketing strives to give your users the individualized experience they want and expect, segmentation plays a critical role. Start by asking yourself what behaviors different types of users have in common.
- What does the conversion funnel look like for first-time customers?
- What does the conversion funnel look like for loyal, repeat customers?
For example, a loyal customer may receive a promotional email and go directly to your app and convert. A new customer may have a completely different buyer journey, with more steps and brand interactions. Mapping out a few customer journeys will help you to begin engaging with users in a more meaningful way based on where they are in the lifecycle.
Segments you may want to use:
- Time of download (how long a user’s had your app)
- The type of offers users convert on
- How frequently they engage with your brand
PRO TIP | If there’s any gaps in your data, use A/B testing to get a better sense of what works for users according to channel. If someone abandons their cart in your app, does a message about returning and checking out their items get a better response via an email or a push notification?
By mapping out your customer journey, you can better understand what your user expects from you, and how to create the kind of marketing experience that helps them become your ideal user: the kind that creates the most value for your brand.