According to Google research, 90% of multiple device owners switch between an average of three devices per day to complete a task. Right now, I bet that you have more than one internet connected device within arms reach. Businesses that can help their customers complete those tasks when and where they want stand to gain a share in the billions of cross-channel sales each year.
That’s why companies are guiding their prospects and leads through the customer journey with an omni-channel marketing strategy.
What is Omni-Channel Marketing?
Omni-channel marketing refers to the concept of providing a seamless user experience across all channels relevant to the buyer’s journey.
Omni-channel is s all about thinking holistically in terms of customer experience, interactions, and messaging. For example a customer looks at your socials and website, they see a retargeting ad and then walk into your store, at each point they are seeing the same relevant messaging or campaign.
Why is omni-channel marketing important for B2B businesses?
According to the CMO Council research, 94% of marketers believe that providing an omni-channel experience is crucial to business success. So what does one look like?
B2B marketing is chiefly about ROI and efficiently creating a funnel that can be nurtured through to sales conversion. Taking an omni-channel approach means strategy and ROI are built in from the start too, so as an approach it helps measure what works – allowing accurate attribution of results and enabling marketers to move budget from what doesn’t work to doing more of what does. This has specific relevance when B2B companies are looking at the rise and proliferation of social media sites, tools and technologies, wanting to try them out in a managed way.
General Electric do a fantastic job right across the mix – check them out on Facebook, Instagram, and other sites.
More than half of the 930 B2B customers surveyed said they expect to make one out of two purchases online in three years’ time. Future technology and how it improves organisational output and structure were deemed critical.
So, what should businesses really consider when putting together an omni-channel strategy?
Good marketing rules still apply. Know your customers and be where your customers go – it’s far harder to transport them to somewhere that feels alien. Talk in their language about problems that affect them. Position products/services on benefits not features and offer some kind of emotional connection.
Securing data to be able to learn and market to them is key, so make sure all activity is designed to better populate a single view of each customer. Over time build your data set to include customer social media handles, behaviours and preferences.
Customer relationships must be of everyone’s concern and must be presented holistically within the company. For example, Bureau Veritas’ Marine and Offshore division recently launched a mobile application for professionals of the maritime industry to allow them to manage their fleet in real time with mobile devices. This application was developed to stick to customer expectations as much as possible.
In summary, what can your business benefit from omni-channel marketing?
Omni-channel marketing in B2B means you’ll have a better overall behavioural understanding of your customers. You’ll be able to improve your targeting which gives a step change in conversion. Customers will develop a perception of yours as a business in tune with its market. You’ll intuitively have a better grasp of attribution and what works.
How could you translate the use of technology to your site, apps, socials, email and direct marketing to improve customer self-selection and their perception of your service?