The Internet has revolutionized where people get their information. They go to it to find out everything from who won the election or where to buy an HDTV to how to do CPR or use their iPhone. It touches people at multiple points of engagement—which is exactly what businesses today need to do.
Long gone are the days when a brick-and-mortar store, traditional advertising, online ordering and a website were enough. To build loyalty with existing and potential customers—and to make the most of these interactions—it’s vital to engage them across every channel where they spend time, especially as they change channels throughout the purchasing process. Omni-channel marketing includes interacting with customers through a range of rich media, including:
- interactive viewbooks
- mobile apps for smart phones and tablets
- touch-screen kiosks
Not only that, but as businesses attract and connect with customers in new ways, these interactions need to be tailored to each channel and yet remain consistent across all channels. Equally important is tracking these points of connection. Collecting and analyzing this data can provide a gold mine of data—and give you access to your customers’ social media networks. And celebrating rave reviews through omni-channel marketing is the most effective way to spread the good news.
Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact, observes, “People have great things to say about [companies], and increasingly they’re saying it on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. When you stay connected to your customers, both offline and online, you drive more word-of-mouth referrals. The more those referrals happen [online], the more you can turn one-to-one referrals…into socially visible endorsements for your business.”
Understanding the online behavior of your target audience is as vital as knowing their purchase patterns. Loyalty programs have been a popular way to capture this data, but with omni-channel marketing, the potential is without limit.
To succeed in a socially connected world, it’s important to engage consumers in every location as they migrate from one channel to another. The wider your channel engagement, the broader your connection with a growing number of potential customers. And the more consumers see that your business is willing to expend the time and effort to meet them where they spend their time—and making that experience fruitful—the more apt they are to become customers.