At the recent B2B Online East conference, hosted by Worldwide Business Research, the topic of omnichannel marketing was center stage. Ed Kennedy, Episerver Senior Director of Commerce, moderated the panel discussion as the group reflected on their experiences and advice regarding omnichannel. As an audience member, here are a few takeaways fellow marketers can learn from.
The discussion at B2B Online East, moderated by Ed Kennedy, began by asking how the panelists have worked with omnichannel marketing - providing a seamless customer experience across channels, devices - and what their successes or challenges have been. As with all marketing efforts, it comes down to understanding the return on investment (ROI). Marketers need to begin with a strong brand but take it further by ensuring they have a strong foundation with the channels in which they choose to work with.
Start by asking: Will this be useful?
End by asking: How was this useful?
As discussed, some of these answers can be found by building out customer profiles, collecting the right data and bringing people back to owned properties such as the company website.
In the case of all efforts, organizational buy-in and collaboration are key to successful projects. It was advised that marketers introduce the idea of omnichannel to their company by sparking an internal conversation. During this initial meeting of the minds, the project initiator should be empathetic to others as this form of marketing may be a cultural change for the company. Success may initially look like failure but learning from those experiences can help build a strong omnichannel foundation.
Marketers will want to use this time to perfect their methods and find the right channels for their audience and business. Along the way, ROI should remain top of mind to set and measure goals. Adaptability, however, must be built in to change course should a tactic not be working or if and when consumers’ expectations change.
At the end of the agenda, the panel was then asked to share their insights on the future. The panelists agreed unanimously that customer behavior is changing and providing a seamless customer experience across channels will remain relevant, especially to the new digital-first buyer.
To understand audiences today and in the future, organizations need to constantly evaluate demographics including region, age group, decision influencers. These insights can then be used to target content and track more specific behavior to gear marketing in a hyper-individualized way. With this level of personalization, the customer experience becomes simple and essential while working to build strong relationships between the customer and the brand.
All in all, the entire panel was passionate about what they do and what’s to come. People simply want to connect, easily and personally. Using an omnichannel strategy to provide relevant information at any touchpoint can help to do this. Just remember to clearly define what your final goals are and how you plan to measure them.