What’s the difference between a multi-channel marketing strategy and an onmi-channel approach? It’s a subtle, but crucial, distinction that is redefining the way that brands communicate with customers and creating more opportunities for stronger relationships that deliver better results. Data has a fundamental role to play in effective omni-channel marketing, which is why a CRM is such a crucial tool to have.
Multi-channel vs. omni-channel
Omni-channel is effectively the latest evolution of marketing strategy. While a multi-channel approach works with individual channels, each of which has its own messaging, omni-channel is designed to provide a consistent and unified experience to the customer. Omni-channel overcomes the key issue that many marketers found with multi-channel marketing – when customers switched channels it was difficult to cope with any gaps that this created. With omni-channel marketing all channels, from SMS to social media and even the Internet of Things, are combined in one interface so that there are no gaps between channels and every interaction with customers is being tracked and managed from the same place. So, the customer has a personalised and optimised experience of the brand thanks to the integration of all relevant channels.
Omni-channel marketing strategy and data
Data is the foundation of an omni-channel marketing strategy. Without it there is simply no way to provide the level of personalisation and insight that customers are increasingly expecting from the brands that they interact with. The volume, quality and type of data available, as well as the way that it is stored and organised, can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of marketing strategy, as well as what it’s possible to achieve with marketing efforts. There is a lot that any brand can do with a CRM to support the unified approach of omni-channel marketing, including:
- Organising data so that can be used to develop a highly specific and targeted marketing approach
- Providing a resource of insights that salespeople can use to help build relationships with customers
- Making the customer service experience more effective and efficient but humanising it at the same time
- Enabling customer service to switch across channels at any time without losing the context of previous conversations or communication history
- Ensuring compliance with key legal requirements, such as enabling customer to opt-out of certain communication channels
A CRM is effectively the point at which data insights can be turned into actionable business intelligence. It elevates the relationship between the brand and the customer to something more than simple a purchase or a conversion to an experience that also has a human element. When it comes to marketing strategy, a CRM provides real time operational insights across the entire spectrum of channels and is also a tool that brands can use to craft effective communication with customers. In a world where customers are increasingly drawn to brands that offer a more personalised and engaging experience, a CRM provides the foundation for a marketing strategy that can make great things happen.