Using every means of marketing available to you is wise in today’s consumer economy. Your customers are diverse, intelligent, and have specific needs that you can meet with well-thought-out planning strategies. Two methods of this customer-facing approach are omni-channel marketing and customer experience marketing. What follows will help you understand what they are, why they are important, and when you should choose each one.

What Is Omni-Channel Marketing?

If you aren’t already familiar with omni-channel marketing, now’s the time to learn, as it will get you further in touch with your customers and help you form great relationships. This approach involves coordinating your marketing efforts through many methods to provide a seamless, engaging experience.

Consumers can interact with or discover a company in a physical store, on a website, or through a mobile app, catalog, or social media. They use laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones, but regardless of the device or platform, consistency and flow are crucial. Each platform must offer customers a clear, consistent message and feel.

A successful omni-channel strategy anticipates a customer’s next move and gradually leads him or her to a purchase. A strategy that reaches across all segments and devices takes thought and planning, but plenty of resources are available to help you.

This example illustrates how omni-channel marketing works:

  1. You’re scrolling on your smartphone and an ad catches your eye on Facebook or a Google search.
  2. Clicking on the ad takes you to a website with engaging content about the product or service.
  3. You add the product to your shopping cart, but you aren’t sure it’s the right choice, so you decide to think about it for a while.
  4. Later, you receive an email asking about your planned purchase, perhaps with an incentive to buy.
  5. You happen to be on your desktop now and click on the link to the shopping cart, and you decide to buy.
  6. The company sends a follow-up email or text in a few weeks with interesting content about ways to use your recent purchase or details about complimentary products you might consider.

What Are Some Different Aspects of Omni-Channel Marketing?

As mentioned, consumers use all sorts of devices and sites to find what they need, so your marketing strategy should cover some or all of these situations. Customers should be able to easily point and click to related sites.

Employ a look, logo and slogan uniformly across your sites. Introduce your brand and keep it consistent by using some or all of the following tools:

Social media — Create a Facebook page and post to it often. The page should be informative and entice the customer to take action, with links to your webpage, a specific product, or a longer content article on your blog.

Website — Design your website to make it easy for customers to navigate and find what they need. Blog posts should contain relevant content with links to product pages and calls to action.

Emails — The most popular call to action on a website is to join an email list. Once customers are on this list, you can send them blogs, advertisements, and other content, with links back to your website and products.

Why Is Omni-Channel Marketing Important?

Anticipating your customers’ needs, showing them what they need to see, providing them with information to choose wisely, and making them feel special will encourage their inclusion and lead to purchases. Your customers are at the center of your strategy — all roads lead back to them.

While some customers come into a store or visit a website ready to purchase immediately, many do not. Omni-channel marketing defines the steps needed to engage customers whether they purchase immediately or decide to wait.

This all leads to your bottom line. Customers who feel their needs are being met will decide to buy more often and become loyal patrons.

Omni-channel marketing strategies tie everything together to create a seamless, pleasant experience that will keep your customers coming back for more.

What Is Customer Experience Marketing?

Customer experience marketing, which can be used in conjunction with omni-channel marketing, focuses on how your customers feel about their purchases and their experience on your platform. No matter how great your product or service is, customers will hesitate to continue doing business with you or recommend you to anyone else if your setup or any part of your process confuses them.

Sales are based on emotions, and a great customer experience marketing strategy will create that warm, comfortable feeling people crave. Customers are sometimes fickle, so if they become even a little frustrated or disinterested, they will abandon you and search elsewhere.

Something else to consider is that many of your customers will be well-informed before they even decide to visit your website. You may catch their eye randomly, and if you want to attract those customers, you need to provide them with informative, engaging content.

These days, many consumers also read online reviews before making a final decision, so a great customer experience can generate positive feedback. Some consumers go with trends and if your reviews are positive and create a lot of sales, your product will naturally become more popular.

Why Is Customer Experience Marketing Important?

Your customers are your lifeblood; without them you do not have a business.

Whether your customers spread good reviews online or through word of mouth, your goal is to satisfy them enough to compel them to write a review or speak about you. You can do this through a variety of ways.

First, start with initial contact, using content and personalization to make a great first impression. Continue this vibe through every interaction the customer has with your company.

Second, make your customers feel like they aren’t just a number. Get to know them on a personal level, using marketing automation tools to customize correspondence and information.

Third, keep customers engaged and satisfied with superior customer service and brand loyalty. Get feedback by asking their opinion and having them complete customer satisfaction surveys. Treat their feedback like the goldmine it is.

Develop a place to track online reviews as well. Take customers’ experience seriously and use their feedback to improve strategies and decide where next to focus your marketing efforts.

You may even consider responding to customer reviews through automated bots or in person. Bots at least can thank a customer for leaving a review and sometimes can do much more, including gathering critical information and metrics.

If a customer expresses a real issue in a review, address the problem in the response and perhaps take the conversation offline. Even if a customer has a bad experience, the way your company handles the problem speaks volumes about its character, so a satisfactory resolution could help you retain that customer.

Which Marketing Strategy Is Best?

Marketing is complex and the strategies you choose are specific to your product or service. The most basic approach is to blend parts of both omni-channel and customer experience marketing.

These two marketing strategies can work hand in hand, though building a great customer experience can be done through omni-channel marketing.

The seamless transition from social media to emails to website purchases while keeping your customers interested and happy is your ultimate goal. If one strategy isn’t working, try another and make sure you track what works.

Where Can I Turn for Help?

First, take an objective look at all of your current forms of communication and look for ways to improve them. Little changes can make a big difference, whether it’s tweaking the look and feel of your email with different colors or writing fresh content relevant to the customer’s niche.

Verify the links among all mediums and make sure they point customers in the right direction. Is your website easy to negotiate, allowing your customers to quickly find what they need?

Check your website and emails on different devices to see whether they are as easy to use on a smartphone as they are on a laptop or desktop. Rearranging a few features could make a big difference.

While you concentrate on product development and improvement, outsource your marketing by partnering with an agency that will help you take advantage of all available options. A marketing specialist can objectively look at your business needs and make appropriate suggestions.