Digital Analytics for the omnichannel.
What does “omnichannel” even mean? The best way to describe it is to say the “anti-channel.” It is all channels and no channel at the same time. It is defined by the consumer and the journey they want to take and not how it is defined by the company. In the world of the omnichannel, how might a marketer gain back control of their customers’ experience? In short – with careful creativity and analytics.
The omnichannel exists because technology exists. How close are you to your phone each day? How many times a day do you check it? Are you using apps, mobile websites, or what? We bet your answer is “all of them.” You are the consumer, too, and you are on every channel. To a business, that’s a mobile opportunity – that consumers are on their phones 100 times or more a day. Even then, the consumer is not doing everything on their phone. They may use their phones for research and then later go to their laptop, tablet, or computer to make the purchase. There are many channels consumers are using, and their experience may not even be consistent across devices.
Let’s use mobile apps for an example. Google is working diligently to create a mobile web instead of many siloed apps because the experience varies across different operating systems and devices. This causes a seriously complex fragmentation of audiences and makes it difficult for marketers to actually own and control the customer experience. There is somewhat of a gap in technology currently to integrate all these environments and tie them all together, so how can a marketer try to work with the consumer and the technology that is available and make sure that their experience is tailored to meet their business objective? Like, lead generation or sales.
Even between all the social platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, owning all the customer relationships can be difficult without knowing the platform well enough and trying to understand what works well in one platform vs. another. As a brand and company, you need to diversify how you are communicating with customers across all channels and platforms in different ways. As a business, you need to keep all lines of communication open with your prospects and strategize a way to make the anonymous, known.
Most marketers understand who their customers are, their touchpoints in the market, and where they can be reached. They then have a plan to execute marketing campaigns that follow a specific customer journey they hope that the customer will take. However, only the best and most successful marketers will look beyond one defined customer journey. They will continuously measure behavior in different channels via different platforms to understand what’s working and what’s not. The beauty of data is that it can turn numbers into stories that inform your decisions, but there is a creativity and thoughtfulness that has to go into creating the campaigns and the content. Using data, performing testing, and measuring user behavior all throughout the funnel is how you’re going to find an optimized path for your customers to go through.
Data can always inform, so you should be measuring everything at every step of the funnel and journey. From there you can start seeing where drop-offs or better conversion rates are happening and improve or remove what’s working or not. Even more than A/B testing, you can perform multi-variate testing to see which slight variation of your content or experience will be better for your user, and thus better for everyone. This is why measurement and testing is so important. Make a hypothesis for your data and test to see what’s going on with your campaign or customer journey in order to find the best result for your customer to convert at the end of the day.
Everything you do must have a measurement plan or else you will be lost in the noise. It is better to know this now than later when things like Google Home and Amazon Echo already exist. Think about how people talk to their devices now instead of querying them on Google or Bing to search something. By keeping a measurement strategy in place, constantly testing, staying abreast of technology advancements and marketing technology integrations, you will be one of those marketers that succeed, or at least have a fighting chance.