With the dominance of smart phones, the lines between channels on the consumer path-to-purchase are blurring more than ever before. In a matter of minutes, a consumer may be exposed to an ad on Facebook, research a product and make a purchase on a brand’s site – all on a mobile device.
Despite the rise in mobile and eCommerce, according to BIAKelsey, 90 percent of all transactions today don’t happen online—they still happen in a store, on the phone, or by appointment, somewhere offline that is more difficult to track.
This creates a significant blind spot for marketers to evaluate and optimize their media spend as consumers seamlessly move from online to offline.
With this in mind, marketers need to rethink their strategy when it comes to connecting with, understanding and acquiring customers and prospects. How can marketers consider touchpoints on digital channels without losing sight of offline interactions with customers? And how can brands ensure that their ads are reaching and resonating with their target audiences? Let’s explore some approaches to omnichannel marketing strategy more in-depth:
Measuring and mapping every channel
There are a range of digital channels that are important to marketers today, including mobile display and video ads, site, search and social media. The challenge for marketers – especially in industries such as automotive and cable, which rely on inbound phone calls to drive sales and appointments – is understanding how their media strategy is performing across all digital channels, and identifying which channels are driving phone calls and store or showroom visits.
This discovery process can only be realized once the marketer has an integrated view into how a customer moves across channels toward an eventual sale. With so many potential nuances, marketers must tap insights that provide a holistic view of a customer’s digital and offline journey, in order to truly understand the impact of their ad spend and which channels are most important in facilitating conversions.
Answering your consumers’ call – literally
For businesses that rely on calls to drive sales, converting a caller to a customer is the last mile of the marketing journey. At the same time, this is the point at which marketers have the least control, and where there’s the most potential for a missed opportunity if a call is not handled correctly.
Many brands are turning to call analytics tools to understand what happens when consumers pick up the phone. Technological advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning are giving way to new solutions that can identify indicators of a successful phone conversation, such as mentions of words like “credit card” or “appointment,” or even specific marketing promotions. At the same time, analyzing calls can expose missed opportunities that either warrant a follow-up conversation with a consumer down the line, or can provide lessons on how marketing efforts must be tailored to better appeal to consumers.
Leveraging online and offline data for personalization
With a range of solutions available to understand the online and offline customer experience, marketers can tap into new insights to personalize marketing to consumers. In addition to analyzing phone calls to better understand customers’ needs and preferences, the maturity of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn is allowing marketers to specifically target the ideal buyer or user of their product or service, and build out their understanding of specific buyer personas based on social media usage.
Social media can be leveraged to offer personalized promotions, through content that is most likely to resonate with target audiences and compel them to take action. For example, if a brand determines that its target audience is predominately on Facebook, it may use the social network to offer customers a discount on products or services when they call or visit a store.
This feeling of personalization is key in order to cut through the noise of other brands, especially as consumers are inundated with content as they move across channels and are exposed to various ads in their daily lives. By using insights from both online and offline channels to understand audiences, brands are better equipped to retarget would-be customers, retain existing customers and find new prospects.
Bringing it all together
Even in today’s hyper-mobile world, understanding the customer experience offline is crucial, and marketers who fail to analyze the relationship between site, social, digital ads and phone calls are inevitably missing significant opportunities to retain and acquire customers.
Now more than ever, marketers need to have insight into what percentage of revenue is coming from each channel, track marketing activity to outcomes, such as a phone call, and know when a call results in a sale. As consumer behavior becomes more seamless across devices, marketing strategy needs to follow suit, by taking every opportunity to analyze and personalize the omnichannel path-to-purchase.
To learn more, visit The Offline Blind Spot and the Modern Marketer.