Cross-channel Marketing, Customer Experience

The Importance of an Optimized Omnichannel Customer Journey

If you are a marketer today, you know that your target audience is shopping across multiple digital and physical channels. In fact, research shows that the average consumer uses as many as three to five channels or devices in the course of making their buying decision and completing a purchase. This propensity to hop from channel to channel during the buying process can increase the risk of an incomplete or abandoned purchase. So, what’s a smart marketer to do?

The answer lies in creating optimized omnichannel customer journeys. To maintain engagement as your customers hop between channels and devices, consider all of your communication and buying channels as “weapons in your arsenal” -- they’re more powerful when working together instead of individually. However, in order to create an optimized omnichannel customer journey, you need a comprehensive view of the journey across all your touchpoints.

Omnichannel marketing allows you to engage customers on their terms

Omnichannel marketing allows businesses to create a seamless experience across channels, but it’s much more than a marketing presence in multiple channels. Omnichannel marketing is about making sure that what a customer sees and does in one channel impacts what they see and do in another channel.

For example, a customer who never engages with email communications may be more influenced by a direct mail offer. Or, a customer who is highly engaged with email may find it repetitious to receive a direct mail piece with the same content. Smart marketers might use direct mail, email, and landing pages with offers to drive traffic to both online and brick-and-mortar store, allowing customers to engage with the medium in which they are most likely to respond. And a seamless experience is key: one of the advantages of an omnichannel strategy is that it allows you to ‘pick up the conversation’ with a customer whether it be online or offline.

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This approach requires thorough knowledge of customer demographics and behaviors in each channel. And by analyzing data on behaviors such as email response, visits to the website, or engagement with promotional materials, marketers can gain direct knowledge of which content appeals most to their customers ­­— and their preferred channel for receiving it. Once you’re tracking customer data across channels, you can create a comprehensive journey map in order to optimize the entire customer experience.

High-performing organizations use customer journey mapping to optimize the omnichannel customer experience

Over 80% of organizations say a journey-based approach to creating omnichannel strategy is critical to the overall success of their business. Well-designed journey maps drive a business outcome through better management of the customer experience at critical points of interaction with your brand, called Value-in-Play moments. Analyzing Value-in-Play moments of a customer journey can help you better understand why customers take certain actions. Digging into your own data and developing a journey map will show you how customers are moving through the funnel. Once you understand how customers are interacting with your brand, you can orchestrate a better omnichannel experience and derive more value from these engagements.

Customers today expect relevant, personalized offers based on their preferences. To deliver these, marketers need to connect data points and analyze customer journeys in real time, so that they can provide each customer with those personalized experiences and messages. As customers move through the customer journey, the messages they receive should change with each step. And ultimately, each of those messages needs to be working towards converting the visitor into a customer and the customer to a buyer.

Customer analytics is key to successful omnichannel journey mapping

One of the key requirements for omnichannel campaign success is a clear understanding of all aspects your customer base, which means customer data analytics. Customer journey analytics gives you the power to identify at-risk customers before you lose their business. It lets you quickly connect the dots between customer interactions and business outcomes in order to create customer journeys that work across all channels.

A customer data platform (CDP) like QuickPivot ingests customer data from online and offline channels for a holistic view of customer behavior, preferences and channel interaction. For example, you can identify the subset of customers who consistently open and engage with every email and decide that they don’t need to receive direct mail pieces. Or, you can identify customers that unsubscribed from email or gave a wrong address and determine that they might benefit from a direct mail offer.

Don’t forget to include direct mail in your omnichannel customer journeys

The DMA Response Rate Report says that direct mail returns an average ROI of 15% to 17%. In addition, research has found that direct mail open rates can reach as high as 90%, which far and away exceeds open rates seen on digital channels.

To bridge the gap between online and offline marketing channels and develop comprehensive omnichannel marketing campaigns, direct mail is an effective way to go. And with a true non-siloed, omnichannel marketing strategy, marketers can ensure that their digital and direct marketing strategies work together in order to provide customers with a seamless and consistent brand experience. In fact, QuickPivot's CDP even enables marketers to create complete direct mail plans in the platform using a robust set of data so they can go beyond RFM segmentation.

The takeaway

Smart marketers and retailers maximize business results by mapping journeys that guide their customers through a variety of offline and online channels, based on customer behavior and preferences. All of this requires easy and accessible data collection and analysis, and a CDP like QuickPivot’s makes this doable. QuickPivot's cross-channel campaign management interface gives marketers the power to blend email, direct mail, digital, and SMS in one individual journey. It also removes the tactical challenges of omnichannel marketing so that you can focus on getting the best content to the right customers when and where they want it.

Are you looking to improve how you measure your organization's omnichannel performance? QuickPivot's VP of Solutions Consulting, Jake Hall, will be participating in a webinar hosted by Toolbox for Marketing on Wednesday, July 15 at 12pm EST. He'll discuss the strategies and tools needed to accurately gauge your campaigns and more.

⇨Register for "How to Measure Cross-Channel Marketing Outcomes in 2020" now!⇦

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