Hopefully, you had a successful holiday sales season that propelled you into 2022, eager for more. The first few months of the year are an excellent chance to reset after the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and to set intentions for the months to come. The first quarter is also the perfect opportunity to update your strategy to keep that holiday marketing momentum going all year long.
Of course, undertaking a marketing strategy shift is a significant endeavor, especially for small businesses. So, if you’re going to make a change, it better be for a good reason. This year, reframing your perspective to embrace an omni-channel marketing approach will solve three critical marketing problems you might not even know you have — and set your business up for success in 2022 and beyond.
What is Omni-Channel Marketing?
Omni-channel marketing is a strategy that assigns specific roles for all your platforms based on where your customers fall in the marketing funnel. This approach also enables you to set more realistic goals, make targeted improvements and measure progress. Here’s how it works:
The Elements of an Omni-Channel Strategy
An omni-channel strategy breaks out your marketing efforts into three distinct buckets, each with its own goals.
- Traffic: This bucket encompasses the activities that reach new people. The activities could include targeted pay-per-click (PPC), display advertising on the Google or Microsoft networks or prospecting ads on social media. Either way, the traffic bucket\’s job is to constantly drive potential customers to your website.
- Conversion: This bucket covers activities that improve your website\’s conversion rate. These efforts are critical because even modest conversion rate improvements can lead to substantial revenue gains.
- Post-Purchase: Once your customers have made their first purchase, these bucket activities encourage them to come back and purchase again and again.
An omni-channel marketing strategy helps ensure that you\’re reaching the right people at the right time with the right tools. Dividing your efforts in this fashion will also help you solve three of the most common marketing problems small businesses face.
Problem, Meet Solutions
Enacting an effective marketing strategy is always challenging. For starters, figuring out where to invest your time and money can be overwhelming. Secondly, staying consistent with your strategy takes a lot of effort. As a result, small businesses typically make many of the same marketing mistakes. Fortunately, developing an omni-channel approach naturally addresses these issues. Here\’s how.
Problem #1: Traffic Sources Aren’t Diversified
New traffic is the lifeblood of any business. However, many people make the mistake of relying too heavily on Google to drive this traffic. That overreliance is understandable because the platform understands consumer search behavior and, as a result, is fantastic at capturing existing demand. However, it\’s not as good at generating demand. As a business owner, you certainly want to reach people who are already actively searching for your brand or offerings. But you also need to reach out to potential customers who\’ve never heard of you at all.
The Omni-Channel Solution
An omni-channel approach assigns roles for every marketing platform. In this instance, the Google and Microsoft networks will capture existing search demand. You’ll use cost-per-click metrics here to set goals and measure success. You’ll also include Facebook and Instagram prospecting campaigns to reach people who’ve never heard of your business. When these campaigns begin working, you’ll see lifts in direct traffic or increases in search traffic.
Problem #2: Unaddressed Website Conversion Issues
Every website features hidden obstacles or bottlenecks that prevent a certain number of new visitors from making purchases. Unfortunately, most business owners have very little insight into where these barriers exist. As a result, potential customers leave their sites every day without purchasing and are lost forever. That\’s why finding and addressing these conversion issues is such a valuable activity. Not only will you capture additional new revenue, but you\’ll also have the opportunity to turn more first-time visitors into lifetime customers.
The Omni-Channel Solution
Under an omni-channel framework, you\’ll focus on boosting conversion rates as one of the three legs of your marketing stool. Start this process by determining where your visitors begin falling off in their customer journey. In Google Analytics, navigate to behavior -> site content -> exit page. This data tells you which point in the shopping experience is causing the most friction with potential buyers. Then create segments for home page visitors, product page visitors, cart page visitors, cart abandoners and purchasers. This gives you an idea of what tweaks are the most necessary. Do users not like your product pages? Maybe the checkout process is scaring them off? Adjust your website accordingly. As you examine this information, you\’ll gain a deeper insight into your customer\’s online experience so you can decide where to start making improvements.
Problem #3: Ignoring Customer Retention Efforts
Another common error business owners make is focusing all their attention on driving new traffic while completely ignoring their existing customers. The problem here is that new traffic is the most expensive to acquire because so many people drop off as they move through the funnel. However, you\’ve already spent the money to acquire existing customers, so making efforts to increase their lifetime value with subsequent purchases is a much more cost-effective marketing activity.
The Omni-Channel Solution
The inherent value of existing customers is why there’s a dedicated post-purchase bucket in an omni-channel strategy. You can begin targeting these customers by investing in a high-quality email service provider that can send automated emails based on important website behavior. You can also use email to send purchase anniversary messages, coupon codes, or exclusive offers. Loyalty programs are another effective way to reward repeat customers. You can find great vendors in the email and loyalty spaces who offer fantastic features at a relatively low cost.
A Refreshed Approach Brings Many Benefits
Refocusing your 2022 marketing strategy to take an omni-channel approach will take a bit of work, but it will also pay dividends when you finish. Not only will your marketing work more effectively by targeting critical consumer behavior, but it will also help you prioritize your marketing activities based on what works best while solving a few critical problems along the way.
There\’s no better way to maintain your marketing momentum than by updating to a fresh approach and looking at your customers through a new lens. The discoveries you make will keep your business moving forward all year long.