Javier Ildefonso
Javier Ildefonso 12 November 2014

Why Do They Call It Omni-Channel When They Mean Holistic Marketing?

As Forrest Gump said: "Stupid is as stupid does"

“If you want to pass an interview or you want to seem cool with your coworkers you have to say Big Data, Gamification, Cloud, Omni-channel, Internet of things, millennials… at least once by minute”.

If you want to get the job, you just need to combine the words like “I would implement an omni-channel strategy supported by our big data tools and processes on the Internet of things era, stored in a cloud service to save money and making it scalable, involving our future customer through our gamification concept what would be loved by the millennials

As Forrest Gump said: “Stupid is as stupid does”. It is so pretentious to try to explain a particular concept listed above in 1y master either a 30’ conversation. Human try to simplify concepts to make it easy to understand and retain it. If we have a health issue and we need surgery, we have a surgeon who will do it after 6 years of general medicine + 4 years speciality + X years of experience + continue studies (in Spain). Do not expect that great surgeon on pancreas cancer to be also so good in orthopedic surgery. Medicine is so wide! In my opinion, the concepts above are too much wide to try to simplify it in a short conversation or believing that you know everything, there are many interpretations and applications and all are valid. They are nice marketing names, that’s all.

I hope I still have your attention because I would like to talk about Omni-channel.

Is Omni-Channel a new concept? If your answer is NO, you can just “Like” the post and stop reading, I have nothing to share with you. If your answer is YES, keep reading, I have something to share with you. No worries about that, I made the same mistake in the past

What Is Omni-Channel?

Daniel Newman reported on Forbes an interesting statement of Marketo about Omni-channel definition: “Marketers now need to provide a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device. Consumers can now engage with a company in a physical store, on an online website or mobile app, through a catalog, or through social media. They can access products and services by calling a company on the phone, by using an app on their mobile smartphone, or with a tablet, a laptop, or a desktop computer. Each piece of the consumer’s experience should be consistent and complementary.”

Last 2 years, many people saw the advantages of having an strategy like that but… I am sorry, you are too late! If I take my Kotler & Keller’s book, called Marketing Management published on 2006 (I hope it sounds familiar to you, if not, you should order it as Xmas present; Pearson Prentice-Hall), where they talk about “Holistic Marketing on page 296. It says: “A holistic marketing concept is based on the development, design and implementation of marketing programs, processes and activities that recognize the breadth and interdependencies. Holistic marketing recognizes that ‘everything matters’ with marketing and that a broad, integrated perspective is necessary to attain the best solution.”

They highlight the importance of having an aligned messaging, consistent pricing, reliable processes and much more. It is all about the Customer’s touch points.

Marketers hardly tried to convince to the sales people, the interdependency of every single activity and their impact on their yearly sales. The salesmen response was not positive, they just focus on their accounts trying to get the maximum marketing budget for improving their accounts, not seeing any benefit on branding initiatives, etc. Marketers didn’t have good metrics to support their approach and those metrics were difficult to transform in a sales’ metric in order to convince the salesmen.

What Did Happen To Change Salesmen Point Of View?

Insight data explosion and new acquisition channels, what means, new credit. When you realizes that your business area is helping other company’s business area, you want to be credited for it and as sales tracking processes/tools have improved a lot over the past years, it is easier to monetize your impact.
See a few common examples:

  • Sales staff floor want to be credit on sales fulfilled on the Online Store when they have prescribed the product on the physical store.
  • Social Media people, which are spreading coupons online to redeem on the physical store, want to be credited
  • As much more Digital Acquisition Channels appear, many grey areas appear: Last click attribution? Multi-touch attribution? SEM, SEO, Affiliates, Retargeting… who should get the credit? Who impacted properly the end-user to convince about the purchase whatever be the purchase fulfillment?

So the answer about Omni-channel is easy … it is all about attribution.

Everything Matters!

There are 3 grades:

  • 1st grade: What you do to impact on company revenue
  • 2nd grade: What close departments do that impact directly in your revenue contribution
  • 3rd grade: What rest of departments do that impact indirectly in your revenue contribution

About 3rd grade: How do you feel when the brand that you are approaching behaves on the following ways?:

  • Unpolite Receptionist
  • Telemarketing/Telesales so invasive, annoying you with many calls (for an existing customer trying to sell more services, or to attract new customers)
  • Slow internal processes: Legal, Procurement…
  • HR sending you an automated email after applying for a job or when you are rejected after a few interviews
  • Employee presence (unshaven, clothes, punctuality…)
  • Support team not trained
  • If they behave unfair with their employees (I decided to sell all my shares of a company that I knew didn’t behave properly with the employees. I don’t want to fund these behaviours)
  • Dirty Office
  • Poor press/customer conference


Brand perception impacts on Mind-Share and Mind-Share will be Market-Share, what should mean revenue and profits.

If you feel more comfortable to keep having an Omni-channel strategy, that’s fine! But, if you have the opportunity (and your organization supports it), please go one step beyond, and implement Holistic Marketing because, remember “every dollar counts” (today and tomorrow)

This post first appeared on LinkedIn by Javier Ildefonso



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