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The Journey to Omni-Channel Success

In its simplest form, the key to omni-channel success can be described in a single word; seamlessness. Modern marketplaces are competitive spaces and, as customers are consistently looking for brands that can provide unified journeys across a range of platforms and devices, the need to deliver seamless omni-channel user experiences is becoming ever more important.

The difference between multi-channel and omni-channel marketing

Although these two marketing concepts might sound similar in theory, in practice they are very different.

Multi-channel marketing is a term which encompasses a business’ provision of multiple points of contact which exist independently of one another. Omni-channel marketing, however, allows audiences to engage with a brand as a complete entity.

When executed effectively, omni-channel experiences help audiences to forge more meaningful connections with brands. They don’t feel as though they are being kept at arm’s length, or forced only to interact in very specific ways that work for the organisation -but not for them!

The importance of developing a comprehensive understanding of your target audience

Creating a really good omni-channel experience relies upon on the development of a really comprehensive understanding of your audience. If you fail to identify how to connect with your audience in relevant and engaging ways, you will struggle to maintain the brand memorability and loyalty required to make an impact in today's competitive landscape.

The seamless merging of marketing channels and provision of cohesive user journeys

Audiences expect to receive a consistent user experience regardless of how they choose to interact with brands. Meeting expectations in one area means very little if you are failing to deliver in another. Consistency drives trust and confidence.

Gin specialists Hendrick’s mastered both its offline and online marketing strategies independently of one another, but when it began to understand the importance of providing a unified customer experience, it invested in an online platform that provided its audience with a familiar yet stimulating user journey.

Fully responsive, intuitive, and multi-layered, the online Hendrick’s experience is as detailed and visually rich as you would expect from a theatrical and narrative-focused brand. Data capture technology means that the brand's marketing team can easily identify which campaigns performed well, helping them to make informed and strategic business decisions and to identify increasingly effective ways to connect with their customers whilst maintaining a clear, consistent brand image.

Importantly, the platform’s backend provides support for the brand’s tailored country/region-specific websites. While the content on its UK, Spain, US, and rest of the world sites is unique, the journey, branding, experience, and messaging remains consistent.

The importance of maintaining a consistent omni-channel focus

It is worth taking a moment here to look at how John Lewis has become a leading expert in omni-channel retailing in the UK. Despite constant pressure from Amazon, teams at John Lewis have chosen to focus on one of the brand’s primary motivations, the provision of superior customer service, and have applied this notion across every single point of contact.

John Lewis has invested heavily in an annual Christmas advertisement for some time, but each year its social media and in-store integration improves. Recent in-store additions have included virtual reality headsets, allowing customers to ‘be’ in the advertisement themselves as one of the starring characters. This was replicated using 360 video uploaded to YouTube for customers unable to visit the store in person.

The real lesson that can be learned from John Lewis’ success is that it is important for brands to not to lose sight of the core business values that form their foundations. Maintaining an authentic and convincing USP (unique selling point) is crucial.

The conclusion? Avoid succumbing to distractions from your competitors. Instead, focus on adding value to your unique customer experience in ways which are closely related to your core brand principles.

Originally posted on the DotLabel website

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