Aman Arora, Co-Founder, Keventers
Keventers is India’s iconic dairy brand with a legacy of over 100 years best known for its authentic & delicious milkshakes.
We live in an interconnected world where internet has become a necessity rather than a luxury. We are leveraging internet in our day-to-day activities and no part of our life is untouched by technology. Thus said, an omnichannel approach is a modern tactic that focuses on designing a unified user experience for customers at every touchpoint is trending in today’s marketing industry.
Technological advancements have transformed today’s world. From the moment we wake up to the time we sleep, from every corner of our house to online opportunities to print technology, there are various ways in which brands are present in customer’s lives. In the present world, a consumer has many brand options to choose from. While brand loyalty still exists, the consumer today is highly informed and changing his/her brand association within a fraction of a second has now become the new trend. If a particular brand does not meet a consumer’s expectations, they have plenty of other brands in their basket and won’t think twice before switching to the other. This gives progression to omni channel marketing where brands are competing with each other to reach consumer satisfaction.
"Omni-channel becomes vital through digital marketing for it to be successful and executed well, with a little creativity and with the help of technology"
How Omnichannel is Different from a Multi-Channel Approach
OmniChannel approach is a strategic plan to build a lucid, aligned experience engaging integrated consumers across multiple platforms. Omni-channel, in simple words, is how customers can experience a familiar feeling throughout their particular brand’s platforms. For instance, on what platform are they engaging should not make a difference however, what they experience counts in omni-channel marketing, making cross-channel relationship is its core.
Conversely, multichannel marketing is a different concept. Numerous brands still function on a decade-old service model that prevents them from responding effectively to the evolution in consumer needs and behaviours, which is a case in multi-channel approach. The brand uses wide range of platforms like their website, Instagram, Facebook page and a blog to engage their consumers. However, customers lack a fluid experience without a consistent message.
Why Omni-Channel Approach
This is an important strategy for the newly emerging entrepreneurs in the business field. In order to reach the top of the ladder, the first important thing is to know your audience. Mapping your consumers journey from the time they wake up to the time they sleep, making consumer satisfaction the highest priority.
Customers now have become more complex, empowered, demanding, interactive and more connected to companies, hence every brand must develop its own unique omni-channel infrastructure to provide a fantastic user experience. Every company has their own omni Channel arrangement and need to work in unison with different departments to build a seamless experience for the customers.
The major brands are now seeking new ways to adapt to the digital world, building their digital capabilities and generate more digital offerings to benefit the company as well as the customers. Omni-channel becomes vital through digital marketing for it to be successful and executed well, with a little creativity and with the help of technology. However, offbeat media such as walk-in outlets is also an example of an omni-channel approach and is equally important.
There are brands with successful campaigns, social media promotions, commercials and unusual marketing tactics. For example, one of the clothing brands of India has online store with limited options as compared to the physical store. A customer is more likely to visit the outlet. Similarly, if a customer is not satisfied online, it is likely that the customers may not shop at all from that particular brand. The consumers today are increasingly demanding a fluid customer experience. Thus, with the shift in consumer behaviour, customers prefer to browse all the channels to make an informed decision. Therefore, in my expertise, what medium is opted does not matter whereas the overall feel of the brand does, making omni-channel approach inevitable in today’s day and age.
Ways in which brandscan leverage Omni-Channel approach
Brands can leverage omni-channel approach by personalising the content for individual customers. Using these techniques; a sense of belonging is generated among the customers. Tracking the consumer behaviour through various channels, the brands tailor their activity according to consumers’ needs. If the consumer’s feels detached and the experience does not meet their standard, consumers castigate it as poor brand experience and do not affiliate with the brand anymore. Therefore, now brands influence omni-channel approach through innovative ways by merging all the channels and to garner a consistent experience.
Further, advertising is the key tool used in omni-channel approach. The brands can leverage all their existing platforms from digital ads, to social media, to printer banners. However, the most important thing to keep in mind is to reinforce the same messaging through all the channels to maintain the consistency.
While the omni-channel approach has played a massive role in transforming the industry, advanced technology and solutions, have brought in several challenges especially with regard to the quality and maintenance of these channels.
It is highly difficult to create identical platforms through e-commerce and retail. To set the same amount of incentives across all platforms without increasing the competition becomes difficult. While, it is important to create a unified backbone among all the departments, it is difficult to measure its success. For instance, if you are marketing an advertisement through various channels like Facebook, website, blog and a banner outside the store, how will you know which medium is the most effective. Moreover, using this approach the brand will lose control over consumer interaction.
With rise of e-commerce, the cost of online acquisition is also rising. The omni-channel approach can be costly nowadays, nevertheless reaping more benefits, proving an overall cost-effectiveness for the brand.
So what’s next?
Consumers understand brands through numerous ways, and their dominant perception of the brand may be formed by these experiences. The brands need to ensure that their communication through these channels are captivating and constant throughout. The brands strategize each step of its consumer, making their lives easy and promising a relief from the day-to-day stresses, being their core tactic. The brands have to keep innovating themselves, being up-to-date in order to make the customer experience satisfactory. Omni-channel is here to stay by providing a holistic customer view with frictionless experience.