SMS in an omnichannel enviroment
When it comes to marketing and the digital age, nothing is set on stone on what you need to do in order to reach the ROI that you need to call it both impactful and successful. The only thing certain is that throughout all your offline and online marketing efforts, you customer needs to get the feeling of the same treatment. That’s when it doesn’t matter how your customer chooses to engage with you because they will receive the same experience. Omni-channel is centered around the customer and is ensuring that customers can easily and seamlessly navigate between each company touch-point to make a single purchase.
15 years ago the average consumer typically used two touch-points when buying an item and only 7% regularly used more than four. Today consumers use an average of almost six touch-points with nearly 50% regularly using more than four. (Marketing Week)
SMS marketing has been a successful tool for businesses many years back when there were no apps for anyone to use and that was the first time a business could call their marketing efforts ''mobile friendly'' —SMS was pretty much the only way to reach customers on their cell phones. For many of us that was our introduction to mobile marketing. Even before the groundbreaking time when reading your email over your phone wasn't a benefit of the few wealthy people anymore and affordable phones with more options for the average consumer.
Technology moves forward, and so did the idea of mobile marketing. It doesn't matter if you're a SME company, large enterprise organization or a blue chip company. Your mobile presence and strategy needs to be on point and has to follow the trends and new ideas that every new year brings with it. In multi-channel marketing, a company may use different channels to interact with the customer but each channel is managed separately with a different strategy. Your focus should be about bridging the gap between the offline and online channels in order to provide a top-notch omni-channel experience that exceeds customer expectations. Customers are now offered an integrated experience and through text message marketing you get consumers engaged by creating a very personal experience for them. Omni-channel marketing is about providing appropriate and relevant content across different channels, that ties together to create a unified message without becoming repetitive.
Omni-channel marketing is about creating a mutually rewarding, connected experience across online and off-line channels, rather than focusing on content and messaging for each individual channel. (Adobe)
With SMS marketing, you are able to send different kinds of messages to your customers’ or subscribers’ phones. It can be used to offer discounts, coupons or special “text only” offers and can be used to drop the news about new products or services. The only thing that has changed in the efficiency of text marketing though the last couple of years is that if it is not consistent with all your marketing channels, the results are disheartening, as pretty much with every marketing channel used. When used as part of an overall strategy, it can really enhance key channels by improving open and engagement rates.
60% of millennials expect consistent brand experiences—whether in-store, online or by phone (SDL)
Texts are highly personal and create the best impact when delivering personalized messages and offers with short timescales. A text for example gives online retailers the ability to add a human touch, something that is hard to do in an online world. If you use the opt-in process as an opportunity to set expectations that will improve how your messages are perceived before you’ve even sent any. Either if you are doing it through your offline platforms such as magazines or tabloids or through your social media channels or TV ads.
- Identify and Prioritize Customer Channels
A great way to discover what’s working is to listen to what your audience is saying across channels. Navigate new channels to approve your strategic presumptions and make important adjustments before rolling out. Brand engagement is no longer just about messaging. Customers behave differently on different channels, in terms of buying strategy and responsiveness. Review every touchpoint of the buyer journey to identify high and low points so you can determine where to best concentrate your omni-channel efforts.
- Customer Profiles Create a Holistic View
The very foundation of a successful omni-channel experience is to connect customer data to individual customer profiles. Without customer data and an understanding of the unique customer's preferences, a smooth and personalized journey is nearly impossible. You should constantly leverage the enterprise considerations and insights to understand buyer priorities to personalize cross-channel experiences and add features to capitalize on unique channel characteristics
- Don’t Treat Your Channels Like Silos
If you’re thinking about expanding your omni-channel strategy, you’ll need to start viewing your channel marketing efforts holistically.The right choice of channels and customer touch points can be an integral part of a company's marketing strategy. When you implement an omni-channel marketing strategy all your channels of communication result in a holistic experience for your customer. Your audience expect you to provide a consistent experience from all the content, messaging, offers and interactions you provide. Unsatisfactory prospect or customer experiences with broken journeys and disconnected messaging across separate channels can impact your brand interaction and long term loyalty.
- Create Experiences That Transcend Location, Device and Channel
There may be one department responsible for email newsletters, another for customer service, another for events and yet another for content marketing. If these departments aren’t working together closely, it’s going to be impossible for an omni-channel strategy to work. Breaking down the multi-channel silos that separate search from social, email from mobile and so on allows your brand to be there in the right moment, helping serve a more consistent, integrated experience.
- Map-Out The Customer Journey
Marketing Tech News reveals, on average, modern marketing departments utilize seven different systems to run and track campaigns including measuring ROI – including email, lead nurturing, social, SMS and web personalisation. The centralisation of all of these systems is the key to efficient and seamless marketing delivery, as well as real-time performance reporting of multiple channels and accurate tracking of buyer interactions. As the market evolves, you may even notice a whole new consumer trend that requires a different strategy across new channels.
- Leverage the Power of Marketing Automation
Seamless integration between your marketing automation and CRM systems is also key in providing historical interaction data across channels and to continuously update customer profiles to ensure your marketing messages are always relevant. Omni-channel marketing automation uses high powered technology to stimulate the right communication for the appropriate consumer across email, web, mobile and other digital channels. If you’ve aggregated customer data into customer profiles, you can use a system for marketing automation to activate offline shoppers as well.
- Review Your Channel ROI
Omni-channel marketing strategies must take into consideration that a customer may begin their journey on one platform, only to Jump to another, and finally convert by way of a third. Being able to see which channels customers engage with before making a purchase is an important way to evaluate the effectiveness of your channels. This will help you to align your messaging, goals, and objectives across each channel and device.