People often ask me, ” What are some omnichannel marketing examples that I can use to boost my DTC company.” I think that many people are starting to wake up to the concept of omnichannel marketing, however, there is still some confusion of exactly how to get started or what are some best practices you can use for your own company.
I wanted to give a brief overview and then delve into some concrete examples so you can see how this marketing approach can help you succeed.
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Technology has become a part of most people’s lives for work, while at home, and when on the go. Most people will have at least one device that’s connected to the Internet. The pervasiveness of the Internet and these devices have changed how people interact with companies when making purchases. Therefore, companies need to change from their traditional marketing methods to find ways to better reach their customers.
Even in the realm of digital marketing, changes are happening. Therefore, marketers should make it a point to create a better approach that can work for all customers—omnichannel marketing. First, we’ll learn more about this type of marketing, and then will look at five companies that have mastered it.
This is more than just a buzz phrase. These omnichannel marketing examples will allow you to create a branded, integrated experience for your customers regardless of how they might be shopping and interacting with your company. The goal is to provide a cohesive experience regardless of how the customer decides to reach out to your company.
Customers might be using their phone, a desktop, mobile Internet, or they might come into your physical store. Regardless, their experience should be unified. Remember that omnichannel is different from multichannel.
If a company offers a multichannel experience, it means that users can communicate with the company through a range of channels. However, those channels are not connected and don’t always work synchronously, which is how it differs from omnichannel marketing.
Many companies are using multichannel experiences with their social media, website, and blog, but they aren’t providing customers with a true, seamless experience. Choosing omnichannel means considering the platform and the device the customers are using and ensuring that it provides a better, integrated experience for them. It becomes easier to align goals for marketing, messaging, etc. for all channels and devices.
Today, businesses are starting to see the benefit of choosing omnichannel rather than multichannel experiences. Some are doing it better than others are. Below are the top five companies that have taken to omnichannel marketing with great success.
Without a doubt, Disney provides a true omnichannel experience for customers. The omnichannel marketing examples found below are some of the best in the world. For example, the company’s website is easy to navigate and use whether customers are on desktop or mobile. This is true for all of the Disney websites, including Disney Plus and the trip-planning site. It’s all simple to use, so you can find exactly what they need.
With the trip-planning website, for example, you can book your trip and use the My Disney Experience tool that will make planning everything easy. You can determine where you will be dining, get set up for a Fast Pass, and more. When you get to the Disney park, you can then use the mobile app to find all of the attractions you want to experience. You can even see what the current estimated wait time will be for the rides and attractions. This goes well beyond the old paper maps of the park customers used to rely on for getting around.
They also have a MagicBand wristband that will provide even more convenience for the guests. With one of these bands, customers can unlock their hotel room doors, get into the parks, get photos, check in at the FastPass entrance, and more. It’s even possible to charge items in the park to the hotel room, which is easier than carrying a lot of cash and credit cards throughout the park.
All of the sites, the park, and more have consistent branding, as well. They have created a beautiful and seamless customer experience across the board. Customers are pleased with how easy everything is, and it helps them to remain loyal. Even though most companies do not have the budget that Disney has, they can still make great use of these omnichannel marketing examples.
REI is a popular company selling outdoor gear. They have an online store, as well as physical locations, and their branding and marketing tie it all together. The desktop and mobile sites have the same types of features and functions, and both are easy to use. REI offers more than just brand new goods, too. They have used gear and an REI outlet, all of which can be found through the website and mobile site.
From the site, you can do more than just find gear. You can also learn more about classes and events, get advice on a range of outdoor sports, a co-op membership, and more. With the REI app, you can do more than just shop in the store. You can locate stores near you and find out what items are in stock and which are not. The company even has catalogs that can be sent to a customer’s home if they prefer shopping that way.
There are many touchpoints for customers, which provides consumers with more options when it comes to interacting with the company. The branding is the same across each of these touchpoints and in the store itself.
Sephora is one of the most popular makeup retailers in the country, and they have become masters of omnichannel marketing. The company does a remarkable job of creating a consistent brand experience whether the customers are using the mobile or desktop site or if they are in a brick-and-mortar location.
You can shop for a range of quality products at Sephora, while also choosing favorites, which will carry across the mobile and desktop site, as long as you have an account. You can check order status, special offers, get rewards that can be used online or in-store, and even get recommendations from beauty advisors. The online app has a makeup virtual try-on tool, as well.
Sephora knows its customers well. They know what the customers want and will find valuable, and that’s where they put their omnichannel marketing efforts. They make it easy for customers to narrow their options and to keep track of the items that interest them. The company has a consistent message across its sites, social media, and in their stores.
Like the other brands on this list, Starbucks is already popular. They are on the list because they do a good job at omnichannel marketing, particularly when it comes to their rewards app. Many consider it to be one of the best examples of quality omnichannel marketing.
The card provides users with rewards when they make purchases. With enough rewards, it can reduce the cost of future purchases, provide free items, etc. However, this is more than just the traditional punch-card that used to be available at certain eateries. This rewards app makes it possible to check the balance on the card and to reload it through your phone if needed.
You could also add more to the card’s balance right on the app or in the store. Customers can also order and pay ahead, which will make it faster and easier for them to get what they ordered without needing to stand in line.
Any changes that are made will be updated across your profile to all of the different channels including the desktop app. The system is easy to use, and because it features different levels, it gamifies the process of buying. Many customers feel more incentivized to buy when they feel they are working toward some type of reward.
Although omnichannel marketing is often thought of for retail stores and online sellers, it can work for many types of businesses, including banks. The omnichannel experience is becoming more important to customers who want to see it outside of the typical retail space, and Bank of America is providing what people want.
Financial technology companies like this one can provide a smooth experience for customers through many different types of banking transactions. Whether the customer is taking money from an ATM, checking their balance on their desktop, or making payments from their phone, or they are visiting the bank in person, a good experience is essential.
Bank of America has been working on perfecting its omnichannel experience to the delight of its customers. For example, the app makes it easy for customers to deposit checks and set up appointments at the bank. This can be done through tobile and desktop apps.
They also have started something called robo branches. This is essentially self-service at the bank. These branches are smaller and they do not have any employees on-site. There is currently a branch in Minneapolis and two in Denver. Customers can make an appointment, show up at the branch, and then have a video conversation with a bank employee working at a remote location. The rooms in the robo branch can only be accessed with a Bank of America debit or ATM card for added security.
Bank of America is finding more ways to meet the needs and desires of its customers. This can help to save time since it’s possible to make an appointment rather than waiting in line to talk with someone in person.
Many companies are opting to choose omnichannel marketing like the companies discussed above. It provides a range of benefits and is a good option for businesses like yours. If you utilize the omnichannel marketing examples that I presented for these top companies you can see ways that your company can benefit, regardless of the budget you have to work with.
Just to drive the point home, below are some of the main benefits that omnichannel marketing can provide.
Omnichannel marketing allows companies to create marketing campaigns that tend to be more effective. This is because it is often easier to collect and parse customer data from across all of the channels.
The data can be from systems such as shopping carts, social media, mailing lists, point-of-sale systems, cookies, and more. The information gathered can provide the details companies need regarding their customers. It becomes easier for you to know your customers’ interests, behaviors, and intent. This leads to better marketing, which will in turn lead to a higher conversion rate.
Companies should all strive for more brand visibility. Whether you are brand new or already a major player in your field, spreading awareness of your brand and reminding people of your brand is essential. Omnichannel marketing helps you to create consistent messages and branding across all of the channels you are using—in-store, online, and mobile.
Whether customers encounter your brand through social media, your website, or when they stop into your store, it should be consistent. It leads to better brand recognition and visibility. With more visibility comes greater loyalty from your customers.
Although it might seem like a lot of work, you’ll find that it’s well worth it. Because omnichannel marketing can help you learn more about your customers and create better marketing campaigns, it will mean less wasted money. The trial and error for your marketing campaigns will be less severe. Once you have a good omnichannel environment in place, you’ll find that it will more than pay for itself, which leads to the next benefit.
Omnichannel marketing makes your customers happier. They have more options for interacting with your company through the various channels, and they like this flexibility and improved customer engagement. This means that they are often more likely to become repeat customers, helping you earn more money.
Bottom line … its time for you to Invest Time and Energy into Omnichannel Marketing
Companies of all sizes should start thinking about omnichannel marketing and the ways that it could help them better connect with their customers. Different companies will naturally have different budgets and strategies for this type of marketing, but it shouldn’t be ignored.
More and more customers are coming to expect options like those mentioned above with companies like Disney and Sephora. Think about the options available and what might work for you. The goal is to find a solution that works for your company’s needs, helps your customers, and fits within your current budget. Keep in mind that you don’t have to do it all at once. You can figure out what elements can work for your business and add them in piecemeal if needed.
About the Author
For over 25 years, Jay Sung has been a passionate leader in driving sustainable growth through direct-to-consumer, e-commerce, and customer acquisition strategies. Mr. Sung oversees corporate branding and growth initiatives utilizing a continuously evolving toolkit of digital marketing strategies and technologies to drive innovative direct marketing programs for portfolio companies – from startups to Fortune 500 organizations.
Previously, Mr. Sung served as the Chief Marketing Officer for Guthy-Renker, a $1.3 billion industry leader in the direct-to-consumer health and beauty market. He is best known for developing consumer acquisition and marketing strategies for leading brands such as Meaningful Beauty® with Cindy Crawford, Wen® Haircare by Chaz Dean, IT Cosmetics™, and many others. In addition, he served as the CEO of such well-known brands as The Proactiv Company and Lot18.
Mr. Sung lives in Los Angeles, enjoying all Southern California has to offer. You’ll frequently find him reading the latest business journal, cooking, or practicing the piano to relax. Mr. Sung earned his Bachelor of Science degree in economics with a double concentration in marketing and accounting from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.