In the second article in our omnichannel marketing series, we'll look at an example of what omnichannel marketing can be.
Have you faced the same problem as Joan?
Joan is tired. Tired of having to get up throughout the night, of not knowing whether she is a good mother, of all the choices a new mother has to make. How on earth should she know what to look for when she goes to buy a car seat for her baby tomorrow? She has tried to prepare by signing up to various newsletters in the hope of getting some good advice, but the most recent ones have not been much help. Sure, they have figured out that she is looking for a car seat, but instead of helping her choose the right one, she has been presented with even more alternatives.
As you can see, life as a new mother (or consumer) is not easy.
Automation is often soulless
Everybody knows the feeling that Joan has: being repeatedly and excessively exposed to the very thing she had found out for herself, i.e., a situation where customer communication is an empty echo of the customer's own actions. That’s a shame, because it means that Joan feels “sold to” – even though she is ready to buy something that could be of value to her.
A buying guide could be the solution
There are a number of tools for writing product recommendations, and the suppliers’ value propositions all sound the same: "We have an award-winning algorithm that can predict which products the individual customer is most likely to buy”.
You might think that this solution sounds good, but this totally disregards the real need that Joan has. Joan doesn't need to be shown more car seats. Rather, she needs help evaluating the various alternatives she has seen. If Joan were presented with a buying guide that, for example, showed the various dimensions of car seats, she would be able to move forward in her buying process, rather than ending up frustrated and overwhelmed.
A buyer's guide in this situation might contain information on how the various products are distinguished from each other, which ones are safety-approved, the results of professional tests, what other consumers have to say about them, how to install them in an old Ford Focus, which models are being bought by others in the neighbourhood, etc.
If this were the case, Joan would be helped towards making a reliable, safe and confident purchase.
The right content at the right time
If you are good at collecting and analysing data, you can figure out when a buyer's guide would be better for Joan than displaying more products. Better still, if you have a marketing automation system, you can even provide the information to Joan at the right time and on her preferred channel. It doesn't only have to be about a buyer's guide. "The right content at the right time" could also be after sale advice with tips for using the product, maintaining it or how to conserve its resale value.
There are many possibilities, so it is a matter of combining your knowledge about the customer with knowledge about your products in order to provide the right content at the right time. And that is precisely what omnichannel marketing is all about!