As the Risr team looks to the future, we’re interested in discovering how tomorrow’s innovative brands will disrupt today’s status quo. After all, it’s our job to make sure our clients are among those innovators in the near future.
As we move deeper into the digital age, most companies have multiple channels through which they expose their brand to their target audiences. The most common ones include:
- Company websites
- Social media profiles
- Email lists
- Support databases and teams
- Sales teams
- Advertising campaigns
In working with our clients, we’ve learned that most (not all, surprisingly) companies have some form of presence on each of the channels listed above. Some of these channels are done wonderfully well, and some are little more than placeholders. Regardless, we’ve consistently found that business owners and executives know that they need to exist on multiple channels.
As we analyze the emerging trends in experience management, we’ve noticed that many of the most successful brands in markets around the world are taking a giant leap forward, and doing something that distances them from their competitors by a wide margin.
OmniChannel Strategies vs MultiChannel Strategies
Brands that exist on the channels we mentioned above are deploying what we call a multi-channel strategy. It’s widely accepted that such a strategy is a minimum entry requirement if you want to compete for business in today’s markets. But for companies that want to dominate their markets, there’s an emerging strategy that takes things much further and delivers vastly improved results.
That strategy is known as an omnichannel strategy. In an omnichannel strategy, brands transition beyond existing on multiple channels, and focus on building a seamless brand experience across every channel. The brands that are able to execute these strategies go far beyond logos and taglines, and create an environment where information and valuable interaction data flows freely from channel to channel, ensuring that the conversation between brand and consumer is seamless.
To demonstrate, let’s look at a fictional appliance retailer who has implemented a successful omnichannel strategy.
Joe is browsing Facebook when he sees that his friend just bought a new refrigerator. He’s getting tired of the fact that his own refrigerator doesn’t make ice anymore, and looks pretty outdated.
Joe looks up the company his friend bought from from his phone, and finds a refrigerator that he likes. He calls his wife at home and tells her to check it out from their computer. She goes to the retailer’s site, and immediately sees the same refrigerator. She decides to open a web chat with the retailer, and asks questions about the refrigerator. The chat agent gathers information related to her needs and wants, and ultimately recommends a different refrigerator based on that information.
Joe’s wife tells him what the chat agent said about the second refrigerator that night over dinner. They decide to visit the store that evening to look at both refrigerators and make a decision.
When they get to the store, the sales agent is able to pull up all of the information from their previous chat, so he starts the conversation with a detailed knowledge of what they want and need, and knows which two models they’re interested in. He’s able to show them both models and answer further questions, which helps Joe and his wife choose a refrigerator. They have it scheduled for delivery the following weekend.
That weekend, the refrigerator is delivered and installed without any complication. Monday morning, Joe gets a call from the retailer, asking if his first weekend with the new refrigerator went well and if he has any questions.
Six months later, the refrigerator’s front display stops working. Frustrated, Joe calls the retailer’s support line. They immediately know which refrigerator he bought, and are able to schedule a repair under warranty.
The Impact on Your Business
One thing you’ll notice from this example is how the free flow of information between devices and channels allowed Joe and his wife to enjoy a tailored, frustration free experience. This experience is the key difference between a multichannel strategy and an omnichannel strategy, and is what will set tomorrow’s innovative brands apart from their competition. While the example above is specific to a retail setting, omnichannel can benefit any B2B or B2C brand. It’s all about leveraging the channels brands know they need to exist on today as part of an intelligent, cross-channel experience. Omnichannel is the answer to the question that keeps brand managers up at night: “How can I create the best possible experience for my audiences?”. In yesterday’s world, it was enough to exist, to put the right message in the right place. In tomorrow’s environment, that won’t be nearly enough. To become a leading brand, you’ll need to shift your focus to how your brand interacts with your audiences across all of your digital and offline channels. Your relationship with every person your brand touches must feel real, organic, and personalized. To do that, you need to focus on creating a true omnichannel experience.
As you explore ways to set your brand apart, consider how an omnichannel strategy can improve your sales process and customer experience. If you’re curious whether this strategy is right for your business, we’d love to discuss your current strategy and explore how omnichannel can help you reach your business goals.
How can an omnichannel strategy drive your brand forward?
Let the Risr team help build your brand’s omnichannel strategy.