We all know it well from personal experience — purchases don't happen in a single instance. They're often drawn-out journeys, taking place over time and across channels and devices.
An omnichannel approach helps you create a better user experience for your customer at every stage of their lifecycle, reduce churn, and nurture a positive reputation for your brand. At its best, this approach is an accurate replication of human-to-human interaction: your brand listens to your customers’ needs and responds appropriately. And it should be the top priority for your marketing team, as 71% of Gen Z say they expect a highly personalized digital shopping experience.
While managing omnichannel strategies for a small market is a simpler task, pulling off the same results for a larger regional or global audience is significantly more challenging. In this blog, we’ll explore three key tips for perfecting your omnichannel personalization at scale.
1. Create a single source of truth
Your customers expect you to remember them – whether their last interaction with you was over the phone, on one of your social channels, or online. Not only that – they expect you to take their last interaction into account when you offer them products and services.
Ignoring your customers’ previous interactions forces them into a game of chutes and ladders – every time they progress with their purchasing journey, they’re sent right back to the start when they open a new channel. This can cause customers to become frustrated and may encourage them to switch to a competitor.
To prevent this outcome, you must create a single source of truth, and make sure all your channels feed into it, so no customer interaction is missed. Capture your customers’ “digital body language,” store it all in one central repository, and make it accessible to every channel.
2. Connect your channels
Creating a seamless “purchase to loyalty” journey for your customers means connecting all your channels – so data flows continuously between them. You can complete this task manually, but it can be time and labor intensive, and even impossible at scale. It's best to implement automation to ensure data is exchanged fluidly and consistently between the key elements of your martech stack.
Ideally, this flow of data would happen in real-time, so your customers see the benefits in an immediate, natural way. You can’t expect customers to wait for someone to update a database before your commerce storefront recommends the right product for their needs, or before your call center recognizes them.
Plus, connecting channel data doesn’t just benefit your customers, it provides a more holistic view of customer behavior, which can be used to inform future business strategy.
For example, a leading healthcare company in the US enhanced its personalization by collecting data from different channels and checking it weekly against a catalog of persona needs – allowing it to adjust related targeting on a regular basis. It considered how key personas had changed throughout the pandemic, and explored their different emotions, feelings, and desires as indicated across different touchpoints.
3. Unify your content
The healthcare provider’s story didn’t stop there. It tailored its communications according to its data – offering support, customer satisfaction, or resolution according to the customer’s profile. This personalization strategy became the key driver for all its marketing, and the backbone for sustained success.
Often when businesses start out with tackling personalized omnichannel marketing, the content creation implications can be overlooked. Without the right marketing strategy, tools, and execution in place, your project could very well meet a significant roadblock.
To follow the healthcare provider’s example, you’ll need to create content that’s suitable for each segment and persona of your target audience. To simplify this task, you can develop modular content that can be combined or changed to fit each persona and the requirements of each channel. This means the right customers are served with the right messages, at the right times – making them feel valued and appreciated.
To further improve your targeting efforts, use your customer data and ad performance statistics to make informed decisions on what content has been effective, and use that insight to evolve your content and marketing efforts.
Get the right tools
Beyond following these tips, it’s essential you have the right tools for omnichannel. A true digital experience platform (DXP) can help you deliver a more personalized experience for your customers, across all the channels they engage with. To find out more about using a DXP for omnichannel marketing, get in touch with one of our experts.
Chris Becwar leads ecosystem go to market at Sitecore, helping ensure global customers take advantage of complementary technologies to gain a competitive edge.