If you ask me what today’s biggest challenge for advertisers is, I would reply without any hesitation that it’s building an omni-channel strategy.
The hottest topic for any business is how to measure the link between online and offline.
I see many brands trying as hard as they can to build what they call an “omni-channel” strategy, based on their challenges as a business. Unfortunately today, thinking you can still force your vision onto your client will only get you to drive him away.
Let me explain what I’m trying to make clear. 60 years ago, watching TV was a family event. Everybody gathered in the living room, sat in front of the TV and listened to what the TV anker had to say. The ways of communicating changed at that moment, brands started to use a more emotional tone of voice instead of an informative one, for example. Watching TV was what we call a stimulus. We saw an ad (and focussed on it), thought the product was nice and it gave us the desire to go to our favorite store and buy the product (the store we’ve been going to for 15 years because that was how loyalty worked back then). Once we were in that store in front of the shelves, looking at the packaging of that product, listening to the sales-guy and ending up buying the product, we entered our first moment of truth. This is the moment you make your choice and stick to it. Once you left the store, got back home and tested the product, this is what we called the second moment of truth.
The state of digital being what it is: a boom of internet connections and mobile penetration throughout the world, you would be silly to think that, as a business, you still have all the power you used to have…
Technology instored a new moment of truth: the Zero moment. If we take the same example I just used, you still get confronted to different stimuli, but before going to a store (the era of our favorite store is over!) you take out your smartphone, laptop,… and look for information (on YouTube, Facebook, Google,…). Only when you’ll have decided for yourself which product you’ll be buying, you’ll go to a store (on- or offline) and enter that first moment of truth.
Smartphones serve us almost only to experience this zero moment of truth. As we already mentioned in an older blogpost, mobile serves people mainly to look for information around a product or service. Most people looking on mobile will get in touch with a business, by trying to call it, or going to a physical location. When you know that 65% of decisions start on mobile and end somewhere else (in store, on a desktop device,…), you understand the importance of an omni-channel strategy.
As I said, many advertisers today try to develop such a strategy, but only think in terms of their business, not taking into consideration what’s best for their clients. As a customer, the only thing you want is to get in touch with the business you chose and try to buy what they have to offer you, any way suits you best in the context you are in.
As a business, if you want to answer such a demand properly, the first thing you should do is to stop thinking in silos. Your customer isn’t doing it, so why would you?
Having a marketing budget that is separated from a sales budget (and business unit for that matter…) is silly if you think the way your customer thinks.
Giving the possibility for your customer to start researching online and end his purchase offline is something that every business should do. Providing his/her client with the correct information, at any given moment. In other words, having an online and offline department of marketing is again something every business should ban !
This first step is one to make, in order for a business to be successful in it’s marketing & sales strategy. Once you dare to evolve (the way your customer did… ), you’ll be able to enter the next phase: putting everything you need in place to measure the real bridge between on- and offline.
If you liked what you’ve just read, check out this great case about Macy’s!
Want to know more about how to build an effective omni-channel strategy? Contact us and we’ll be glad to help !