3 questions to ask while developing your omnichannel strategy

Speaking to your customer with a singular voice has always been important for brands. But the array of devices available to everyone everywhere means marketers need to be fully on top of their game if they want to have a successful omnichannel marketing strategy. That goes as much for B2B as for B2C.

"Executives of all ages are engaging with vendors on their iPads in airports, on their laptops or smartphones after work-hours and even checking social media," explained Paige O'Neill, CMO at SDL. "A company can no longer predict how and when their prospects will interact with their brand. Marketers also need to consider that many millennials are in their late 20s or early 30s, and are starting to make strategic buying decisions for their companies; some are even CEOs."

But it isn't as simple as just being on desktops, tablets and smartphones. SDL found that 58 percent of millennials expect to be able to engage with a company wherever they are on any device. The focus for marketers, then, is on what they want their customer to do with the short time the company has them.

So O'Neill posed three questions to marketers aiming to develop an omnichannel marketing strategy—along with some guidance on how to make sure you answer them the right way.

1. Are you tracking where and how customers interact with your brand? Access to all kinds of data makes it possible for marketers to delve into factors like time of day, device being used, frequency to the site and social interaction, and if you want to get the most out of your omnichannel approach they are absolutely points to analyze and track. "Measuring these data points will give marketers contextual clues to where their customers are in their buyer journeys," O'Neill said. "They can then use these behavioral insights to build their relationship and target customers on their terms."

2. Is your customer experience consistent across different devices and platforms? Consistency can be key when you're working across multiple platforms. Speaking with one voice helps set your brand apart from competitors and get your message across. The best way to do that is go to the source, tearing down siloes within marketing teams so that one person isn't managing data analysis, another targeting and yet another creating content. "Marketers need to keep the communication open, continually revisit goals and ensure that they are all mapping to their intended destinations," O'Neill suggested. "From there, marketers can begin to treat campaigns like self-perpetuating interaction cycles."  

3. How can you continue to connect internal silos to ensure access to all the critical data you need? Siloes between marketing and other departments are just as problematic as internal ones. One telltale sign that your department isn't collaborating with others as closely as it should is goals and strategies not aligning. An increased volume of data can make it even more difficult to keep everyone on the same page, so organization is key. "By first mapping out each customer touch point, marketers can then create a corresponding communications asset inventory," O'Neill explained. "This inventory will also ensure that all team members have access to the same data and understand how it's structured."

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