This is why I fell in love with Marketing. Marketing is never boring! It is the epitome of the cliche: “The only thing that’s constant is change”. It seemed like it was just yesterday when the internet changed the way we communicated. Now, it has totally changed the way we transact. Then, social media emerged and conquered the market. Today, the smart devices are shaking the status quo.
When I was in college, my plan was to become a fashion designer. Major in Marketing and minor in Fashion Design. Luckily, the university I attended no longer allowed a minor in Fashion Design and so I concentrated solely on Marketing. It was like love at first sight! Marketing Principles, Marketing Research, Consumer Behavior, were some of my favorite subjects.
I keep my love for marketing alive by continuously studying the trends. Different Marketing Principles fall into one or more of the following categories: Social Media Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Video Marketing, Content Marketing, Multi-Channel Marketing, and now, OMNI-CHANNEL MARKETING – a fairly new marketing buzzword in the industry.
Omni-channel marketing refers to the seamless experience of consumers via all or any device. Companies can engage with consumers using one or more channels (in store, mobile app, social media, website, or customer service) without interruption, difficulty or extra charge. As the Senior VP of Customer Care at Time Warner so eloquently stated:
“Multi-channel is an operational view – how you allow the customer to complete transactions in each channel. Omni-channel, however, is viewing the experience through the eyes of your customer, orchestrating the customer experience across all channels so that it is seamless, integrated, and consistent. Omni-channel anticipates that customers may start in one channel and move to another as they progress to a resolution. Making these complex ‘hand-offs’ between channels must be fluid for the customer. Simply put, omni-channel is multi-channel done right!”
Omni comes from the word Omnis which means universal. The perfection of omni-channel marketing as a form of excellent customer service.
Picture this… You saw a few outfits on your mobile phone as you browsed through the Victoria Secret mobile site. You were interested in a few products so you viewed it in different colors. A window popped up and asked you to sign in through Facebook to receive a coupon so you obliged. You weren’t sold at the moment and got distracted. That night, when you opened your laptop, you noticed an email that said “These items are waiting for you”. Out of curiosity, you opened it and sure enough, they were the same products you were viewing on your phone. You still weren’t sold because you aren’t sure if they fit you perfectly so you planned a trip to the nearest Victoria Secret to try them on. When you walked in the store, your phone buzzed and guess what? It was a coupon that you were promised when you signed in on Facebook. The coupon said “ask one of our sales associate to scan this code to redeem your discount” and so you did. When the sales associate scanned it, she gained access to the products you were interested in so you didn’t have to look for it. She tells you to follow her and she showed you the products you were looking for. You tried them on in the fitting room and you were happy and ready to purchase. When the associate came back to check on you, she offered to ring you up using her mobile device so you didn’t have to stand in line. When you left the mall, your phone buzzed again and it was a message thanking you for your purchase with an attached coupon for your next visit and a suggested share button for you to post your recent purchase to earn more coupons.
Isn’t that amazing? I won’t be surprised if some of you found it intrusive. Well, I’m amazed and I welcome it! You may wonder, how did your phone know that you were in the store? Well that’s called a BEACON! I’ll discuss how beacons work on my next blog.