Does the Glove Fit
How do you market your products or services today? Better yet, what’s your high level strategy?
On a that note, there’s two popular strategies marketers deploy:
Today, we will break down the differences and similarities along with analyzing which strategy may be a best fit for different small and medium sized businesses.
Before we jump the gun, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what each strategy means. On one hand, Omni-Channel Marketing (OCM) should be thought of as a strategic plan that has one overall goal, and each channel has the same job. More specifically, OCM is defined as a sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated shopping experience. The customer can be shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, via phone, or in a brick-and-mortar store, and the experience will be seamless. On the other hand, Multi-Channel Marketing (MCM) should be thought of as a strategic plan that has one overall goal, but each channel has different jobs. More specifically, MCM is defined as the blending of different distribution and promotional channels for the purpose of marketing. Distribution channels include a retail storefront, a website, or a mail-order catalogue. Multichannel marketing is about choice.
Here’s an example of both Omni-Channel Marketing (OCM) and Multi-Channel Marketing (MCM) in the real world:
Like we mentioned above, OCM uses different channels to work towards a single goal with a more uniform approach. So as a music reference, when an artist markets a new single or album, they have a number of options to get it out there. They have music videos, digital streaming, and radio – all of which operates through different mediums. However, they all just do one thing – they make people listen to their song.
MCM is used to achieve the same overall goal, which different jobs for each channel. We like to think of a sports team for this example. As you know, sports teams, like any business, have one goal- to win. But, even though their aim is the same, the players that take part in the game contribute to their team in different ways. For example, Tyrann Mathieu helps the Chiefs win by disrupting the opponents plays, while Patrick Mahomes helps them win when they are on offense. Each player has a specific job, which can vary greatly from each other, but are all geared towards a common goal.
So which strategy works best for small and medium sized businesses?
Of course that answer is relevant, but we can tell you that there has been a massive trend and demand from consumers expecting businesses to have an Omni-Channel Marketing strategy. Why? Simply because it gives customers the feeling that they are getting personalized services. If the system is geared to look at their point of view, the process will be able to fulfill their needs much faster. In addition, companies who successfully implement will stand head and shoulders above the competition. This is because the customers will feel like the business is always there for them– in return, fostering brand loyalty!
So why should you make sure your business is following an Omni-Channel Marketing strategy?
According to C1 partners, here’s four good reasons why:
98% of Americans switch between devices in the same day
77% of strong omni-channel companies store customer data across channels, compared with 48% for weak omni-channel companies
64% of customers expect to receive real-time assistance regardless of the customer service channel they use
3 in 4 who find local in search results helpful are more likely to visit stores
Does Omni-Channel Marketing work with medium and small sized enterprises?
The simple answer is… Duh! Granted, implementing an OCM strategy may be a lot of work, but it’s not impossible– even for small businesses. In fact, this approach actually favors small and medium sized enterprises (SME) as this approach leans heavily on the strengths of SME’s. By serving a local market, it allows businesses to target their intended demographic easier. Their limited scopes also allows them to keep things such as promos and orders in line, since there aren't as many variables included.
What about Omni-Channel Marketing with the physical medium?
The good news is that omni-channel marketing is NOT isolated to the digital medium, either. Converting people from website visitors to paying customers is still the goal, after all. Paying attention to the websites and apps won’t mean much if the service at the physical location is found lacking.
If your business is looking to innovate and strengthen your brand image along with your marketing channels, Oak Street has experience in creating successful OCM strategies. Not sure where to get started? Reach out today to set up a free project consultation with one of our experts so that we can customize an approach that is right for you and your business. As you know now, migrating over to an omni-channel marketing strategy approach takes time to set up but is well worth it in the end!