In today’s highly digital world, finding the best way to reach and influence a consumer can be a daunting task. Do you opt for SEO, social media campaigns, programmatic display ads, or email marketing? The answer is yes, to all. Because consumers are engaging with content across multiple channels and devices, a successful digital campaign needs to span across just as many platforms in order to be effective. You need to implement an omni-channel approach.
For example, imagine you are a runner interested in buying a new pair of shoes. You start with a simple Google search for “best running shoes” on your laptop. You are then served paid shopping ads for Nike, Asics, Footlocker, etc. Of course, you could click an ad, be directed to the Nike website and purchase a pair of shoes right there - a very single-track purchase path. But, being an educated consumer, you want to conduct more research before committing to a purchase.
So, you return to your Google search bar and look for more reviews or information about the shoes you want to buy. You click a Runner’s World article, “The Best Running Shoes of 2015,” and see a Nike display ad on the side of the page. You’ve just been retargeted with a programmatic ad.
Now, imagine you take a break from shoe shopping to browse Facebook or Instagram on your phone. Because you’re a runner, you’ve shown an interest in running and fitness content on social media. You’re now targeted with a paid social ad for Nike shoes. This ad has a 10% off promotion. You return to the Nike site and make your purchase.
In this example, you interacted with a search ad, a display ad, and a social media ad across both desktop and mobile devices before making a purchase. This omni-channel, omni-device purchase behavior is becoming more and more common, with 65% of purchases starting on a smartphone and 61% continuing on a PC or laptop. The reverse is also true, with 25% of shoppers starting the buying process on a PC or laptop and 19% continuing on a smartphone.
So, the question becomes not only where can we find our customers, but how? When? With what messaging? Below are some guidelines for running a successful omni-channel marketing campaign.
1. Track, Measure, and Use All Data Possible
To run an effective campaign, it’s key to track as much information about your customer experience as possible. Which of the site’s pages is the stickiest? Is there a point in the conversion funnel where you see customers dropping off? Data that should be tracked includes anything from performance data and audience segments (demographics, psychographics, and spending habits) to on-site behavior, creative, and messaging.
2. Audience Segmentation
Utilizing both first and third party data sources will help make sure you are reaching the most relevant audience for your brand. Audience data could come from the advertisers themselves or from big data companies like Acxiom, Bluekai, Lotame, Datalogix, and many others. That data enables you to create audience groups with statistically significant characteristics and conduct micro-tests to identify high performing segments. Within those pockets you can further segment messaging and creative variations to find the most effective content for each audience segment.
3. Consistent and Dynamic Messaging
Keeping your creative and copy consistent across all channels and devices is key to delivering a seamless brand experience within an omni-channel marketing campaign. Providing personalized messaging to consumers rather than displaying the same ad numerous times will help improve conversion rate. One way to keep potential customers engaged is to implement sequential messaging. With multiple creative variations, you can direct a user from a broad, branded ad click or search to a more user-specific ad based on his or her initial interest. For example, a movie-streaming site serves an ad featuring three movies, a comedy, horror, and romance. A user who clicks the ad and follows through on the site to the comedy will later be served an ad for a related title, rather than for a horror or romance film.
4. Cross Channel Prospecting
Prospecting is all about finding net new, relevant users who have never interacted with your brand before. This could include utilizing third party data lists to buy programmatic display ads, or targeting various demographic segments to find the best performing age, gender, location, and interest groups. Prospecting efforts should not only be multi-channel, but also across multiple audiences.
5. CRM Reactivation
First party data and the advertiser’s CRM data can be a very powerful tool for both acquisition and retention. For example, a customer file of users who have purchased/registered/booked within the last six months but who haven’t come back could be a prime group to target with a special offer or promotion. Users who have previously purchased a gift card during the month of December should be targeted with gifting creative and messaging during other gifting seasons as well.
by Brittany Lange, Senior Account Manager
For more information on running an omni-channel digital marketing campaign, please contact us.