Omnichannel marketing has proven itself to be more than just a buzzword of 2020. As brands are faced with more diverse buying patterns and higher expectations from consumers, siloed media plans are no longer a viable option. Advertisers are quickly realizing both the importance and necessity of implementing an omnichannel marketing strategy.
Today, 90% of brands either have or plan to invest in an omnichannel marketing solution. That number is up from 2017 when only 25% of brands reported that they provided a “seamless and consistent customer experience across all sales channels” and only 22% were implementing “marketing strategies geared toward customers converting on any channel.” In less than three years advertisers have had to improve and adapt their digital media plans drastically to stay on track with consumers and competitors who have already made the shift to omnichannel marketing solutions. As with any quick shift in strategy, there’s bound to be a few hiccups along the way.
Below, we’ve outlined five omnichannel marketing challenges that advertisers face and solutions and tips on how best to approach them.
But first, what is omnichannel marketing?
Omnichannel marketing is an approach to marketing that addresses the customer experience on each channel – desktop browser, mobile, retail, social media, podcast, and any others you might use – and how customers transition between each channel as they make purchases.
What are some omnichannel marketing challenges?
1. Channel Consolidation
Consumers generally experience at least 6 touchpoints before making a purchase with a brand. As you can see in the graphic above, these touchpoints range from OTT/CTV to social media to search to email. The purpose of an omnichannel marketing strategy is to create a unified, uninterrupted, and seamless consumer experience across all of these channels. Understandably, this can be rather intimidating and frankly, difficult for brands to achieve.
The solution? There are a variety of data-driven tools brands can use in order to better track and identify consumers across different channels.
a. Identity solutions like MediaMath’s ConnectedID and EnrichedID, and Google’s Advertising ID.
Without solutions like these in place, advertisers will only be able to bid on impressions where the targeted action occurred on a specific consumer’s device. Utilizing a solution such as MediaMath’s ConnectedID uses cross-device recognition to bid on any of the targeted user’s devices.
How does it work? A cross-device solution uses deterministic data (such as a cookie or Mobile advertising ID) or individual (such as a customer ID) to link users across browsers and devices and build out a proprietary cross-device graph. Advertisers pass back a deterministic identifier so that associations can be built out for the advertiser’s customer base. A probabilistic model, where 3rd party cookies are not supported, is also used to pull in variables to assign cookieless IDs and identify users in those environments as well.
Not only do these solutions solve for channel segmentation challenges, but they also expand brands’ visibility and improve retargeting strategies, message amplification, and frequency management.
b. Measurement and attribution solutions like Adverity and Datorama.
These tools use integrated settings and connectors to access all data points, including those stored in walled gardens. After the data is collected, relevant data is presented to advertisers across dashboards that are both easily accessible and digestible. You no longer have to spend hours trying to gather and analyze data. With this data all in one place, advertisers are then able to analyze performance across all campaigns and channels. This helps advertisers:
- Analyze cross channel attribution which in turn mitigates channel siloes
- Identify negative trends before they greatly impact your business
- Better optimize toward your specific campaign or business KPIs
If you’re interested in learning more about measurement and attribution solutions, schedule a live demo with one of our analytics experts here.
c. CRM and marketing automation platforms like Salesforce, Marketo, and HubSpot.
CRM platforms are extremely resourceful tools for organizations and sales teams to integrate into their workflow. With tools such as Salesforce, HubSpot, and Marketo advertisers are able to see how a lead entered the sales funnel – what ad they clicked on or social media post they saw. CRMs track valuable information about where consumers are in the sales funnel, what products or offers they are most likely to interact with, and conversions/interactions they have with your brand. Using this information allows you to implement tailored outreach campaigns, strategically moving the leads down the funnel.
However, you can take this CRM data a step further and integrate it into your advertising campaigns to use across different platforms and channels. With Digilant’s Data and Onboarding solutions, our team will utilize your CRM data to create a more tailored, streamlined, and cross-channel ad experience for your consumers. Because this data signifies a user’s intent, creative ads will be more timely and personal to the consumers. This data can also be used to find new consumers whose online behavior mirrors your current consumers with look-alike targeting.
2. Lacking a Data-Driven Mindset
Some companies face a challenge when adapting to an omnichannel solution because the organization is not data-driven. Maybe your company has worked in terminal operations for years (or decades) and there isn’t a strong push to change this. At the end of the day, the idea of an omnichannel marketing strategy is only about 10 years old. So, it’s not surprising that some companies are still working to or having a hard time shifting the mindset to this data-driven marketing world we live in today.
The solution? First and foremost, a data-driven mindset has to come from the top of the organization. It’s difficult to change the mindset of the company when key stakeholders are not on board. Assuming that is not a hurdle you have to overcome at your company, now it’s a matter of making sure everything you do and processes you put in place all work to the overall goal of being a more data-centric company. Below are some steps you can take as an organization to kick-start this data-driven mentality
Understand that you need data and why you need data
Data can help to identify best practices within your advertising campaigns while also identifying new opportunities and audiences. Simultaneously, adopting a data-driven mindset will help quickly showcase and eliminate potential problems within your campaigns. Overall, data-driven omnichannel marketing campaigns are more efficient, scalable, and allow for better growth and efficiency.
Identify a Data Advocate
Whether this is identifying someone within your organization or looking externally to hire a new candidate, designate a person (or team) at your company that will push the data-driven mindset forward. Encourage them to ask questions, dive into research, and bring new and innovative ways to keep the data-driven mindset at the forefront of your company’s operations.
If you are short on resources internally, look to outsource insights and initiative towards a data-driven mindset. At Digilant, we have an entire team of data analysts that helps brand and advertisers to comprehend large data sets, drive performance through informed decision, and understand consumer behavior.
Find a data solution that works for you
This leads us to our next omnichannel marketing challenge and a solution to help solve it. Keep reading #3.
3. Data Management (and Integration)
The average marketer is now keeping track of customer information from an average of 15 different data sources. With each click, swipe, like, and comment, we are gathering more and more data about consumers. And, when it comes time to implement these data points into campaigns, matching the different formats can lead to more troubles and sometimes, data loss.
The solution? Although it might require a bit of work upfront, establishing a unified data management workflow will put you ahead of the game in terms of data management and implementation. Rather than waiting until it’s time to implement the data into a campaign – which might require backtracking to gather, audit, and organize data – having a workflow in place from the getgo will set you up for success. To establish a data management workflow for your organization, think about all potential use-cases of data, and establish steps to make the most efficient and effective data management workflow. Taking the time to put a process together now will help mitigate challenges down the line.
During any data management discussions within your organization or with outside partners, it’s important to remember the importance of consumer privacy and your role in protecting it. Here are a few resources to help you prepare for the changes in consumer privacy.:
Apple iOS 14: What It Means for Marketers and First-Party Data
A 5-step path to cookieless digital marketing
4. Silos between the Sales & Marketing team
A tale as old as time: the chicken or the egg? Sales or Marketing? Silos amongst different departments are a pain point for many companies – 39% of employees believe teams in their company don’t collaborate enough. However, these team divisions don’t usually stem from a negative place. The sales team members have different areas of expertise and focus than the marketing team. People with these strengths are strategically chosen and hired help to move business along in both a sales and marketing capacity. However, now that consumers are practicing a more omnichannel experience, that means they are entering the sales funnel from a variety – and possibly multiple – channels, but expecting a linear path of communication from the brand. Segmented messaging from the sales and marketing team not only creates a bleak and non-preferential experience for the consumer, but it is also inefficient for the organization.
The solution? Having a sales and marketing team aligned with a unified, clear strategy is now more essential than ever for a successful omnichannel marketing solution. The first step toward combating company silos is clear communication throughout the entire organization. Although, that’s usually much easier said than done.
There’s no strategy that will work across the board for how best to engrain the importance of communication and a unified goal among your team. You have to find what works best for your employees and the leadership team. It could be weekly meetings, email newsletters, or employee dashboards. Whatever strategy your organization lands on, repetition and consistency are key.
Once this communication strategy is put into place, here a few ways to continue to engrain the importance of interdepartmental collaboration to reach the company’s goals:
- Visually showcase how each of their roles fits into the overall puzzle, highlighting cross-functional departments and areas for opportunity.
- Identify cross-departmental liaisons (or whatever term works best for your organization). These people should use an unbiased point of view to work as mediators as any problems or concerns arise.
- Conduct cross-functional training amongst your team. Learning a new skill set will help employees understand how different roles fit into the overall picture.
- Accept and encourage feedback. Hearing from all levels of the organization will help shape perspective on where siloes may be forming.
5. Lack of Resources
As brands are starting to implement omnichannel marketing strategies, there are investments they have to consider ahead of time. There are costs related to training, and recruiting the right talent. Even once you have the team built, the investments continue to ensure your team is up to date on new regulations, channels, and consumer trends.
The solution? Look to outside resources and partners, like Digilant, who can take all or some of the responsibility of managing, executing, and optimizing omnichannel campaigns off your plate. An outside partner will not only serve as an extension of your in-house team but will provide additional knowledge and expertise you may not have access to otherwise.
Finding an omnichannel marketing partner to complement your team will help alleviate some of the biggest omnichannel marketing challenges advertisers face. At Digilant, we provide three different engagement levels to best meet the needs of advertisers:
- Full Service: Our full-service solutions are purpose-built to position Digilant as the best possible partner to advertisers. We start with consumer research to define the target audience, which leads to the development of an integrated media strategy and sets the stage for campaign analysis and measurable performance. As a full-service media partner, we can create digital media strategies that span across all media channels.
- Managed Service: Digilant offers a complete managed service digital advertising solution to agencies and brands. With channels supported across programmatic, search, and social, Digilant makes media buying simple. But, the real power of Digilant comes from our unmatched biddable media knowledge base and bespoke reporting and insights.
- Self-Service: We recognize that self-service programmatic success requires much more than a login and basic platform training. The most effective way to get your team up and running with direct platform access is to provide personalized training sessions and comprehensive onboarding materials. Digilant is a one-stop-shop for all things related to programmatic in-housing. This includes dedicated client support and onboarding teams, full access to MediaMath’s programmatic media buying platform, and in-depth guidance on how to get the most out of your programmatic media investments.
Ready to combat take on these omnichannel marketing solutions?
As you begin to ramp up your omnichannel marketing solutions and investment, you may run into a variety of challenges. Establishing a data management workflow early on in your omnichannel marketing journey can help diminish challenges down the line. An outside partner like Digilant can make data management all the way through to data activation across channels simple. Wherever you are along your omnichannel marketing journey, Digilant can help. Are you looking for a partner who can help you develop and execute your omnichannel marketing strategy? Let’s talk!