As consumers interact with brands in an ever-expanding variety of contexts, it becomes necessary to rethink your marketing to best connect with them no matter where they are. The customer comes first, and as you build your strategy to suit their needs, two main models emerge: omni-channel marketing and customer experience marketing. What are the differences between these two models, and how can you best put them to your advantage?
Omni-channel marketing is just what it sounds like: it’s a way to coordinate your messaging across all channels, both real-world and digital. These days, consumers expect to have a consistent brand experience whether they’re shopping in-store or browsing your social media. (Learn how to make sales through social media.) Any discrepancies or roadblocks they encounter could keep them from
making a purchase.
That means a successful omni-channel strategy demonstrates a thorough knowledge of a potential customer’s interests and behaviors. It’s not enough to send them emails and ads; you must connect the dots between each “touch” they have with your brand.
Customer experience marketing, or CX marketing for short, involves prioritizing your customers’ feelings about your product or service. In other words, it’s highly focused on brand-building by playing up your company’s unique offerings and trustworthiness. CX marketing makes good use of social proof and highly customized service to help consumers feel good about your company.
To best execute your CX strategy, you need to focus your energy on driving a continual, high-value connection with your customers. Extensive communication, personalized recommendations, and exceptional customer service are all key parts of CX marketing. When done well, consumers will feel a strong sense of belonging with your brand and be more likely to spend money with you.
The two models aren’t opposed; rather, they emphasize different aspects of marketing. Omni-channel marketing bridges the gaps among distinct venues for consumers’ engagement with your company, while CX marketing focuses on creating an immersive, highly trustworthy experience with consumers. While brands can more easily forge a connection with customers when deploying a cross-channel approach, effective CX marketing doesn’t necessarily have to be omni-channel.
Meanwhile, omni-channel marketing prioritizes the sales funnel. Consumers experience a consistent, connected flow of messages whether they’re in-store, on their phone, or at their computer, as automated systems track their activity and take them by the hand to the next step. While omni-channel marketing has a strong emphasis on customer engagement, it’s more focused on leveraging marketing automation technology to enhance the customer journey.
Which strategy you choose (or prioritize) depends a lot on how you’ve conceived your brand. Is exceptional customer service and a highly personalized customer experience a key part of your brand? Or are you more focused on driving sales and converting new customers? Of course, the two strategies can work in tandem if planned well.
In either approach, clearly map out your messaging to provide a cohesive experience. Consistency is key to forging trusting relationships with customers. Marketing automation software can help you track messaging across platforms (omni-channel approach) and swiftly answer customer inquiries via chatbots or customer service lines (CX approach).
The way your brand presence is structured also plays a big role. For omni-channel marketing, you’ll need a robust website, social media platform(s), and email pipeline — and a strategy that seamlessly touches customers across all these channels. For CX marketing, it would be helpful to have high-powered customer service tools such as chatbots, as well as a full-featured eCommerce site that provides optimal convenience to customers.
Both omni-channel marketing and CX marketing aim to provide a consistent, seamless experience for consumers. The key difference is that while omni-channel marketing focuses on converting customers in a cross-channel sales funnel, CX marketing emphasizes lasting, high-trust connections with both existing and new customers. The two models can go hand-in-hand with the help of marketing automation software and a robust digital presence.
Need help setting up your eCommerce site and marketing strategy to leverage either or both of these approaches? Our team of experts is here to help.