Omnichannel comes in a variety of flavors. In general, it’s a marketing approach, but its application varies from channel to channel. I mention this as the term can sometimes be confusing. Omnichannel ecommerce, for instance, is not the same as omnichannel nurture.
So, before we dig into how I see Omnichannel demand gen unfolding, I think we’ll take a step back and look at the core definition of omnichannel.
There’s a Difference Between Multichannel and Omnichannel
That difference is best described as Multichannel means multiple communication channels, and Omnichannel means an integrated approach between various communication channels. To quote Evaldas Mockus, “Omnichannel marketing has the customer at the center of a seamless, unified experience.”
Omnichannel also means integrating the various data points produced within each channel. It further means, in my opinion, validating those data points while still “in transit,” whether that’s within your internal martech stack on its way to your CRM or with an integration partner on its way to your martech stack.
I will say I find the term “Omni” a tad ambitious as a label. Virtually no one is on ALL channels! But if you understand it through the lens of integration, then it begins to make more sense. And that, folks, is where we jump to a discussion of what omnichannel demand generation would look like.
First, It’s About the Budget You Can Access
Generally speaking, today’s demand gen consists of marketing activity in one or two channels. **Disclaimer: I can only communicate with authority about B2B, so that’s the view I’ll take here**
Why? Because the outcomes must be attributable as marketing-qualified. That usually means form completions, not clicks or impressions.
So, as it relates to most enterprise marketing budgets, demand gen is contained within its own silo. There’s no access to other budgets allocated to corporate marketing, branding, and PR.
What channels do we demand generators use? Well, most typically, it’s email or digital ads, where a form completion is the desired result. We also use voice to accomplish the same. If you’re doing it yourself, you may do all three. If you’re having others do it for you, often, you’re using one channel.
But what if you could secure demand gen outcomes from an omnichannel campaign?
In other words, if you could run an email campaign and a digital ad campaign concurrently and target the same audience simultaneously, you could drive them all to the same landing page/microsite, to a form completion.
I encourage you to look at some of the “good press” on omnichannel before you answer that question:
“An omnichannel marketing strategy allows teams to meet their consumers where they are, with the right message at the right time. This not only fosters brand awareness in the mind of the consumer, but also leads to improved engagement, increased ROI and sales, and enhanced customer retention and loyalty.”
“Omnichannel marketing has multiple benefits that will ultimately boost your business and increase customer engagement. According to research done by Omnisend, Omnichannel campaigns have an 18.69% engagement rate. When you compare this to single-channel’s 5.4%, this is over a 300% increase in engagement rate.”
So, with a concurrent email campaign and a digital ad campaign as described above, one of the great benefits of this unified demand gen activity is that it’s easy to devote more budget because you can point to obtaining outcomes within your mandate.
An omnichannel marketing strategy allows teams to meet their consumers where they are, with the right message at the right time. This not only fosters brand awareness in the mind of the consumer, but also leads to improved engagement, increased ROI and sales, and enhanced customer retention and loyalty.
Then It’s About the Outcomes
At the same time, while you can undoubtedly obtain great metrics from email campaigns, you could now add the intelligence provided by the ad’s impressions’ performance.
Apply those engagement rates mentioned above, and the inevitable conclusion is you’ll get more overall “bang for your buck” with an omnichannel campaign. You’re getting MQLs from both channels AND now have ABM-like and persona-level insights about those who make up all the impressions – that drove the clicks and prompted the form completions.
Eventually, It’s About the Ease of Integration
Our execution plan for an omnichannel needs to address quite a few things. Among them, it needs to be about channel-functional content, about well-constructed ads and forms, and deliverable emails, and then, ultimately, it must be about unified data that can be ingested into a CRM or martech stack.
As I mentioned before, you may be handling that internally for a brand, but you might also be a media outlet, a publisher, an agency, or some other provider of these types of outcomes for brands. In that case, it’s going to make a lot more sense to use an integration platform that enables you to be compatible with all the martech tools out there.
Again, the function of such a platform should also be to validate that data before it gets delivered. Integrate is an excellent company that provides these services and more for quite a few marketing technologists.
I’ll pose a question for our readers:
Would you pay 50% more to execute an omnichannel campaign like the one described if it meant you’d see a 35-100% increase in MQLs as well as the intelligence made available via impressions data?
You may ask – was that a loaded question?
But that doesn’t alter the crucial takeaways with omnichannel:
- it’s about being more customer-centric,
- being “available” via multiple channels, and
- it’s where diverse outcomes integrate
Leads for the demand generator and actionable intel for everyone! Now that’s a winning proposition.