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How Small Businesses can Reap the Rewards of an Omni-Channel Approach

Consumers often engage with multiple touch points before making their buying decision. Perhaps they see an advertisement on Instagram, then follow your Instagram account and browse your website before heading in-store. Or maybe they come across a piece of viral organic social media content and decide to subscribe before downloading your app and making their purchase. Whatever the consumer journey may be, embracing an omni-channel approach and Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) strategy will help you broaden your reach and speak to your customers where & how they want you to.

Omni-Channel VS Integrated Marketing Communications

IMC refers to the unification of all promotional tools. This is where your Brand Guidelines (AKA Brand Book or Style Guide) come in handy, as you can provide this to your staff and/or contractors to ensure that your brand is being represented consistently. Colour palette, typography, voice and logo usage are all branding elements that contribute to a cohesive brand persona. Don’t have a Brand Book yet? Book your free discovery call with us here to create a professional Brand Guidelines document.

The omni-channel approach focusses on the customer journey and creating a seamless experience, no matter the consumer’s preferred channel.

Both can and should be used together.

Seamless Synergy: Tips for Success

  1. Map-out the Customer Experience. Research your target customer and find out how they prefer to engage with your brand. Remember to include both online & offline touch points. Consider the journey your customers go on before they purchase and map out each touch point.

  2. Optimise Touch Points One at a Time. Based on the data from step 1, order the touch points by priority and focus on optimising one at a time, so as to not get overwhelmed or spread your resources too thin. Master each touch point before moving onto the next, but don’t completely ignore the others in the process.

  3. Remain Consistent. Whip out your Brand Guidelines and marketing strategy to ensure consistency across all touch points. This is extremely important in communicating a trustworthy brand image.

  4. Integrate Your Operations. To maintain the logistics and fulfilment side of things, it is important to integrate your operations so that data such as inventory and customer profiles are in sync. There’s nothing worse than going through checkout to later be told that the item you bought is out of stock. To tie everything together, there are several systems available. Square, Shopify POS and Vend by Lightspeed are all popular choices for e-commerce / brick and mortar sales integrations.

  5. Co-Create with Your Customers. Many companies only choose to listen to their customers when they decide they want more data or feedback. Instead of the one-way, original marketing communications model from the 50s, have a conversation with your customer. A dialogue rather than a monologue. We are so blessed to be able to do this easily thanks to social media. By acknowledging and empowering the consumer they will organically develop a relationship with your brand. They will feel it was their decision to do so (as opposed to being told to do so), and as though they are a part of the value-creation process, because the reality is- they are.


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