Omnichannel 101 – Data, Personalization, and Sales
Your customer’s life is intertwined with the internet. Post Malone is lying in his new song when he says “I don’t go on the internet no more…” We clearly know he’s up in his DMs all day long. Everybody is. Customers are trained on those connections and don’t seem to mind giving over their data. Companies that use the data to create a personalized experience for each customer are rewarded with sales.
Data → Personalization → Sales
Global brands are all about it. They have the resources do tap into data in ways that might blow your mind as a small business owner. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can access data and interpret it as well.
Step one is to understand what omnichannel is.
Omnichannel is an integrated digital approach to marketing, sales, and operations. Expensive and robust platforms like Sitecore offer a mish-mash of tools under one umbrella, and if you’re a global brand, this is perfect for you. You’ve got a platform that harvests and interprets data and delivers learnings that can transform your business.
The buzzword “Business Transformation” is about exactly that: using data to transform the way you serve your customers and how you make money.
It sounds catchy and trendy, but this is real stuff, and it’s happening all around you. If you own a business, you would be remiss to ignore omnichannel. It WILL — not “could be” the thing that puts you ahead of your competitors, or keeps you there if you’re already ahead. There can be no resting on your laurels. (In ancient Greece, Olympic athletes were awarded wreaths of laurel branches. But if an athlete meant to continue competing, he could not rest on the glory of his win for long.)
Omnichannel encompasses all selling, whether it is online or offline.
Question: If you have a brick-and-mortar store, does your point-of-sale system collect data on your customers? What do you do with that data?
If you have a B2B business, can you use your operations software to pinpoint details about your client engagement that allows you to tweak your systems, making them more efficient, profitable, and client-focused?
If you can’t answer yes, you might be like one of my dear friends who “doesn’t much like computers.” But you like making money, right? And you like beating you competitors, correct?
Another question: When you are deciding on content topics for your marketing efforts, do you base that decision on cool stuff that you’re excited about or data collected on previous content success? If it’s the latter, good job!! You’re thinking in omnichannel terms already.
Let’s say you own a Subaru dealership, and your data tells you that customers living in 32804 are wild about the Subaru Legacy right now. What do you do? You send a videographer over to College Park and create some awesome content around one of your 2020 models. You load that content into your distribution platform, whatever it may be, and you use social media to target those 32804 residents with your videos. You segment your email list and send something to the 32804 residents on your list that shows off the new Legacy on your lot. It’s not obnoxious like your typical auto ad. It’s cool. And you use customization features in your email marketing platform to personalize the email for each recipient.
Don’t stop there. You’ll saturate Edgewater Drive with the Legacy and people will notice. The PTA mom on Stetson will notice that the coffee shop owner on Bryn Mawr has the exact same car. No likee. Instead of only pushing the Legacy, invite your customers to experience other Subaru models that they may have overlooked. This could be a “pop-up shop” with a customized experience of some kind. To get attention in the neighborhood, you could create the pop-up in conjunction with a business located on the main drag, a cool and stylish business that you want to associate with the Subaru brand. Through technology, you create postable videos of customers driving an Outbacks or Foresters, with funny background options and music choices. Those videos are texted to the customer’s phone. Now you have the customer’s phone number and any other data you collected. Now the customer is posting that video on Instagram Stories.
Now you see how it works.
Your operations platform is now tracking inquiry and sales figures and forecasting 2020 in a way that reshapes what your inventory is going to be.
If all this still sounds large-scale to you, recognize that it is all within reach.
More on that soon. This was just the primer.