9 Simple Steps To Implement Omnichannel Marketing For Your Startup

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Omnichannel marketing isn’t solely limited to huge corporations. As the path of the customer journey changes, omnichannel marketing relevance doesn’t just apply to these moguls. Some might even say omnichannel marketing is especially necessary for startup businesses.

One look at recent consumer behavior, and it’s enough to cement the fact that omnichannel marketing’s importance can’t easily be shrugged off – or written off as a fancy strategy only large corporations can implement.

Customer Behavior

Over the years, marketers have witnessed the evolution of consumers – as a whole – as well as their shopping journeys. From an observer’s eyes, consumers a decade ago probably wouldn’t have given much weight to the rise of mobile phone usage. But in recent years, many studies show similar results of people jumping from one device to the next.

  • 73% of customers shop across all channels. (Magestore)
  • 311.4 million consumers are currently active in the eCommerce market. (Statista)

Even a glance at these stats indicates that nearly three-fourths of the world’s population use different channels in their shopping journey.

From Traditional To Omnichannel Marketing

Before we delve even further into the benefits of omnichannel marketing, there is a need to understand this recent strategy to its fullest extent.

For that to happen, we’ll need to take a brief detour and look at marketing channels…

In the simplest of definitions, marketing channels are the mediums through which information travels to get to your customers.

In recent years, the most popular marketing channel that has taken over is online marketing, but engaging with your consumers via the world wide web is just the tip of the iceberg. In retrospect, online marketing is just one broad channel with several other marketing channels within it. (Social media and eCommerce websites, for instance).

Offline marketing includes more traditional forms of marketing – print advertisements, direct mail, television, and face-to-face interactions.

What omnichannel marketing experience does is unite both online and offline marketing channels to provide an integrated and seamless user experience.

Through omnichannel marketing, Alan can research the use of LED lights on the web using his smartphone. He can then order LED lights at an eCommerce website on his desktop computer. And if the product isn’t up to his standards, Alan proceeds to visit the physical store to negotiate returns and hopefully get a justifiable refund.

Take a look at these digital channels utilized by marketers. Look at the results of a study by Ascend2 while looking at digital marketing plans for 2018. This graph shows how online channel marketers rate the most effective ones, in comparison to their difficulty level.

Source: Ascend2

From the prefix “omni” meaning “all,” omnichannel marketing takes each of these channels – even the offline ones – and integrates them so every touchpoint a customer has with your company is unified.

Traditional marketing has its proven success rates, formulated strategies, execution aspects, as well as specific processes. But as said thus far, omnichannel marketing is unavoidable in today’s marketing landscape.

Implementing An Omnichannel Marketing Approach

The constant improvements being made to various forms of technology across the globe allow customers to participate actively in marketing communications.

It’s just not a matter of receiving and receiving messages from marketers. Everybody involved has become the sender as well as the receiver.

And as we delve further into the ways of implementing an omnichannel marketing approach, you’ll notice that every step undertaken is very data-driven. A good deal of research is involved in all of the steps, and for good reason too.

#1 Thorough & Data-Driven Research

Successful omnichannel marketing entails a deep and close to a thorough understanding of the target audiences. And in order to do that, utilizing data is important.

It is advisable to invest in first-party research to acquire primary data. It’s recommended that it be done whenever possible. Compile as many first-party data across multiple sources as possible.

This is quite evident, but thorough research is your key to understanding your customer and how they interact with your startup. Never ever assume that you are highly knowledgeable about your target audience already.

People’s assumptions aren’t always spot on. Often times, when we make the mistake of presuming on one fact, the information ends up being wrong.

#2 It’s All About Customer Experience

Customer experience casts a wide net; encompassing both offline and online marketing channels. When you visit stores, you’ll often find associates and the manager displaying an eagerness to serve the customers to the best of their abilities.

A similar interaction happens electronically. Websites, web applications, and desktop applications are systems that entertain the concept of human-computer interaction. This specific human interaction with computers is technically labeled as the User Experience (UX).

Upon the commencement of omnichannel marketing, you, as a marketer, must have a mindset that is totally committed to doing what is best for the customer – not what’s best for you and you only.

A closer look at omnichannel marketing strategies will immediately reveal that the goal is to help the customer feel at ease. Your target market shouldn’t have to struggle in order to get the information they need to purchase your products.

The idea sounds liberating when you think of working in unison with your team to achieve a common goal. But in truth, this entire concept is all easier said than done.

So before the actual omnichannel marketing strategies even begin, it’s necessary to solidify a collaboration with your team first and foremost.

#3 Create A Responsive Web Design

An excellent UX designer focuses on the interactive level of site interactions and products. As they design, they check and see if the website appears appropriately across every technological platform.

Can you picture your disappointment when you come across a website where you have to pinch and zoom? Nobody likes squinting extra hard just to see what’s written on a site. And your customers surely won’t bother sticking around a website whose content isn’t available even for smartphones.

On any other day and age, this sort of behavior from anybody may sound outrageous. But that’s how it is, and there’s nothing any of us can do but cope with it. As your target market accesses your brand across all the channels, the landing pages have to look good no matter the screen size.

#4 Segment Your Audience

The importance of audience segmentation boils down to the fact that different audiences have different communication needs.

Technically speaking, segmenting your target audience is the process of dividing an audience into smaller groups. They are divided by their similar characteristics, wants, and needs. Your audiences differ in buying behavior. They also differ in the degree of loyalty.

One particular example that startup businesses can segment customers is by looking at a single channel – say an eCommerce platform – and look for any repeat customers.

There are plenty of ways to segment your audience. They can be differentiated by:

  • Country
  • Age group
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Job type
  • Working pattern
  • Use of communication channels
  • Buying behavior
  • Degree of loyalty
  • Purchase frequency
  • Social life
  • Purchasing patterns, etc.

#5 Map The Path To Purchase

When we look back into the days of traditional marketing, the customer journey appeared simple enough. A customer needs or wants something; they travel to the store; do a bit of price canvassing by visiting multiple stores; they make their decision and purchase.

But nowadays, marketers don’t have the luxury of following a singularly linear path. With the emergence of so much online usefulness, the linear path has morphed into a gigantic web where customers go back and forth and – if not monitored closely – move in unpredictable patterns.

This is where all that thorough research work comes into play.

Mapping consumer purchase journeys should begin by establishing a foundation, based on 2 factors (according to James Aitchison from Warc):

  • Level of category involvement: for example, car buying is a far more intensive purchase journey than tomato ketchup.
  • Level of brand status: find out the status of your brand in your customers’ minds compared to competitor brands.

Most of the answers to questions like this can be derived from brand-tracking research, online analytics, and market share reports.

#6 Tailor The Marketing Process

All that intelligence gathering wasn’t for naught. You use it, and this is the precise step where you do.

Tailoring or personalizing messages to a particular audience doesn’t come as a surprise. The approach is well-noted and widely practiced, especially in email marketing.

For instance, if you have a group that has been observed to purchase every year during the summer-time, prompt them and refresh their memories by the end of Spring season. Don’t direct the focus towards current Spring products when you market to your Summer customers. Tell them what’s coming in the Summer.

That’s the simplest way to put it.

#7 Prioritize Customer Services

Customer service is a given. So, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to say that customer service is a vital part of omnichannel marketing implementation for startups.

Don’t offer help under the guise of fulfilling your own company’s selfish goals. Your customers are human beings too, and much like you, your customers won’t appreciate the two-faced help. And in order to build trust between your brand and your customers, credibility must be established.


  • When customers ask for help, they’re not looking for a sales pitch.
  • Your customers are after convenient solutions.

Customers don’t appreciate an automated message. Worst case scenario, they just might come to see your brand as incredibly unhelpful. And you don’t want that brand identity, do you?

So, as much as possible, put as much information as you can online. And if the time does come when your customers ask for help, give them an actual human being – not a robot that will offer sales pitches.

Mind you, one of the biggest goals of omnichannel marketing is optimizing user experience.

#8 Payment Processes Without Hindrances

When the customer is intent on purchasing a product, don’t make the mistake of standing in their way; or else you risk losing earnings and customer loyalty.

A perfect example is the fact that you order online because you don’t want to wander the store looking for items you need and stand in line for an hour! Imagine your disappointment when you arrive at the store to pick up your purchases only to find that your items aren’t ready yet.

In the end, ordering online takes even longer than picking up the items in person.

Not convenient at all. And furthermore, it defeats the purpose of integrating an omnichannel marketing plan in the first place.

#9 Encourage & Foster Teamwork

A seamless experience means a seamless process too. Coordination within the entire business is necessary if you want your customers to experience shopping without hassles.

Training and preparing everybody in the company for an omnichannel approach. This would be quite a challenge for large corporate businesses, but in a startup business, the prospect isn’t as daunting.

Everybody must be aware of the smooth and fluid process.

One of the strongest foundations of a successful omnichannel implementation is consistency and a unified team. But how do you go about achieving that if the team behind the strategies aren’t moving and coordinating?

Keep communication constant, honest, swift, and frank. Be open to receiving and giving constructive criticisms for the betterment of your omnichannel implementation.

The Takeaway

Do you need an accurate word to appropriately describe omnichannel marketing?

The word you’re looking for is ‘omniscient’ which means ‘all-knowing.’ That’s because everyone in your startup should be knowledgeable about the current customer journey.

When you really look at it, omnichannel marketing is present throughout the buyer’s journey – whether brands are completely aware of it or not. No doubt, it is an approach that takes up a lot of time and strategic thinking; along with meticulous implementation.

But in the end, you get the results you desired if you do it right, so what’s there to lose?



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