Is Your Marketing All-Inclusive or a Cruise?
How is Marketing Like Travel?
A recent conversation with a friend about travel plans for the coming year got me thinking about omnichannel marketing—or maybe it’s because that’s the focus of the month. Regardless, my friend is debating between a cruise and a week-long stay on an island. I gave her my two cents—stay on the island. Having been on a cruise, I have learned that I prefer to unpack my things, go to bed, and wake up in the same place ready to do the same activities.
If you haven’t been on a cruise, I will sum up the experience for you; you board the ship, sail off to the first port, maybe you get off the ship and go explore port, maybe you don’t. The ship sails to another port and, again, maybe you get off to go explore and maybe you don’t. Eventually, after you’ve exhausted your cruise days, you return to port and head home. The process reminds me of traditional marketing: you work with an advertising agency to have ads put in papers, another to do your media advertising, and finally you put signs in and around your business to draw the attention of your customers.
Like a cruise, there is a common thread; for a cruise, you’re still on vacation, for traditional marketing, you’re still promoting the same product or service. Beyond that, however, there may not be a lot of continuity. I’ve been to several places in Mexico and it doesn’t seem like any of them have coordinated with Belize or the Bahamas to create a similar experience in all places—same as your ad agencies probably don’t talk to each other and you are probably putting up your own in-store signs. Like Mexico, Belize, and the Bahamas, each interaction your customer has with your marketing is different which creates a segmented, probably disjointed experience with regards to your brand.
While it’s great to experience a lot of places, I represent the digital marketing era as a person who wants the assurance that where I end my day is where I am going to begin it again. Like me and my vacations, modern customers want to know that the ad they saw on Facebook for your business will help them recognize your business when they arrive and that the item or service they came for will be easily found based on the online search they did. Omnichannel marketing coordinates branding across all these touch points. Fonts remain consistent in both type and color, voice remains the same, and graphics do as well. An omnichannel marketing strategy is a bit like a vacation for your marketing team—what is posted on Facebook can be cross-promoted on your website and on digital signs in your store. The all-in-one marketing strategy streamlines the need for assets and allows the same message to be delivered anywhere the customer might “meet” you on the buyer’s journey, assuring them that they are, indeed, in the right place and that you have their needs covered—just like the bottomless drinks at a good all-inclusive resort!
Choose Your Trip
I might not be able to convince my friend that staying on the island is the right choice, but I hope I have convinced you that omnichannel marketing strategy gives your potential customers a holiday from having to connect the dots of segmented, cruise-like marketing. You do the work of packing the assets needed into your marketing strategy from point-of-entry to point-of-sale and let the customer enjoy a restful customer experience.
Renee is the Content Marketing Manager at Sellr. She is passionate about creating digital marketing strategies that help business owners develop successful relationships with customers and vendors.