How can an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy help Small to Medium-sized Businesses (SMB’s) Succeed in 2021 and Beyond?

JTB Online Digital Marketing Partner

It all starts with driving an excellent Customer Experience (CX). Omnichannel Digital Marketing is the best means to accomplish this.  According to Forbes, 80 percent of businesses believe that they provide excellent customer service, but only 8 percent of their customers agree.

This is an exceptionally large gap, between perception and reality. With COVID-19 dramatically (and permanently) changing the business landscape across the entire globe, this variance can equate to devastating and irreversible consequences, for SMB’s.

A great Omnichannel CX strategy will increase revenue by gaining and retaining customers, in the best possible ways.  Accomplishing this requires the right expertise combined with bleeding edge technology. This is something that is glaringly obvious.

So, what is the difference between Omnichannel and Multi-channel Marketing?

The primary difference resides in the customer themselves. Omnichannel puts the customer in the center of the marketing efforts, while Multi-channel puts the business/organization at the center. So, an Omnichannel CX incorporates the customers interacting with the business, across multiple channels, such as a website interaction, mobile texts, social media, voice communication, and email campaigns, as an example. Multi-channel is more of a “spray and pray” mindset. Think of car dealerships in the 1980’s and the 1990’s. They would broadcast their brand across mediums, such as radio stations, TV ads, and billboards. It is simply a means to get their brand messaging out there, without tying the channels together, and following the journey of the customer.  This was the best means to an end, during that time. But the business dynamic has dramatically changed with the rise of the internet and mobile device usage.

A great and well-strategized Omnichannel CX, will mold itself to the shopping patterns and behavior of the customer.  This puts the customer in the driver’s seat, which allows smart business owners to not only provide the car to get them there, but also the fuel and a good GPS for their journey. 

With the rise of the internet, and more importantly, the increase in mobile device usage, tying these independent channels together, into one ongoing journey for the customer, is paramount by today’s standards. Omnichannel also provides brand continuity across multiple touchpoints, so that customers will “warm up” to doing business with the brand, but also; will also be more open to upsell opportunities, after making their first purchase.

SMB’s will be faced with a rapidly changing (evolving) world and will either go the way of brands such as Blockbuster Video or adapt and be the next Netflix in their market.

A study done by Harvard Business Review, pointed out that customers will spend 4 percent in-store and 10 percent more online, than they would from businesses operating under a single channel mode. These percentages can equate to the life or death of a business these days.

In summary, what does this all mean for 2021 and beyond?

With the aftermath of the global pandemic, combined with technologies such as machine learning, AI-driven chatbots, and blockchain technology, in addition to the exponential increase in Generation Z and Millennial spending; 2021 will be a year unparalleled in business. We can also expect the following years to be unlike anything we have ever seen.

As a wise man (Heraclitus) once famously stated, “The only thing constant is change.”

SMB’s will be faced with a rapidly changing (evolving) world and will either go the way of brands such as Blockbuster Video, or adapt to be the next Netflix in their market. Businesses today that do not embrace an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy with the appropriate partners to get them there, will be the equivalent of Blockbuster video not seeing the significance of offering streaming video content, until it was too late.

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