More and more brands are beginning to realise the undeniable truth when it comes to effective customer journey planning in their marketing strategies. A single customer view is paramount for efficient planning and communications need to be planned across multiple touch points in order to strive towards success. But when we think about the right touch points to utilise for stimulating an action are we being as holistic in our approach as we could be? The first point to consider here is whether you have chosen to adapt an omnichannel strategy or multi-channel.

What is the difference between omnichannel and multi-channel marketing?

Omnichannel marketing and multi-channel marketing are very similar in many ways – using a combination of different marketing channels to reach an audience. However, the difference lies in the way in which you engage with your audience across these platforms.

Multi-channel marketing is essentially a single strategy applied across a combination of indirect and direct communication channels to maximise the sales opportunities, giving the consumer the choice to convert using their preferred channel.

Omnichannel marketing refers to using a mix of channels to provide an integrated shopping experience for the end user (Emarsys, 2018). Whether they flick from desktop to mobile, or go in store, the experience can be seamless and tailored to their particular activity and preferences. Essentially, omnichannel allows you to view the experience in the eyes of your customer, and customise the strategy to suit their preferences.

Why would businesses want to use omnichannel marketing?

Now don’t get me wrong, omnichannel marketing isn’t always easy to implement, so many businesses can be put off purely from the resource and time required to successfully introduce this strategy.

Nevertheless, omnichannel marketing can bring high returns for businesses who get the strategy right. Research from Harvard Business Review revealed that customers who experienced omnichannel marketing would spend 4% more every time they went shopping, 9% more when shopping in-store and 10% more when shopping online (PFL, 2017).

What’s more, stats reveal that brands who are actively using omnichannel marketing have a 91% higher YOY increase in customer retention. Yet businesses are still missing out on this opportunity; despite 87% of customers agreeing that brands need to put more effort into providing a seamless brand experience, a whopping 55% of businesses still have no cross-channel strategy in place (V12 Data, 2018).

How can physical mail play a role in omnichannel marketing?

Stats from Royal Mail MarketReach highlight that 92% of people took action after receiving a piece of personalised, relevant mail. By adding direct mail into your marketing mix, you can reach your audience from a new angle, guaranteeing engagement and complementing your digital activities.

Now I know the obvious remark here – “but if I send my customer something in the post I can no longer track their journey”. Wrong!

Luckily for you, new technologies enable direct mail to be programmatically triggered from online activities, or even in-store activities, allowing a brand to engage with their audience offline, whilst generating the same quality of personalised content through a completely new channel. Clever use of unique discount codes, QR codes and other identification methods permit brands to be able to successfully attribute individual pieces of mail to specific activities, and even trace their journey back online or in-store.

So, where do I start?

For some handy tips on how to successfully implement omnichannel marketing, take a read of this blog from Marketo. Oh, and if you’d like to find out more about how programmatic direct mail can play a vital role in your omnichannel strategy, speak to a member of our team today!

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