Attention: Omnichannel is changing your world, No matter your industry

For clarity, this article contains the information all marketers, hotels, and travel companies need to understand. I guess I can say it again, the game has changed or evolved and it’s not hard to see the writing on the wall if you look at it. Amazon, Disney, Marriott, and more have seen this for years and now with past and current events, the rest of us need to catch up. The good news is there has never been a better or more affordable time to be able to execute a multichannel, solution, one that can leverage existing investments to provide the most ROI. Below I will discuss 3 primary things that every marketer needs to know. But first, let me introduce to you “Omnichannel” –  the breakdown and of course, why it matters to your organizations.  

 

  • Channel: Any medium where a brand can interact with a customer. Simply put, a channel facilitates a customer touchpoint. It can include physical touchpoints, such as lobbies, visitor centers, or digital touchpoints such as Interactive Kiosk, Mobile application, Digital Signage, Website, Chat, or Social
  • Multichannel/Strategy: Using multiple channels to sell merchandise through. The goal of a multichannel strategy is to identify which channels to invest in. Channels are approached independently.
  • Omnichannel: Customer phenomenon where all sales and marketing channels are all looked at as one entity.
  • Omnichannel Strategy: Optimizing key metrics (such as sales) by creating seamless experiences across all channels. Omnichannel strategies take into account all touchpoints involved in successfully selling through channels simultaneously.

Omnichannel strategies assume customers move between channels.

Let’s start easy and with a focus on the areas where we have the most experience. Travel, Hospitality, and Retail and how each can provide a more connected option for their customers. The great news about these industries is they are very much connected, with distinct areas of expertise. Retail has likely done the most research in how customers buy, how to display, and advertise. Hotels are masters in guest experience, ensuring space is complementary, comfortable and lends itself toward people feeling great about the place they are at.   Travel has the highest knowledge of their product likely better than any other industry, the people employed at centers and destination organizations not only love their state or city, but they know almost everything there is known about it.   

So how do you combine these core sets of knowledge and experience? How does this play out in a digital world? Well, if you don’t know by now, it starts with the Omnichannel and it continues to discover your customers better and the ways they want to connect.  Once you know this, you will open a world of data and information that will help you drive more personalized information and value to your customers.

Let me now share the 3 Key Things that Omnichannel and Multi-Device engagement can provide your organization, and why it matters to you:

Visitor, Guest or Customer Experience is king. You must provide a consistent, well-thought-out plan to ensure that if someone engages, they feel convenient, connected, and safer now more than ever.  In the new world, this is connected directly from digital to Mobile devices, Interactive Touch & Digital Signage – connecting different mediums to provide consistent experiences. Reach out and I can recommend some good reading material.

Revenue & Awareness it doesn’t really matter what you call it or how you do it. If you have great content, imagery, and advertising on your website, you need to connect to other devices and mediums. We understand most organizations focus on responsive design, but it’s not just about the design, it’s about the interface and the experience. Most sites are great for exploration but fall short on true engagement the way their users want it. The key is to ensure content and key information freely flows to all other channels and devices uniquely. If you are selling advertisements on your website or other mediums, you have the opportunity to increase revenue and awareness not only online but through physical locations.  If you want to get a little deeper, read our blog on media networks.

Data & Analytics however you want to call it, these are the new gold for your business. Knowing what your customers want, how they want it, their preferences, desires, location, etc. will allow you to build deeper connections. I understand we are all concerned with privacy, but let’s be honest if there are value, convenience, and ways to save money, most people will share some points of information to accomplish this goal. That 80% of us that use social media may say we care about security but Google, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and more say otherwise. If you use the omnichannel correctly you will see dramatic increase in:

  • Emails and Phone numbers from sharing
  • Navigation flow where they went on your screens
  • What they clicked on and shared
  • Physical and Digital Location tracking, or where they went
  • Age, ethnicity, gender, language data
  • What they purchased, or interest areas
  • What coupons they used, what was most important

This is the start of the next generation of connected experiences and of course, there are many other areas that you need to know and consider. Such as once you get the data how do you manage it? Luckily most of you have CRM systems and Google Analytics and that is a great place to start. I will save the deeper dive for the next blog and reach out, happy to help.

So now the shameless pitch, well not really. This is more about education because I can’t say we are the only game in town, I just know we have the best-connected software solution in the game, with a focus on travel and retail and the ability to leverage the partners you use and love. Now as you look toward the omnichannel, you need to find a software solution to truly connect and leverage your systems to provide multi-device experiences. Here are things you need to consider and know.

  • You have a website CMS, maybe a CRM, maybe a PoS, Analytic systems, maybe some sort of management system, ensure the vendor can provide integration with these systems
  • Omnichannel Platforms should connect these systems and provides you a central way to manage through the cloud, 24×7 fully automated, the management of devices and the content, imagery, video, social, shopping carts, etc., that resides in your systems should easily connect to:
      • Mobile Products
      • Interactive screens or Kiosks
      • Digital Signage, Videowall or TV’s
  • Done properly as you deploy these new devices or even leverage products you currently have, you should be able to extend unique and engaging interfaces through even existing mobile products, TV’s, Kiosks, or web products
  • As you implement multi-device options, you will start seeing new points of data ensure the software you choose provide integrated analytics and data capture solutions. We recommend products built specifically for the devices you support. 
  • Just a side note part of the solution you pick should also know where you currently lack in data if done properly, we can convert areas like visitor centers and common areas into great ways to acquire data for retargeting, and new ways to understand and personalize experiences for your customers.
  • Lastly, all data and analytics should be accessible through the Omnichannel Platform with the ability to push to any system to consolidate data models

I hope you found this information engaging and although I could write 3 more pages on this topic. Here is what I recommend, give us a call at the least you will learn more about what is possible and find out what solutions best fit your organizations. The key for our industry is education and thankfully this isn’t just one guy telling you to check our Omnichannel. See below some links that can help or Google why is omnichannel important? Or what is omnichannel for your industry?  You will find some great content. Do your own research and then call us I guarantee we will save you time money and provide a product that allows you to build, deploy and manage any device or solution for a more consistent customer experience.

https://www.barilliance.com/amazon-omnichannel-strategy
https://business.comcast.com/community/browse-all/details/how-the-hospitality-industry-is-using-technology-to-improve-guest-experience
https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2020/02/20/10-examples-of-customer-experience-innovation-in-hospitality/?sh=157661f92033
https://www.hotelbusiness.com/in-all-areas-personalization-is-changing-the-hotel-experience
https://hospitalitytech.com/why-personalization-more-important-ever-hospitality-industry 

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