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4 ways to fill the hole in your omni-channel strategy

4 ways to fill the hole in your omni-channel strategy Kyle Christensen

Marketers are investing in reaching consumers through mobile, but most aren't focused on creating a holistic experience, and many aren't paying attention to a crucial part of the customer journey: phone calls. If you've read an email from Sephora, Nordstrom, or Bonobos lately, you've seen mobile-ready content designed for on-the-go scrolling. Open Best Buy's mobile app and you can contact a representative with a single tap. And whether or not you follow Target on Snapchat, you've likely seen their branded filters. Yes, people like to take selfies, swipe and search on mobile -- but they also like to call businesses, particularly when making big purchases. In a recent survey, we found that many consumers prefer to use their smartphones to call businesses than to fill out customer service forms online or engage with their favorite companies on social.


Consumers will go from engaging with your brand on mobile search, email, and social to calling your business. And once they have that conversation, they'll go back to searching, reading email, and scanning their social networks. Each interaction, online and off, must influence the next. Customer engagement is omni-channel, whether you like it or not -- and if you don't help cultivate, personalize, and measure the customer journey, you'll be in trouble. As you optimize your omni-channel strategy, think about mobile not as a single channel, but as a home for every channel. Here are four ways to create a holistic omni-channel strategy:


Use what you know about your customer


Make sure everything you know about an individual customer -- including how they prefer to connect with your brand -- influences subsequent interactions. For instance, if you know someone is likely to call because they've called you before, don't make the CTA in your mobile app (or in any other channel) a "contact me" form -- make it a call button.


Gather intel from phone calls, too


The only way to orchestrate a true omni-channel experience is to learn from every interaction, including phone conversations. If a customer or prospect expresses interest in a product while speaking with a representative on the phone, consider including that product in your social ads, mobile app experience, or your next email campaign.


Emphasize your phone number


People want to have a conversation, so they're calling your business. If you don't make that step easy, they'll take their business elsewhere. In fact, our survey found that 68 percent of mobile users will only search for a number for two minutes before moving on to another company. Prominently display phone numbers on all of your digital assets, including your emails, landing pages, paid search ads, in-feed ads on social, mobile app, and website copy. On mobile, use click-to-call buttons that open up an auto dialer. In all of your copy, encourage your prospects and current customers to call with a clear call-to-action.


Make calls part of your PPC strategy


People want to reach your business, and most likely they'll be looking for your number on their mobile phone. About half of our survey respondents said they use a search engine to find a business' phone number, compared to 25 percent who look on the business's website. Make sure you're No. 1 showing up in mobile search results, and No. 2 capturing conversions from people who search on mobile and then make a call. Get details about the keywords and ad groups that are driving the most calls and modify your CPA target bid strategy accordingly.


With so many ways to reach consumers on mobile, it's easy to forget about the big picture. The omni-channel experience is the battleground for marketers, and being an effective omni-channel marketer means much more than keeping up with the latest GIFs, emoji, and social channels -- it means orchestrating an integrated, streamlined customer journey.


Kyle Christensen is VP of marketing at Invoca


On Twitter? Follow iMedia at @iMediaTweet. 

Kyle Christensen, VP of Marketing at Invoca, is a SaaS veteran, having spent over 15 years working in enterprise software. Before Invoca, Kyle was a VP of Marketing at Responsys, a leading cloud platform for cross-channel digital marketing, where he...

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