Your audiences expect a seamless experience across all of your digital ecosystem channels. Whether they are browsing your website content on their desktop or scrolling through your social media posts on their mobile phone, it’s crucial to create continuity across all your marketing touchpoints. This is where a well-orchestrated omnichannel marketing strategy has the potential to have a significant and positive impact on your audience’s overall user experience as well as your organizational goals.
As a refresher, omnichannel marketing is about approaching the digital experience through your audience’s eyes and developing a seamless, integrated, and consistent user experience across all channels. Omnichannel marketing anticipates that audiences may start engaging with your organization on one channel, and then move to another as they progress toward an action—such as becoming a member of your association, signing up for your nonprofit newsletter, or registering for a government service.
Let’s look at 5 tips to help your mission-driven organization create real impact with omnichannel marketing.
1. Make sure you really understand your audiences
Design your omnichannel strategy around your audiences, not your organization or technology. An effective omnichannel strategy relies heavily on an intimate knowledge of your audiences and their interests and needs. Use audience research to get data informing your strategy and making sure you are getting the most out of your efforts and budget.
To learn more about your audiences here are some useful tools and strategies you can use:
- User surveys
- Social listening
2. Develop strong content journeys
The old adage that “content is king” still holds true for your omnichannel strategy. However, we can expand this sentiment. With users consuming information across a wide variety of devices and spaces, you need to focus on delivering valuable content that is relevant in the moment that your users are engaging with you. You also want to make sure that your content is technically agnostic across multiple devices and platforms (e.g., that your email content appears correctly in Outlook on an Android, as well as Gmail on a Macbook).
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to make sure your content is effective in your omnichannel strategy:
- What kind of content are your users already consuming?
- When are your users consuming particular content?
- What are the top 3-4 messages you want to get across to them through the user journey?
- At which point in their user journey are they finding content most valuable?
- What devices and in which spaces are your users consuming content?
3. Establish an internal governance structure
An omnichannel strategy likely affects multiple departments within your organization, making it important for those teams to coordinate smoothly without major barriers or blockers. From marketing and communications teams to events and development departments, it is important to break down any traditionally siloed organizational practices and establish an internal governance structure that strengthens internal communication and collaboration, so that the resulting user experience is not the responsibility of just one department or team.
4. Take and agile approach
Your omnichannel strategy will need to be able to adapt to your digital landscape over time. As online behaviors and norms change, meeting the growing needs of your audiences or your organizational structure will often require a shift in approach—from adapting quickly and making small iterative changes, to taking larger, more long-term changes.
Use the agile methodology to take an iterative approach. Divide your strategy implementation into manageable chunks over predetermined time frames known as “sprints.” This allows you to glean insights and identify challenges in real-time so that you can effectively adapt on the go.
5. Check that your MarTech stack is well-connected
With new marketing products constantly becoming available, your marketing technology (MarTech) stack can easily become “technology soup.” It’s important to have a fully integrated stack that correctly shares and communicates important data across all your platforms and teams. For this reason, we recommend basing your technology stack around your CRM and analytics tools. From there you can select and connect the right tools that integrate with both to optimize your technology stack based on your organizational needs.
Here are some of the most common big-ticket platform tools and examples within an effective marketing technology stack:
- A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform to manage your global database. Solutions for mission-driven organizations include Salesforce, EveryAction, and Blackbaud.
- Business Intelligence tools for analytics reporting, projection analysis, and data visualization to effectively manage your data and insights. Data platforms include Google Analytics, Tableau, Microsoft Power BI, and Domo.
- A Content Management System (CMS) to manage your website. Open source solutions we recommend for nonprofits and government include Drupal and WordPress.
- A marketing automation platform to manage your content outreach and tracking. Platforms include Pardot, Marketo, and HubSpot.
- Brand awareness, advocacy, and social media tools to manage and support your brand. Platforms include Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and Meltwater.
If you can focus on the areas addressed in these top tips, you’re well-positioned to have a strong footing to effectively attract and engage with your target audiences based on where they are, and what they need. Again, omnichannel marketing allows you to develop your strategy around your users’ habits, preferences, and needs. Put yourself in their shoes, and take your strategy from there.