Health association members and other target audiences don’t engage with an association through a single channel, or in the same way across different channels. Often, they engage in one, then progress to another, such as reading a tweet and then clicking on a website link in an email, to eventually participating in a professional development course, downloading a new research paper, or starting or renewing a membership. This online behavior and user journey is why modern health associations need to have an effective omnichannel approach within their marketing strategy.
What is omnichannel marketing?
Omnichannel marketing is about viewing the digital experience through your members’ and potential members’ eyes and then developing a user experience across all channels that is seamless, integrated, and connected. Omnichannel marketing anticipates that users may start in one channel, then move to another as they progress toward an action or resolution. Each channel works together to create a unified experience.
While this may sound a lot like multichannel marketing, the distinguishing difference is that multichannel marketing engages audiences through multiple channels that work independently of each other, relying on disparate data sets to determine who their audiences are and where they are most engaged. Omnichannel marketing focuses on unifying the user experience through multiple channels resulting in the ability to more precisely track audience behavior through their journey toward an action.
What can health associations expect from an omnichannel approach?
Better data, better analysis, better campaigns
An omnichannel marketing strategy allows you to collect and unify your members’ data across previously disparate technologies and channels by making sure that your marketing technology stack is fully integrated and that all your marketing channels are acting together as part of your user experience. This will give you a better grasp of member and audience behavior, interest, and intent so that you can design and execute more effective campaigns to increase their engagement and drive new membership and renewals.
Improved segmentation and personalization
With clearer data and an ability to better understand members and audiences, you are able to improve your segmentation strategy and further personalize your campaigns and messaging to align with your member’s and audience’s interests, resulting in increased conversions and action taken.
Increased visibility and communication between teams and departments
By breaking down data silos, teams and departments have better visibility into how members and audiences are engaging with content from multiple channels and departments. This means better context and communication internally. For example, your membership team has access to the same data as your marketing team and can therefore design better member acquisition campaigns based on marketing engagement data.
More effective allocation of resources
Being able to derive better insights from your data allows you to better allocate resources to drive marketing and membership campaigns. The ability to tell where, how, and when members and audiences are engaging with content allows you to reduce resources in underperforming channels and re-allocate them into higher-performing channels.
Increased brand awareness
Omnichannel marketing is all about timely, connected messaging across channels that is hyper-relevant and seamless to your audiences. This resulting personalized experience contributes to more awareness and visibility for your health association’s brand and mission.
Key components of an effective omnichannel marketing strategy
An integrated technology stack
Omnichannel marketing relies heavily on having a fully-integrated stack of technologies that share data. Making sure your systems can communicate effectively is highly important to the success of your efforts. Take the time to map out your stack and evaluate for any inefficiencies in integration that may cause silos.
The processes and people
It’s important to map out processes that support the overall goals of your omnichannel strategy and organization. Make sure that you define ownership over the different parts of your omnichannel strategy and create a framework that governs how different teams and departments work together.
Execution and optimization
Putting an omnichannel strategy into action requires unified messaging across each channel. And your strategy must evolve over time. Audience feedback and data is critical in providing you with the right insights to optimize your strategy as things change and progress.
If your health association is looking to better connect with current members and engage new potential members in a more personalized and timely manner, an omnichannel strategy is the right way to go. As more and more channels for engagement continue to grow, and member and audience behavior continues to evolve, an effective omnichannel strategy will give you the means to both adapt and thrive.
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