Post-Pandemic Marketing: Why Omnichannel Engagement Can Be A Game-Changer For Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Harsha Solanki, Managing Director-India, Infobip | Monday, 08 March 2021, 10:52 IST

Harsha Solanki, Managing Director-India, Infobip

There are two facts that every marketer worth their salt today must know:

The modern customer has an increased affinity for the digital medium

They are more willing to experiment with different conventional and new-age channels

The former was never in question. The rise of the digital medium - especially in emerging economies such as India – has been extensively tracked, mapped, analysed, and discussed over the past decade. Pandemic-induced lockdowns and the subsequent digital shift have only further amplified its growth trajectory. When compared with the corresponding numbers from March 2020, the screentime for an average Indian smartphone user in June 2020 was up by 2 hours-for WiFi users, the screen usage grew from 2.5 hours to 4.5 hours-even while the overall online consumption across the country shot up by 20%.

This digital explosion has had a significant impact on the latter of the aforementioned facts. With the entire country confined to their homes for several months, both digital natives and new online users are populating and exerting their presence across a large part of the contemporaneous online channels. More importantly, they are switching across messaging apps, social media platforms, and digital portals to accomplish a range of tasks, from communicating with their friends, families, and professional peers to shopping, entertainment, and staying up to date with the latest trends.

As a marketer, you might already be aware of these developments. You may even be devising and implementing various marketing strategies to help your brand capitalise on these paradigm shifts and maximise its digital engagement with existing and prospective customers.

The question you need to ask, here, is this: are you doing it right, in the most optimal manner?

The role of omnichannel engagement in the digital marketing value chain Whether marketing your products/services or engaging with customers to increase brand recall, at the end of the day, as a marketer, you are in the business of selling a value proposition. It is just as vital to remember, however, that the end-user that you’re selling to is a human being who, at their core, is an emotional creature who places considerable value in experiences.

Consider this: whenever you think of a happy moment in your life, or come across an old photograph or a favourite post on social media, your instinctively remember how that moment made you feel. Your customers are no different. They will appreciate marketing initiatives that make them think, but remember the campaigns that evoke an emotion.

And that is best achieved by personalising your message according to your customer by using omnichannel marketing as a vehicle. Essentially you want to meet customers where they are. As opposed to multichannel marketing, which places the brand or the product at the center of business communications, an omnichannel model of engagement puts the focus on the customer – on their needs, preferences, and sensibilities.

Now, given that your customers are present across most, if not all, potential touchpoints, it means that you must also be there to engage with them, as and when required. Doing this for one, 10, or even a hundred individuals is still a manageable task – but how do you accomplish personalised engagement, at speed and scale, with thousands and millions of individuals?

“This digital explosion has had a significant impact on the latter of the aforementioned facts”

This is where an automated omnichannel, ‘one-to-many’ marketing strategy steps into the picture.

Tech at the fore, human at the core: Automated omnichannel strategies for the post-pandemic age of digital interactions

Cutting-edge tech tools, such as automated omnichannel marketing hubs, enable brands to leverage a diversified range of customer engagement strategies that are optimized for individual customers and channels. These solutions enable you to categorize your customers into various segments based on unified and anonymized data – such as demographics, location, behaviors, and events – before targetting each segment with the relevant campaign to maximize its efficiency.

You can also personalize and automate omnichannel communication across multiple channels, from chat apps and mobile messaging apps to SMS, RCS, email, etc. Additionally, such holistic solutions tap into the power of analytics to enable you to track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and, based on the enriched data, fine-tune it to continually improve the experiences delivered.

Why is this important? Because delivering consistent and high-quality experiences across multiple channels allows you to drive better, deeper engagement with your target audiences than when the said engagement is restricted to a single channel. It also has a direct impact on your business performance; on average, brands that opt for a strong omnichannel approach to customer engagement register an increase in their annual revenues. Moreover, when customer engagement is diversified across channels, especially high-impact avenues such as mobile and online, key marketing parameters such as brand recall register a significant boost.

One of India’s leading financial marketplaces tapped into the power of automated omnichannel engagement to expand its customer outreach. By using the popular messaging platform WhatsApp, it was able to bring a younger audience into the fold of its marketing endeavours. It also leveraged an AI-driven interactive chatbot to educate its customers about types of financial loans that they can access. As a result, it was able to create a more diverse audience base for its gold loan products while reaching out to newer demographics across the country – thus improving the availability of credit to a relatively untapped consumer base.

The modern-day customer base is evolving thanks to the increased digital access to knowledge and seamless cross-cultural connection. Brands that aim to capture evolving and emerging markets also need to evolve in tandem. Only those businesses that successfully utilize the combination of new-age tech tools, resources, and knowledge can seamlessly navigate the choppy waters of the post-pandemic market that will continue to shift in unpredictable ways for the foreseeable future.

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