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What is omni-channel marketing?

By Justin Di Vilio

The way your customers shop has changed drastically over the years and is continuing to change. Instead of picking up the Yellow Pages to find a local business or wandering into your dealership to browse your latest boats and accessories, shoppers today reach for the nearest device to learn about products and businesses online before visiting them in-store.

With shoppers bouncing between devices, it’s important to have a strong customer experience for your dealership across all your marketing channels. Your desktop website, mobile website, mobile app, email marketing and brick-and-mortar store should work together to create one fluid, integrated experience for your customers.

This seamless experience across your marketing channels is called “omni-channel marketing”, and your customers are coming to expect it. Big name retailers like Target and Amazon have conditioned your shoppers to expect fluid transitions from desktop website to app to email, and taking a page out of their book can help you get ahead of the competition.

Take a look at your current marketing methods. Does your social media use the same tone and branding as your website? Does the messaging of your website carry through to your email marketing messages? Do the graphics in your email reflect your in-store signage? Does your in-store stock reflect what you display on your website? To create an omni-channel marketing experience, all of your marketing channels should feel like pieces of the same puzzle – lots of little parts working together to build the big picture of your dealership.

Here’s an example: If a customer receives a promotional email from your dealership, they should seamlessly be able to visit your website to learn more about the promotion or a particular boat or product you featured that caught their eye. After they’ve learned all they can from your website, the experience they have when they come to see the boat in person should feel consistent with the one they had reading your email and browsing your website. Together, all of their interactions with your dealership should feel like one fluid experience that allows them to naturally transition from one platform to another.

Your customers want the best shopping experience possible, and creating an omni-channel experience across all of your channels can help you deliver it, no matter how they interact with your dealership.

Need help managing your online reputation? ARI’s Digital Marketing Services team is here to help. For more information about ARI and the products and services they offer to help dealers manage their digital marketing and online presence, reach out to Justin Di Vilio, business development manager for ARI’s marine division, at 414-973-4460 or by email at Justin.DiVilio@arinet.com.

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