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Why Omnichannel is More than a Marketing Buzzword
Picture $5 million. That’s the amount that one global financial services brand estimates they waste in a year as a result of poor planning processes. Whether it’s having to toss off-brand creative, paying your agency to pass assets back and forth, or just a lack of communication between the ranks in your organization, there are a lot of opportunities to waste time and money when you’re planning to deliver an omnichannel experience.
Here’s what the problem comes down to: senior level marketers know and understand their brand’s strategy inside and out, but the people who are actually on the frontlines executing this strategy – especially in global organizations – tend to be further removed from it. These gaps are the enemy of global brand consistency, and the larger your brand, the more volatile the gaps become. We can categorize these gaps in three buckets:
- Chain of Command – Communications around brand strategy can often turn into the world’s largest game of telephone, where guidelines and directives are passed through the organization piecemeal, translated, revised, and interpreted by team members around the world. Simply put, the marketing ‘chain of command’ is long, and poor planning processes make this especially apparent.
- Experience – Not only are executors removed from the brand strategy organizationally, but they also tend to be earlier in their marketing careers. It stands to reason that the less experienced you are the more likely you are to need careful strategic direction, granular approvals, and productive collaboration.
- Geography – In enterprise brands, frontline marketers are often geographically removed from the people most well-versed in the brand strategy. They may sit in regional offices or agencies and may not have direct contact with leaders at the global level or executive level.
Obviously, you can’t have your CMO or even your VP sitting in on every meeting and approving every piece of content. Rather, you need a process to help employees and partners around the world translate your business objectives and strategies into tactical activations. This is where planning comes in. One of the primary purposes of planning is to narrow the communications gap around brand strategy, making objectives and guidelines clear, accessible, and actionable.
This is especially critical today as brands need to activate on an ever-increasing range of channels. Even more than this, the experience provided on each channel needs to be not only on-brand, but also acting in concert with all other touchpoints. According to one study from McKinsey, the best way to predict customer outcomes (correlated with increased revenue) was to measure satisfaction on the entire customer journey – rather than a single interaction. Thus the key to satisfying customers is “consistency, consistency, consistency” across channels, touchpoints, and journey stages. The best way to do this is to establish a comprehensive, centralized planning process that unite your entire team around your strategy regardless of channel, location, or seniority.
Download our complete Marketer’s Guide to Omnichannel Planning to learn how to:
- Implement a global briefing strategy
- Collaborate more effectively with your agencies
- Iterate on your planning processes
- Integrate planning into your other marketing workflows
To learn more about how the world’s largest brands are mastering omnichannel, join us for Transition in New York City on September 28.