Do CMOs dream of omnichannel marketing?

juvnsky anton maksimov wrkNQmhmdvY unsplash

As a CMO or marketing leader, you are concerned with strategies and operations that build your brand and accelerate your business. In today’s business environment, omnichannel marketing is one of them.

CMOs recognise that consumers increasingly expect and reward a consistent and personalised experience as they move between touchpoints — and you need an omnichannel marketing approach to deliver that.

While most CMOs are probably not dreaming about omnichannel marketing, they might dream about forming strong customer relationships, increasing revenue and enhancing the customer lifetime value, and this is something omnichannel marketing can help achieve.

And that’s a dream worth waking up for.

Reasons why you should consider omnichannel marketing

Reasons why you should consider omnichannel marketing

  • Your customers expect and reward a consistent and personalised customer experience across channels
  • A seamless customer experience throughout the customer lifecycle gives you a competitive edge
  • Personalisation and relevance increase loyalty, customer lifetime value and revenue

However, you cannot depend 100% on omnichannel marketing to achieve all of your marketing KPIs. It is about striking a balance between reach and relevance: the combination of segmented and broad campaigns to achieve volume and communicate the unique brand message, and the personalised and more narrow communication across channels to build strong relations and loyalty.

Evolving towards omnichannel marketing

Spurred by the continuously ongoing digital transformation the marketing discipline has experienced a fast-forward evolution from simply digitalising traditional marketing techniques towards an increased digital maturity where the tools and channels enable new ways of working and interacting.

It is an evolution towards customer-centric organisation and omnichannel marketing.


Single-channel: The customers experience communicating with your brand in just one channel, for example, email.

Multichannel: Your customers experience communication in multiple and disjointed channels acting independently of each other. This could be email, SMS, and app push. Channels are silos, and there is no data exchange between the channels.

Cross-channel: Your customers experience an increased level of consistency across the channels since data from the various channels are being exchanged. However, data is still not necessarily centred around the customer.

Omnichannel: Your customers experience seamless and personalised communication across channels. Data is organized around the customer, and the organization itself is customer-centric.

Take the customer-centric approach

Omnichannel marketing differs from multichannel marketing in its holistic, customer-centric approach. Brands may use SMS, email and app push in communication. Still, if these channels are not integrated, customers will experience an isolated SMS activity, an email activity and an app push activity instead of a coherent customer journey. It is not omnichannel marketing.

What’s missing is the orchestration around the customer and the ability to use the continually data-enriched customer profile as the offset for your next communication.

Today, many companies still have a multichannel approach. Basically, they use the available channels to convey the same campaign and message without orchestrating the communication – which from a consumer point of view comes close to being spammed.

As companies become more digitally mature, cross-channel marketing becomes the stepping-stone towards full-blown omnichannel marketing.

Omnichannel Marketing is a customer-first approach – it is about removing the focus from the channels and instead focusing on the customer, their actions and preferences – and then communicating accordingly.

Customer experiences differentiate your brand

At its core, omnichannel marketing is all about providing the right message at the right time and place to engage your customers with maximum impact. It is about listening, understanding and acting on data on a one-to-one basis.

From a customer perspective, this means they receive communication that appears tailored to them. It’s personalised, relevant, has perfect timing, and it makes them feel that the brand cares for them. Yes, by leveraging data to identify and match the ideal content with the individual customer and using marketing automation to execute across channels, you can deliver personalised communication to millions.

So, you may not be dreaming about omnichannel marketing. But if you are dreaming about creating strong customer relationships, increasing revenue and enhancing the customer lifetime value, this is your wake-up call: The customer experiences and the relationships you build are unique to your brand and cannot be copied. Your product, however, possibly could.

In omnichannel marketing, communication continually takes its starting point in the customer and her actions. Each action, regardless of channel, then serves as the basis of the next communication in any channel.