A Modern Approach To Brand Marketing: The Importance Of Being Omnipresent
The World Wide Web was invented in 1989. Amazon came soon after in 1994, and the first “social media” site, Six Degrees, was created in 1997. It’s incredible to think about how far we, as a society, have advanced in the world of technology within 30 short years.
Today, 81% of Americans own smartphones, up from just 35% in 2011. And social media? A whopping 79% of Americans has a networking profile of some kind. The way people interact, consume news, seek entertainment, and yes – shop – has all changed with the advent of the internet.
Simply put – the modern digital world allows people to be everywhere, at all times. And people expect brands to do the same.
So, what does that mean for the retail industry? How can brands keep up with this new generation of shoppers?
Andrew Catapano, CEO of digital marketing agency wowbrands, says it well:
“Brands and retailers need to be consistently present for their customers, no matter where they may be. Companies that adopt an “omnipresent” mindset will be able to build and retain loyalty in a world where technology is creating a physical – and emotional – distance between brands and shoppers.”
What Does It Mean To Be Omnipresent In An “Always On” World?
The word “omnipresent” is traditionally associated with religion – the idea of an “omnipresent” god who is everywhere, all at once. Although that theological definition still exists, it has recently been adopted by the retail industry to describe a new approach to brand marketing.
Regarding retail, “omnipresent” now refers to brands being everywhere, at all times, and always available to customers. Although that seems like a tall order to fill, it’s a very real possibility in our tech-savvy, experience-driven world.
Before omnipresence came along, “omnichannel” was a trending buzzword in retail marketing. An omnichannel marketing approach encourages brands to create strategies for each individual channel, including retail, online, social media, and customer service. However, individual channels often become siloed, and do not effectively communicate with each other. As a result, the customer experience can become muddied across mediums.
In contrast – an omnipresent approach advocates for brands to develop one consistent marketing strategy, and then adapt that strategy across each channel. That way, individual channels work in sync to elevate the entire customer journey.
In order to become omnipresent, brands need to keep an eye on trending topics and consumer preferences. This is where technology becomes an invaluable tool for brands who want to communicate with – and garner information from – their customers.
By actively listening and participating online, brands can develop smart strategies that will make a true impact.
How Can Omnipresent Brands Take Advantage Of Technology?
The omnipresent marketing approach requires brands to be available to customers at all times and in every capacity, both online and off.
Due to employee limitations, this isn’t always possible – especially after normal business hours and on the weekends. However, with machine learning and AI, this high level of customer support is attainable. Technology provides a win-win situation for customers and brands alike. In fact, U.K.-based Juniper Research forecasts that chatbots alone could save businesses $8 billion annually worldwide by 2022!
Smart brands should take advantage of data provided by AI interactions to better understand customer questions, preferences, and behavior, and then train store associates accordingly. Data is a living, breathing, evolving entity, and it should be reviewed regularly to guide cross-channel improvement.
While AI and automation is an important part of becoming omnipresent, it will never completely replace the human element of sales. According to Retail Dive, about 70% consumers say they would rather speak to a human customer service representative than engage with a digital customer service rep or chatbot.
That said, a successful omnichannel approach should allow for intelligent technology AND human interactions. Online is not a replacement for in person – rather, digital customer service should be used to enhance the overall shopping experience. By blending the two, brands can stand out in an increasingly competitive market.
How Has Brand Choice Affected The Consumer Experience?
Modern consumers have more brand choice than ever before. It seems like a new company launches every day, promising the “next best thing.” In such an unpredictable climate, it can feel like the ultimate challenge to create – and then maintain – brand loyalty.
According to Forbes, most Americans are exposed to 4,000 – 10,000 ads each day. With so much competition, even big brands can feel like small fish competing for coveted lake space. It begs the question – how can any single company compete?
Thankfully, the idea of omnipresence isn’t about doing MORE marketing; it’s about doing SMARTER marketing – marketing that will actually make a difference in everyday lives.
Smart marketing tactics include making existing channels interact with each other, using available technology to improve in-person experiences, and developing one core brand identity that drives all communication. Smart marketing also means never becoming complacent, and always striving for innovation.
Omnipresence isn’t a destination to get to; it’s a journey to enjoy. Think of big-name brands like Coke, Apple, and Nike – they are obvious leaders in their respective industries, but does that mean they have plans to slow down and let somebody else take over? Absolutely not.
Every single day is an opportunity to do more; to become an omnipresent entity in the lives of your customers. As a result, omnipresent efforts are often rewarded with lifelong loyalty.
How Can Omnipresent Marketing Create Loyal Customers?
No marketing campaign, product offer, or customer service representative will ever replace, or reverse, the trend towards online shopping. However, that doesn’t mean the traditional human-facing retail format is insignificant. In order to succeed, retail does not need to go away – it just needs to adapt to its new generation of shoppers.
By adopting an omnipresent marketing approach, brands can meet customers where they are, whether that’s scrolling through social media, watching a YouTube video, or walking through the mall. This level of total integration will help your brand stand out in a world of never-ending competition, and ultimately boost sales.
Every single brand interaction with a customer should provide consistent messaging and a seamless experience. No matter if that communication is taking place online, over the phone, or via chatbot, customers should always experience the same level of service they would receive in a retail environment.
By delivering a consistent, cohesive message across every channel of communication, brands can finally begin to be everywhere.
Are you ready to be omnipresent?
Modern companies can no longer afford to treat their online strategy differently than their brick-and-mortar approach; to the customer, they are one and the same. In essence, this is what “omnipresent” means – the ability to meet your customer where they are, and always provide an uninterrupted shopping experience.
BDS Marketing specializes in retail, digital, and experiential marketing, and we help brands become omnipresent, one connected touchpoint at a time.