The Omninator; When A Holistic Approach Becomes A Noun

The best brands are those that interconnect with their customers’ lives. We read it everywhere, how to connect through the customer journey, and putting the client or consumer first.
There is a difference between truly understanding service and driving value and revenue throughout the entire customer lifecycle and Omni-channeled marketing messaging. In reality, it is about the total experience at scale. And scaling, plus breaking all knowledge silos are the elements that are leading to the challenge.

Organic growth of tech-stack
Technological systems have been built organically, over-time and stacked up to a pluriform dashboard of all things functional and non-functional. Leaving a chunk of non-functional legacy standing in the way of a good commercial infrastructure. At the same time, platform economies like Polyvore are on the rise, connecting creativity of its users with a very broad palette of retail partners. Just like Uber, there is little ownership in stores anymore. We live in the age of Amazon-like giants. We start hiring growth hackers for quick wins, client optimization officers for service, we work in squads, gathering all disciplines that are required to complete assignments properly. We are constantly randomizing our approach because we are in a flux and it simply will not stop. Great isn’t it? Yet, we are stuck at the same time.

A nominator is no goal
It is interesting that retailers cling onto the OMNI…Why? So what is Omni? We tend to forget we have valuable assets but sometimes they are simply not in place yet or need polishing…Embracing OMNI will imply operational excellence, technical excellence and a very savvy business model. In fact, it is time we start to look beyond nominators as goals.

Omni isn’t a hollow marketing phrase
There are plenty of examples of a good Omni-channel approaches, yet they are often about Omni-channel marketing, and channels are just channels. Can we stop thinking channels? It will lead to just another silo-fied point of view. The starting point is the fluidity in the behaviour of our clients or consumers (which is not only oriented on a shopping basket).

The flux of influence, dream-like or drastic reality? Get your core values on fleek!
“You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you…” (Carly Simon)

The social media phenomenon of having your real life and simultaneously broadcasting a very different social media life is something to be mindful of.
The need to be seen – where, what you are doing, who you are with, what you are eating… and often projecting an image that is much better than it really is… a pin to say ‘having lunch at The Ivy, London’… a post to say ‘At LAX airport business lounge sipping champagne’…or a brief ‘latte GIF’ while in Starbucks. Almost at addiction levels to being active and seen on social media. What does it say about us… a need to be liked?…a need to be popular (gauged by the number of followers we have)?…a desire for a better life and life experiences? A desire to become of influence?

Vanity of a personal nature also influences commercial marketing and the stance and values brand projects. From Nike and Absolut transgender storylines to Missguided championing body positivity through the use of unedited photography all tap into a social voice and should be praised. The art, however, is to avoid doing something that is simply in vogue that could lead to consumer skepticism, but create something that’s finger on the pulse ‘and’ interesting, original and authentic. Vanity is in a flux too…

Get your core values on fleek!
If there is a general consensus our self-esteem needs a bit of all of the above to varying degrees, how do you react as a brand wanting to compete?

Responsive in real
A need to respond – certainly ‘instantaneity’ and ‘experience’ is required as these are here to stay, and therefore very relevant to a brand’s behavior and lasting appeal. Omni does take this into account. In under 60 seconds…what does a brand need to achieve?

 Brand musts:

  • Belief
  • Honesty
  • Speed
  • Spontaneity
  • Instinctiveness
  • Authenticity
  • Creativity

Moments and acts of brand kindness leading to memorable experiences. Memorable experiences lead to loyalty and ultimately sales….

Omni good-fullness
The impact of this consumer behavior on creating a successfully seamless shopping experience (Omni-channel) is significant for a brand. From bricks & mortar to mobile (or vice versa) is a huge chasm to join, or seamlessly connect – they are after all chalk and cheese, with one restrained by its sq meter’age and costly to change, the other with a infinite depth and speed of change. Most brands talk of their Omni-channel offer, but predominately they remain in different silos with just the logo as the only ‘brand splice’. So should, or how can a brand be Omni?…

Multi first!
Firstly, multi-channel is ok!…this for many brands works as the consumer is aware of the differing experience. So if it works, don’t break it… simply hone and fine-tune these to meet the demands of your consumer group. However for many, creating the depth of an Omni-channel integrated experience is essential.

Pull together a strategy that bridges several internal departments, to develop a coherent and aligned experience across multiple platforms. Identify the consumer and their individual needs, and map out the customer journey/s, including –

  • Persona
  • Journeys
  • Analytics
  • Scenario thinking
  • Human Centric Design and UX
  • Full Engagement
  • The ‘white glove’ personal touch
  • All sensory
  • Mobile tote shopper bag
  • On-the-hoof, 24/7
  • End of the journey, beginning of a new one… circular motion
  • A good dose of creativity
  • DNA, grounded values

Omni channels of a business are naturally different channels. But it is possible to connect them holistically, laterally and seamlessly. And to build individual-tailored customer engagement, and ultimately brand coherent loyalty.

Are you Omni-worthy? Thanks for making us wonder…