We're delighted to present a guest blog post from Youth Marketing Strategy media partner Ve Interactive. Read on for their thoughts on omni-channel marketing:
e-Commerce has caught up and over-taken the high-street over the last few years, and it’s done so with millennials perched firmly at the wheel. The youth market, or so-called “digital natives”, contribute to more online purchases than any other age group.
But despite this huge shift in buyer behaviour, the rise of online doesn’t mean the fall of the high-street as the doom merchants would have you believe. Make no mistake, the channels have diversified but the stages of the buying journey remain the same.
Whether it’s online or in store, brands still need to inspire, provide relevant information and stir their target market into action. And the key to doing so for retail marketers is to keep up with the omni-channel customer.
Omni-channel is a millennial challenge
Recent reports shows that 87% of millennials use two or three different devices to access the internet. To hone in on the e-Commerce component, 39% of users said they were either very or completely likely to make a purchase using a mobile in the next five years.
The emergence of this variety of new tech opens up a more complex path to purchase, but also broader opportunity to make positive customer interactions. In order to keep your brand relevant, and appealing to millennials, you need to be able to engage them on new platforms as they are released.
This is the challenge facing youth marketers. To make the most of the increased number of touch-points available to reach their audience at each stage of this buying journey – from inspiration to research, to decision to purchase.
But despite the opportunity brought about by the ever-connected consumer, this always-on mentality comes with its own set of obstacles. Without accurate customisation, marketing messages can struggle to hit their target and cut through the ever-increasing noise. To do so, advertising must be creative, consistent and compelling across a range of different channels.
Companies are still missing the mark
However, according to Forrester research, there is still a crevasse between the omni-channel experience retailers would like to deliver and the service they’re currently providing. This latest report shows that 72% of internet users want an integrated marketing experience whereas just 39% feel they get one currently.
The key for retailers to close that gap is twofold. First, they need to ensure that their messaging is being displayed to the right users, optimised for the appropriate device and positioned at the ideal stage of the purchasing journey to have maximum impact. Sure there are a range of data solutions available to help your marketing campaigns find their mark, but for true precision there is no substitute for human expertise.
Second, marketers need to ensure their various marketing channels and technologies are working in sync to provide a consistent user experience. And the easiest way to stay on top of this is by using a single platform which offers a range of advertising solutions to best attract and engage your customers.
Keeping up with the millennial market is no easy feat, but if brands can get it right at each stage of the user journey, the conversions will follow. Speak to Tom Weeks at YMS London on stand 13 or catch him speaking at the event on Wednesday 9th March.