Let me set the scene. You’re six months into your journey as a brand new SaaS startup. You ran a few demand generation experiments, tested messages and audiences, and finally discovered a working channel to create marketing qualified leads (MQL). So, what should you do next?
Once you find a marketing channel that works (e.g., Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, organic search), it’s time to refine and expand your marketing efforts to reach even more ideal customers. After all, you shouldn’t keep all your eggs in one basket because that channel may not work forever.
In my experience, this is where I see most startups flop. They use different channels but in siloes. Cohesion between their brand, messaging, and how the user experiences their brand falls flat. This creates a clunky experience for users attempting to flow through their funnel.
So, why do startups struggle? Because their tracking on the back-end isn’t set up to properly attribute what occurs across all the stages of the funnel and their channels. They don’t have visibility into where their audience is on their journey and their current tech stack isn’t integrated to create a cohesive experience. To make matters worse, they often don’t understand how to get started with an omnichannel marketing experience.
In the article below, I’ll explain how a startup can get started, give you a further definition of omnichannel marketing, and point to why it matters for your startup. I firmly believe that it’s the best approach to continuing to scale your demand generation efforts.
What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing uses various marketing channels (e.g, paid, email, website, sales emails, etc.) to reach and nurture potential customers with a unified message that recognizes the stage your customer is at in their journey. Think of omnichannel as a consistent brand experience across all of your channels — not siloes or inconsistent messaging like you see in multichannel marketing.
For B2B SaaS startups, it’s important to note that your customers have a longer buying cycle. Omnichannel marketing allows you to reach future customers more than once, hitting them with the right message, in the right place, and at the right time in their customer journey.
An omnichannel strategy is focused on journey mapping the customer and creating a consistent experience throughout. Thanks to the digital age, there are several channels that marketers can mix and match to effectively reach our target audience. It would be impossible to list every potential marketing channel, but here are a few of my favorites to keep in mind as you consider omnichannel marketing:
- Paid search
- Social advertising
- Content marketing
- Direct mail
- Email marketing
- SMS marketing
- Outbound calls/emails
- Webinars/Virtual events
- In-person events/Tradeshows
When differentiating your marketing channels, you should first think about your customers. Consider asking:
- How and where do they spend time?
- What are their interests?
- What are their purchasing habits?
If you can answer those questions, selecting multiple channels for your strategy becomes a lot easier. You can start hitting your customers in various ways from website visits to direct mail and all while moving them through the funnel.
Why Omnichannel Marketing Matters
Becoming a customer is a journey. It doesn’t happen after just one touchpoint. I’d find it hard to believe that you would purchase a SaaS product right after seeing a single Facebook advertisement. Not sure if you believe me? There’s a ton of research out there to back me up:
- According to State of the Connected Customer from Salesforce, customers turn to an average of nine channels to browse inventory, seek advice, and make purchases.
- A recent study conducted by Google found that a woman had 900+ digital touchpoints with a car dealership before deciding to lease a car. Now, that’s a lot of interactions!
- According to Omnisend, omnichannel marketing boosts the purchase frequency by about 250% and indicates a 90% higher customer retention rate.
Omnichannel marketing gives your potential customers the best possible experience by educating them throughout each stage of the funnel with a consistent message that finds them where they spend time. We all like to buy from the brands we trust, and omnichannel marketing boosts that trust and value for your customers.
How to Get Started with Omnichannel Marketing
When it comes to omnichannel marketing, good marketing rules still apply. You have to learn and exist where your customers go (online or in-person). Don’t just talk to them, but create content and resources that speak their language and seek to solve their problems. Here are three tips to get you started:
1. Use your customer data to determine your ICP and how to interact with them.
Start by taking a look at your database of leads (aka your first-party data). Look at the trends in your best customers to determine your ideal customer profile. Study their behavior on your website, conversations with your sales team, and what types of content they like and dislike. Seek to identify what triggered them to move further down the funnel, and focus your marketing efforts on those channels and adapting the message based on lifecycle stage. You don’t need to do every possible tactic — just the ones that count. This step is vital to engaging with the right customer.
2. Audit your current marketing approach to make sure you’re not wasting your time and effort.
After you’ve segmented your database, audit your current marketing efforts. Ensure they are aligned and consistent with your knowledge of ideal customers and the stages they are at in their buying journey. Is the content on your website answering a key pain point? Is your webinar resonating with your audience and providing value to them? If any of your marketing efforts are misaligned with your customers, stop doing it and adjust accordingly.
3. Invest in creating relevant content backed by data.
You can’t do anything without content. If you know your ideal customer, how they buy, and what they care about then you can use that information to create content your customers carve and distribute it using the channels that matter to them.
Omnichannel marketing has existed as a buzzword for quite some time but has gained more steam in recent years. It is an excellent opportunity for B2B businesses to create a seamless customer experience. Start using it today to maximize your potential for your organization.
Good luck, and keep learning!