How Does Mobile Fit into Your Omni-Channel Strategy?

Posted by Taylor Haney on Tue, Dec 9, 2014

We've got another week of awesome mobile guest blogs for you. Today we have a post from Scott Rosen, Director of Technical Support Services and Digital Strategy at Ve Interactive. Scott discusses how mobile fits into an omni-channel strategy.

Scott RosenScott Rosen is the Director of Technical Support Services and Digital Strategy at Ve Interactive, a multi-award winning global technology company, driving online performance to maximize conversions. He oversees the technical implementation and analysis of Ve’s products in North America. Prior to Ve Interactive, Scott held various digital marketing and data analysis positions at Bright Horizons, iProspect, and the Manufacturers’ Alliance. Scott has a JD from Villanova University (licensed to practice law in Massachusetts) and a BS in Business Administration and Economics from the Kogod School of Business at American University. Outside of work, he is an active member of his church. Scott lives outside of Boston with his wife. Follow @VeUnitedStates on Twitter.

If you are solely focused on the “Year of Mobile” or the “Era of Mobile”, you’re probably addressing a trend that has run its course. At the very least, you’re only focusing on one element of a larger trend.

Unfortunately, once everyone has recognized the importance of a concept or initiative, it likely means that there’s another, more revolutionary trend on the horizon.

To be sure, mobile isn’t going away. Roughly 50% of all traffic can be attributed to mobile devices, and that trend is likely to continue unabated as mobile technology becomes more advanced and consumers veer away from traditional desktop computers.

Nevertheless, channels such as social media, display retargeting, and even paid search each once claimed the mantle of being the most revolutionary method for attracting digital business.

No digital marketer would ignore any of these channels – at least without sound data indicating than one or more may not be right for a certain company or industry.

Never Just One Channel

While multi-channel marketing is an obvious necessity for any digital marketing strategy, digital marketers should think beyond this to an omni-channel strategy. The danger of solely focusing more resources on mobile – even while still supporting other channels – is that this approach ignores important observations about consumer behavior as a whole.

The mobile experience may very well warrant more marketing resources, but it cannot be treated as an island by itself. The reason why omni-channel marketing is gaining credibility is because it takes a realistic look at consumer behavior – particularly in a more mobile device oriented world. For example, a consumer may start a purchase on his smartphone and then receive a follow up e-mail on his laptop after failing to make the purchase. Should the consumer decide to proceed based upon the reminder, he is going to want to have the item sitting in his cart upon his return.

A marketer with an omni-marketing approach is going to take that into consideration. At Ve, where we specialize in driving conversions, we had to adjust our own technology to ensure that we track the same user across multiple devices. Prominent companies like Zappos have invoked a similar philosophy, ensuring that what you’ve explored on your mobile device will be reflected in subsequent marketing communications regardless of the device you use.

There are three initiatives marketers should pursue in order to move in an omni-marketing direction – particularly across devices.

  1. Collect and Analyze the Right Data – Analyzing consumer behavior is important. You need to ensure that you know what consumers are looking for before you will know how to effectively integrate your marketing channels.

  2. Make Sure You Can Share Data Across Channels – A true omni-marketing approach means that your channels are complimentary and not in conflict. You need a way to monitor your initiatives so you aren’t cannibalizing your efforts.

  3. Invest in Mobile – While investing in mobile resources without regard to the rest of your marketing strategy is short sighted, it does need to be part of your strategy. Almost all websites will rely on more mobile traffic over the coming years. Your customers will rely on a seamless experience between your mobile presence and other marketing methods. Investments in responsive templates and mobile websites that conform to the rest of your branding are essential.

While an omni-marketing approach may require considerable effort, consumers are starting to expect an uninterrupted experience across all channels. Marketers who fail to comply will likely face the consequences of missing the next big trend.