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| | 5 minute read

Thriving in the Digital Age: Embracing Hybrid and Omnichannel Strategies

In a world of multiple devices and platforms, learn how omnichannel and hybrid strategies can be the game-changer for your brand's success.

In today's world, people use multiple devices and several platforms to engage with others in their personal and professional lives. Relying solely on one channel won't be a winning strategy. To effectively get your message out to other people, both digital and traditional marketing methods should be deployed.

As a marketer, it's your job to ensure that all viable avenues are explored for promoting your brand, products, and services. With omnichannel marketing, customers have a convenient and seamless user experience across several different channels like email, social media, and in-store assistance. According to Google, omnichannel strategies increase incremental store visits by 80% so it’s best to leverage the resources inherent to a hybrid marketing strategy.


What is Hybrid Marketing or Omnichannel Marketing?

Omnichannel marketing is the creation of a cohesive and consistent brand experience by integrating all the different sales and contact channels that brands use to interact with customers. This encompasses digital channels, like proprietary websites and social media, and physical channels like retail stores and direct mail.

It differs from hybrid marketing since omnichannel means that all customer touchpoints are integrated while hybrid only integrates online and offline touchpoints.

Omni vs Multichannel Marketing

Multichannel marketing has simpler intent and deployment in that a multichannel marketing strategy aims to distribute content across different channels. These channels can be digital but also physical.

Omnichannel marketing centers the customer while hybrid marketing is often very product-centric and representative of operations: multichannel marketing only strives to engage with the channels most necessary for that product. Omnichannel is more effective because it utilizes all channels, and its chief objective is to improve and standardize the customer experience regardless of channel.

Benefits of Adopting an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy

While omnichannel marketing plans pose a challenge to implement, most marketers agree that the omnichannel approach is a worthwhile investment where the benefits vastly outweigh the costs. Customers don't like the feeling that they're being sold to, and today's customer is used to an onslaught of ads every time they turn on a device or go out in public. This has made them more selective about which brands they engage with, and why. 

Omnichannel marketing creates the brand cohesion necessary for raising that engagement. It also has a host of benefits, such as:

  • Improved customer experience: 52% of US consumers walk away from purchases if they have a bad customer experience. The customer experience is a major brand differentiator in the modern landscape and omnichannel marketing centers the customer.
  • More brand cohesion: If a brand has a seamless experience across channels, it makes the brand easily identifiable and creates a uniform image and tone. By tapping into what the core audience is seeking and the experience they expect, it helps reshape brand guidelines to become more cohesive across channels.
  • Higher Revenues: With an omnichannel approach, customer engagement is encouraged across several different channels and touchpoints. From a customer journey perspective, the higher level of engagement can shorten the journey and result in higher revenues much faster. As a result of more efficiently targeted messaging for the different touchpoints of the customer journey, higher incidence of brand loyalty is also cultivated.
  • Improved Attribution Data: Data analytics become much more thorough with an omnichannel approach. It provides a much clearer picture of the customer journey, when and how often customers engage with the brand, and which campaigns and channels have been the most effective. These insights provide a blueprint for more targeted future campaigns and how to optimize them.

Hybrid Marketing Case Uses

Hybrid marketing strategies utilize both offline media and digital marketing. There are several ways that both methods can reach people that the other cannot, which is what makes hybrid marketing a powerful strategy. Popular hybrid marketing methods include:

  • Customers in-store being offered a digital loyalty program managed through the company’s website or dedicated app
  • Direct mail to prospects that entices them with a discount code for both online and in-store purchases.
  • Personalized offers in receipts obtained at brick-and-mortar stores that can be redeemed online or in-store.
  • Email marketing about special sales and events that only take place in-store.
  • Boothing at a trade show and collecting email addresses, following up with leads by email.
  • Placing a QR code on large outdoor displays so that people walking past will scan it and arrive on a landing page.

Retail giants like Amazon and Target have fully embraced the concept of hybrid marketing, reshaping the landscape of modern brand strategy. Bed, Bath, and Beyond's utilization of direct mail coupons, although effective in its time, contrasts with the multifaceted approach employed by these industry leaders.

Unlike the non-personalized coupons of yesteryears, Amazon and Target have amalgamated online and offline tactics seamlessly. Amazon, for instance, has leveraged its extensive online platform to create personalized shopping experiences, suggesting products based on browsing history and past purchases. Simultaneously, it has ventured into brick-and-mortar establishments, like Amazon Go stores, blending digital tracking with in-store shopping convenience.

Similarly, Target has ingeniously employed hybrid marketing by fusing its online presence with physical stores. Its "Order Pickup" service allows customers to buy products online and retrieve them in-store, bridging the gap between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail. Moreover, Target's REDcard loyalty program, functioning both online and offline, provides exclusive discounts and incentives to loyal customers, underscoring their commitment to a comprehensive marketing approach.

By integrating data analytics, personalized recommendations, and the seamless transition between digital and physical realms, Amazon and Target have crafted a modern hybrid marketing model. In their strategy, the line between online and offline blurs, offering customers a fluid shopping experience while simultaneously fortifying brand identity across multiple channels. This evolutionary approach stands in stark contrast to the singularly focused coupon-based marketing strategy employed by Bed, Bath, and Beyond, exemplifying the versatility and adaptability required for contemporary brand endurance.

Hybrid Marketing Trends

Hybrid email marketing has become the latest trend in email marketing. Hybrid email marketing solutions utilize a brand's customer data and a cloud delivery system that gleans insights from that data to quickly assemble and deliver personalized marketing messages.

Hybrid email marketing provides more personalized experiences for customers and helps drive engagement. With customers relying on their phones more than other devices in the 2020s, email remains a more powerful way to cut through the digital noise the average person endures daily. Emails get a customer's undivided attention because the message isn't quickly scrolled past like a social media post and can also be easily retrieved if they would like to revisit it.

It's unsurprising that HubSpot estimates email ROI to be $36 for every $1 spent since it doesn’t have to compete for views the way traditional digital advertising and social campaigns must.

How to Leverage Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing experiences decenter the products and services and completely center the customers and how they interact with your brand. While all channels must be considered, the ultimate focus is on the experience.

A few tips to defining a successful omnichannel marketing strategy:

  • Collect and Analyze Data:Throughout every phase of your strategy, it is imperative to gather comprehensive customer data and subject it to meticulous analysis. If you don’t know how, that’s okay, find a partner who can help you shape queries and give context to insights.
  • Map the Customer Journey: The customer journey can look different across products and verticals. That’s why it’s super important to invest time in understanding when customers and why target audiences interact with these touchpoints, what the information they are seeking is , and to meet them where they are to further likelihood of engagement.
  • Own Your Brand Voice: One of the primary goals and benefits of omnichannel marketing is that it results in a stronger degree of brand cohesion and identity. Assess your brand guidelines and how every channel plays a role in crafting a uniform brand identity.
  • Test and Optimize: Different content and campaigns may be needed for certain markets and demographics even if the product is the same. Make sure plenty of A/B testing is done with social and email marketing, and gauge how responsive your customers are. Take note of which types of content and messaging connect with them the most to optimize future campaigns.

Hybrid Marketing Best Practices

Planning and executing a successful hybrid marketing strategy can seem intimidating. But it’s less stressful of an undertaking when you keep the following best practices in mind:

  • Stay consistent with your branding.
  • Make the customer feel connected and that their interaction was easy.
  • Keep content suitable for each channel.
  • Collect data at each touchpoint.

Omnichannel for the Win

If the goal is to meet consumers where they are, with the right message at the right time then a hybrid omnichannel approach should be your go to. It empowers brands to not only build brand awareness but also leads to improved engagement, increased ROI and sales, and enhanced customer retention and loyalty. Now saying this and doing – sorry to sound like Yoda- can be tricky, that’s when you should reach for an assist. Finding a partner like MNI Targeted Media that can analyze the customer journey at every step, businesses can make more informed decisions about how and when to optimize campaigns to reduce wasted ad spend.