Omnichannel Marketing for Colorado Small Businesses
If you are not familiar with the term omnichannel marketing, you are not alone, but there is still a good chance you have experience with it. Remember the last time you searched for something on your phone and later had it pop up on your desktop computer at work? Or looked at an ad on one website and then noticed it in the sidebar of every website you visited for a week afterward? If yes, you’ve been the victim (or beneficiary?) of omnichannel marketing. While the business that made multiple offers to you may have been an industry giant, that doesn’t mean omnichannel marketing is out of the question for Colorado small business owners. Because it is becoming a component of staying competitive, it is important to understand what it is and how it can work for you.
Omnichannel is a cross-channel business model that companies use to increase customer experience. The approach has verticals in healthcare, government, financial services, retail and telecommunications industries, including channels such as physical locations, FAQ webpages, social media, live web chats, mobile applications and telephone communication. Companies that use omnichannel contend that a customer values the ability to be in constant contact with a company through multiple avenues at the same time.
Can a Small Business Participate in Omnichannel Marketing?
The answer is yes, and no. You may not be able to participate as broadly as Amazon or the Home Depot, but that does not mean you cannot broaden the channels you use to reach customers who currently search for your products or services and shop online and in-store for the items you offer.
Some methods of broadening your presence include:
All of these methods of broadening your marketing channels cost money, and some only make sense for certain types of businesses, so before you dive in, it is a good idea to take some time, and find someone to advise you who is not selling any of the tools or resources you could use to broaden your sales opportunities. It is also good to keep in mind that adding a second or third means of reaching your market isn’t the same as omnichannel marketing – to truly become an omnichannel marketer, you have to be able to follow your consumer from research to selection to purchase. For most Colorado small business owners, this is a bit of a stretch, but not entirely out of the question.
Omnichannel Options for Small Business Owners
In terms of scale, the only omnichannel option available to a small business owner is probably inbound marketing – which is a method used to stay in touch with and win sales from customers from the early stages of research (consideration) all the way through to purchase (and hopefully, repurchase!). You may discover your prospective customer via advertising, delight them with your witty banter as you respond to their questions and interests via email marketing, and obtain sales from them in your brick and mortar storefront – if so, you’ve participated in an omnichannel sale on three platforms: online advertising, email marketing, retail storefront. Or, you may follow up with a current customer who loves your product, get them to download a shopping app or agree to receive future emails with promotional offers from you, and improve your chances of a repeat sale.
Of course, omnichannel sales work best when there is some time involved in the decision making process. If you sell milk, and the baby wants milk, mom and dad probably are not going to sign up to receive an email about the health benefits of milk before buying a gallon from your corner market. But for retailers and service providers with non-commodity offerings where emotion and evaluation are a part of the sales cycle, as long as it remains profitable to do so, it is generally a good idea to be in more than one location in terms of access to your current and prospective customers. In the perfect, omnichannel world, those locations are linked together, providing you with sales signals along the way, and allowing you to follow the customer through all of the stages that lead up to a purchase and to remain in touch with them until the next purchase is made. If you have a marketing budget, and a product or service that consumers spend time considering or researching before making a purchase, it might make sense for you to explore omnichannel marketing opportunities.
How Can a Small Business Attorney Help?
Business coaching may not be the first thing you think of when you consider calling your local small business attorney, but in fact, your attorney may be one of your best resources for getting non-biased advice about your business decisions. One of the best things a good attorney can do for you is help you locate good resources for calculating the potential costs, pitfalls, and rewards of a particular course of action. As a long-time Denver business attorney, I have seen successes and failures in abundance, and developed a trustworthy and reliable database of advisers for my clients. If you are starting a business in Colorado, or looking to expand the ways you reach your market and think omnichannel marketing might be a good opportunity for your Colorado small business, contact me, Elizabeth Lewis, at the Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C., home of your Denver Small Business Attorney. Phone: 720-258-6647. Email: email@example.com
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