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3 Top Challenges Thwarting Your Omnichannel Efforts

"Omnichannel" is the word on everyone's lips and, in our last post, we talked about the ways you can work to achieve it in your marketing efforts. But we realize that it's easier said than done when a number of legacy issues are still at play in the ecosystem. Below are the top three problems facing marketers who want to go omnichannel and some ways we can work to fix them. 

1.    A Focus on Channel Over Audience

When the adtech phase of marketing was still starting out, it made sense to think in a channel-centric approach because there was only one primary channel: display. Coming up with standards and approaches to extend across emerging channels wasn’t necessary. But failing to standardize resulted in each channel having its own unique advantages, channels and execution strategies—and, often, their own platforms—which has prevented marketers from being able to consistently plan omnichannel campaigns.

We now market in an age where there are a half dozen digital marketing channels—audio, social, video, mobile, display, DOOH—with more emerging. What is needed now is an ability to find your audiences across these channels using a fluid campaign budget that you can optimize depending on behaviors and results. Omnichannel media-buying platforms exist that do this thinking for you, helping you decision based on your data assets and KPIs so you can identify your most high-value audiences and then target them with the most premium supply across channels.

2.    Not Having Systems Talk to Each Other

Just like channels shouldn’t be treated as separate, neither should your various technology systems. Having disparate technology systems leads to big problems such as data loss and latency, communications to consumers that are repetitive and do not tell a cohesive story and missed opportunities to cross- and upsell, not to mention inefficient workflow.

It’s now possible to integrate your data-management platform with your demand-side platform, your adtech with your martech. Any upfront pain or cost in converging these systems will be replaced in the long-run with the ability to: have what happens in your audiences inform what happens in media, and vice versa, for a continuous feedback loop; deliver relevant, seamless marketing; and have information, insights and budgets centralized in one place.

3.    Walled Social Inventory

Social platforms have two huge benefits to marketers: they have rich troves of customer data and they have real people as users, not cookies. There is also the increasing ability to infuse video into the social experience and its use on mobile.

The one challenge of social as a marketing channel has always been that it cannot be seamlessly tied to marketing efforts on other channels. The platforms powering these sites are often walled gardens, where marketers put their audiences in and can’t take out the data or insights gleaned from their campaigns. Marketers should demand that these walled gardens give them what they need to do their jobs—namely, access to utilize their social audiences and analytics across other platforms and marketing efforts. Or, we can wait for the day when technology allows you to buy social inventory like you would any other supply source so you can run truly omnichannel campaigns.  

Photo from Creative Commons

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