Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine

Does Your Water Quality Dealership Have an Omni-Channel Marketing Strategy in Place for 2019?

By Dale ‘DataDale’ Filhaber

Think of omni-channel marketing as the 2019 supercharged version of integrated marketing. According to Google research, 90 percent of multiple-device owners switch between an average of three per day to complete a task. Businesses that can help their customers complete those tasks, when and where they want, stand to gain a piece of the $1.8 trillion (USD) that cross-channel sales are predicted to reach this year. That’s why companies are now guiding their prospects and leads through the customer journey with an omni-channel marketing strategy.

What is an omni-channel marketing strategy?
Omni-channel marketing refers to the concept of providing a seamless user experience across all channels relevant to the buyer’s journey. The term emphasizes a shift in the way people progress through the marketing funnel. In the US, 213 million adults access the Internet with an average of four different devices. They’re more connected and they have more control over the buying process than ever before.
What used to be a one- or two-stop shop is now a journey that spans days, times, locations and channels. And those channels aren’t strictly digital ones. They can be a direct mailer, newspapers, magazines or catalogs in the mail. They can be your storefront, word-of-mouth or an outbound ad like a billboard. For example, a customer can browse your website online from a desktop or mobile device, call your office by phone, get a tide card in the mail or walk into your dealership and the message and sales experience will be seamless. When customers can interact with a brand anytime, anywhere, how is your dealership preparing to accommodate them? The following Omni-Channel Marketing Strategy Checklist covers strategies you should consider for lead generation and customer acquisition.

Improving search marketing
When a prospect uses Google to search your company name or product, a paid search ad should pop up and direct them to your website or landing page. Make sure you have an easy-to-click phone icon for prospects if they want immediate gratification.

Retargeting
When a prospect interacts with content on a media site or searches on a specific term, a sequence of follow-up ads (known as re-targeting) should show up as they visit other sites. Many people refer to this as ‘stalking’ a prospect. For example, if you’ve ever clicked on an ad for shoes online, you know you will see other ads for shoes every time you open up your Facebook. You can even take this a step further and incorporate your open leads in your Google re-marketing strategy.

Crafting a response strategy
When a prospect subscribes to an email newsletter or calls your dealership to ask about a service, you should have a response strategy in place. This might include using a sequence of email, direct mail and follow-up phone calls to develop rapport and educate the customer about the brand or product. Bottom line, you are looking to generate a sale and you have to start somewhere. Don’t forget to cue in your receptionist; this is vital when you have a promotion going on. Nothing is worse than wasting valuable resources if you don’t have a system in place to handle the response.

Following up on customer interest
When a prospect clicks on a link in an email or interacts with content on a site, do you have a way to interact with them? Is there an automated system that triggers email, direct mail or a phone reminder about what they were looking at?

Reducing attrition
When a shopper abandons their shopping cart, you need to have a combination of communications to win them back in place. For example, someone who was looking at the page for ‘Schedule a Water Test’ on-line and dropped off should get a follow-up email to remind them about the benefits of getting that water test done as soon as possible, with a link to going back.

Creating frequency rules
It’s important that messages stay relevant and don’t become intrusive. Nothing gets people angrier than too many emails cluttering up their inboxes. You need to create rules for the maximum number of emails that are sent in a given period (one a month or one a week) and the interval between them (for example, at least four days).

Selecting the right channels
This means using the best channel(s) for the customer (which fits their preferences) and the right channel for your company (which gives you the best combination of cost and response). It means that for some customers, you focus on email communications because they interact and respond to them. But other customers may absolutely not respond to email, which means direct mail may be the best choice to communicate with them.

Reviewing and improving channel sequence
How are prospects and customers moving from channel to channel? When prospects progress through the sales funnel, what channels are they going to first? You can actually find these things out using your Google analytics.

Making the right offer
Offers will vary in effectiveness, according to the target audience and the media channel. A direct-mail offer may be way different than an on-line offer. Test different offers that deliver the right message and make someone want to respond. Don’t be cheap. People know the difference between a so-so offer and a valuable one. Limited-time offers work best. If an offer is indefinitely valuable, prospects will save it for later and then forget about it.

About the author
Dale ‘DataDale’ Filhaber is President of Dataman Group Direct, a Florida-based, direct-marketing company founded in 1981. She is an author, lecturer, Listologist and direct-marketing innovator. In the past 35+ years, Filhaber has trained many water quality dealers in direct marketing and lead generation techniques, ranging from direct mail to telemarketing to social media. Her latest book, Lead Generation for Water Quality Dealers–New for 2018, has received rave reviews and can be purchased on Amazon. Filhaber is also the author of Pure Water Profits, a blog on marketing, focusing on the water treatment industry. She is also a frequent guest lecturer at the annual WQA conference. Filhaber can be reached at (800) 771-3282 or dale@datamangroup.com or visit the website, www.datamangroup.com.

About the company
Dataman Group Direct is proud to showcase WaterProspects.com, https://www.datamangroup.com/water-conditioning, a dedicated website focusing on lead generation and direct marketing for the water quality industry. The company provides direct mail, telemarketing and email lists for the water quality industry. Call (800) 771-3282 for more information or email dale@datamangroup.com.

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