Learning About Omni-Channel Marketing

“The best way to stand out is by blending in.” That’s just one of many quotables imparted by this year’s IHAF Huddle facilitator, ChRiS Gomersall, as our regional discussion group series came to a close last month. In fact, ChRiS had the hundred or so people who attended our Huddles in Boston, Chicago, DC and San Francisco rapt as we put our heads together to explore the ins and outs of omni-channel marketing.

Omni channel is the pinnacle of marketing effectiveness these days. And with the assortment of platforms marketers are using to reach consumers growing by the week, teams are challenged to create and integrate across a seemingly endless number of touchpoints. One of the toughest parts of integration is ensuring everyone who is influencing the work has a deep understanding of the brand. Huddle attendees agreed, talking about what they have done to overcome silo’ed structures and decentralized decision making when it comes to governance of their brands. 

Participants also spent a fair amount of time discussing the relationship between craft and context. “If you're advertising on Facebook, you're competing with babies and vacation pictures,” said facilitator ChRiS Gomersall. “Be sure to consider context.” Think about each piece of creative your in-house agency is producing and how it might live across each form of media in which you are investing.

“Making a slight tweak to a piece of creative on one platform could result in an 800% increase in response on another,” said ChRiS. He went on to share an example of an e-retailer who might change the color of a shirt you’re viewing online to match prior preferences or your local sports team, and the positive impact such subtle shifts have on business. “Each piece of creative you develop has the potential to live on various platforms,” ChRis concluded. “It's about mass customization.”

We also talked about content and the idea of giving back, as ChRiS called it. “The best ads in the world give you something,” he remarked, “and content marketing does the same.” ChRiS described the difference between content marketing and omni-channel marketing this way: “Content marketing is taking very deliberate steps down a single path, whereas omni-channel marketing is about extending out and going down multiple paths.”

That led to a review of tools available to help in-house agencies keep track of the multiplicity of assets placed across the vast array of media available today. Our conversation culminated in a demonstration of ATOMIZED, the cloud-based content calendar ChRiS and his associates developed which enables advertisers to view and track all of their campaigns in one place.

The IHAF Huddle is our regional discussion group series, offering in-house professionals the opportunity to discuss and debate various topics of interest. These dynamic half-day forums are held in the Spring at member facilities across the country. With anywhere from 15 to 50 people at each roundtable, participants join together to share challenges, best practices and learn from one another. An aggregated recap of our 2016 multi-city Huddle is available for IHAF members to download. And if you’re not yet a member, this is a great time to join us so you can gain access to all of our content.

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