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Omnichannel is no longer just a buzzword in eCommerce. It’s the standard. But how are some of the leading brands thinking about this in their everyday strategy?

During the 4A Decisions Webinar, Omnichannel Commerce Trends, MikMak CEO and Founder Rachel Tipograph sits down with Colgate-Palmolive’s Diana Haussling, Night Market’s Randy Browning, and PepsiCo’s Atin Kulkarni to break it down. They discuss the direction of omnichannel strategies, what innovative strategies and metrics brands should be paying attention to, and what the omnichannel discussion will look like a year from now. 

It’s all about being at the right place at the right time with the right messaging

The shopping journey now starts online. Successful omnichannel strategies don’t just meet consumers where they are, but also establish the emotional connection that makes a brand top of mind when consumers go to their search bar. For Randy, this means “[thinking] of omnichannel as a distributed store for our clients. It’s about being where they are hanging out, and not forcing them to their destination.” Diana agrees that consumer dynamics are shifting, and thus the way brands must think about media planning has shifted too. “[Today,] more planning and strategizing being led by commerce whereas in the past they were an afterthought.” She notes, “we have to rethink media from a more holistic standpoint than ever before.”

And how can brands ensure that their omnichannel strategies are successful? Which metrics should businesses be paying attention to? Diana comments that reach and conversion are still part and parcel of the metrics equation. In fact, it’s about the quality of reach and effectiveness of conversion. To bring order to the sheer amount of metrics that brands can choose from, Atin suggests looking at them from a brand, campaign, and optimization framework. First, what is the brand objective and how does that translate to the campaign objective? Only once that is defined can we select several KPIs for each. Then there are optimization metrics, which include reach and frequency. 

The shift toward digital and social is a great learning opportunity

“The days of just focusing on ROAS and reach are over,” says Diana. “Any brand can become the top of the consumer’s phone.” Randy agrees. Never before has it been easier for smaller and younger brands to compete, and this was all made possible by the move toward digital and social media. “It was hard to get shelf space traditionally in the consumer space,” he remembers. “Now you have that opportunity. Take advantage of it because a lot of larger companies don’t understand it.” And it’s not just paid media – it means also looking at your product display page to see if it's optimized for conversion and re-examining how you are leveraging social media.

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This is also an ideal moment to test and implement new learnings. Atin mentions that while linear tv is still important, “OTT and CTV have become relevant very fast.” The swift rise of retail media networks has also created more competition, and present opportunities for brands to look for “deeper partnerships in planning and strategy”. Meanwhile, according to Diana, global brands like Colgate-Palmolive have the advantage of seeing different strategies in different markets, and can “bring what has worked in other markets to the US.” While every shopping journey is different, it’s helpful to have existing knowledge to leverage instead of starting from scratch. “Everything we’re seeing [is pushing] toward us needing to evolve the shopping journey [to have] that emotional connection [to] delight [consumers],” Diana shares.

With all that said, the omnichannel is here to stay. 

So as we look into the future toward the rest of 2022 and beyond, what are some of the key areas these industry leaders are keeping an eye on? Randy notes that DSP-lead investments are already an area that Night Market is looking into, and one that will continue to play a role in omnichannel planning. Meanwhile, Diana notes the ongoing supply chain and inventory issues, and comments that getting the product onto the shelf is a top priority. Research and development will have to play a key role in making sure that happens. As for PepsiCo, Atin mentions that it’s cross media measurements and ensure that there are accurate ways to do so both today and in the future.

Needless to say, omnichannel marketing is going to be the standard for years to come. It is important to capture first party data and continually deepen your understanding of your consumer. Keeping this omnichannel strategy in mind can help your brand succeed and develop stronger relationships with your target consumer. 


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