Three reasons why you should embrace omnichannel marketing

4 min read

Omnichannel marketing is a term that has been on the landscape for several years now, yet it is only recently that it has finally settled in as an accepted term. Whether or not it is truly understood yet, is another matter.

The idea is based on the origins of the word and is centered on the concept of ‘omni’ - i.e., godlike. Omnichannel communications’ true characteristics are rooted in the idea of being all-powerful in their ability to span data and systems, traverse channels and connect everyone, everywhere. No pressure then!

In the context of student marketing, omnichannel communications refers to an institution's objective to provide consistent, on-brand communications across multiple customer touchpoints regardless of where they are in the marketing funnel.

What is an omnichannel strategy?

Omnichannel marketing takes an integrated approach to marketing, admissions and enrollment. This means that, if effective, data flows freely through your departments and all the online and offline systems that you use are connected. Students can enter or exit your funnel across multiple channels and devices, while experiencing a unified recruitment experience with your institution. 

Strategic, data-driven marketers will want a view of all these systems so that they can easily identify student engagement touchpoints and act on engagements. Omnichannel marketing allows student marketers to see everything that is going on in their operating sphere - allowing them to track, understand and attribute ROI and customise, and even personalise, each student's experience at every touchpoint.

When you take into account that 98% of GenZ switch devices at least once every day, taking an omnichannel approach is a no-brainer. However for many institutions who do not have the correct martech, it can be a daunting task. But the long-term benefits are definitely worth it. 

Our experts have released a webinar-on-demand, guiding universities and colleges towards taking an omnichannel approach, as well as their top-tips on how to use technology and systems to improve conversions at every stage of the funnel, which you can watch here. But if that wasn’t enough to persuade you, here are three more compelling reasons why you should adopt an omnichannel marketing approach:

It’s crucial for when coordination is key

The advertising ecosystem is complicated. A student can join or leave at any stage. And to succeed, particularly at complex times in the recruitment cycle, your advertising and conversion messaging needs to be connected and delivered at key moments, aligning performance and connection with students’ thoughts and motivations.

Differentiated messaging for each state of mind (Awareness, Consideration, Intent and Decision) ensures a student is targeted with the right message for where they are on their journey to making an application. And when students enjoy interacting with your institution, and have a consistent and positive experience of your brand, they’re more likely to enroll. 

It turbocharges all your marketing efforts and increases ROI

A well defined, omnichannel student-as-a-customer experience will achieve a much higher year-on-year increase in lead conversions and retention rates on average, than those who do not have one. Recent research by the Aberdeen Group has found that, on average, organisations which adopt an omnichannel approach retain 89% more customers than those that don’t. And we know from our own data that segmentation improves advertising performance by 300% and personalisation can increase conversions by 93%.

Applying an omnichannel approach to your marketing strategy can directly increase the number of students through your doors. Promoting your academic offering through the right channels, to the right people, will help improve your recruitment drive.

It improves the brand experience

Consistency within your channels improves the brand experience and association recall for all stakeholders, including prospective students, existing students, staff and the community.

Further, consistency is also key to ensure you have continuous communication with students and parents throughout the school year. It will increase confidence in your institution, build your brand, and in turn, reduce dropout rates. Omnichannel communication can be used in your marketing plan to promote your academic courses and the things that differentiate your institution. 

As you begin to understand how your leads and existing students interact with your institution across channels, you can adjust your student communications to improve conversion rate, student retention and satisfaction. 

We’ve only scratched the surface. To learn more about how to unify your communications across different platforms to create a singular experience for all your stakeholders, watch our free on-demand webinar.