I have often written about how far we are as an industry in getting to that ultimate seamless omni-channel experience for the consumer. The reasons have been fairly straight forward — an omni-channel experience even by sheer definition means it is channel agnostic and in other words, it entirely focuses and revolves around the consumer at it’s center. This is possible through convergence across FOUR levels, as I have shared in more detail in my blog posts – The Omni Channel Paradox, OR From Channel Obsession to Customer Obsession and more but at a high level here are the different aspects:
Marketing Convergence — Stop isolating marketing into sub buckets mostly driven by channel; search marketing, email marketing, mobile marketing and more
Data & Technology Convergence — The key lynchpin or the wiring that can connect the consumer journey across channels and touch points
Operating & Org Model Convergence — Unfortunately most of the industry operating models are structured by channels as well; a search team, mobile team, digital COE, email marketing team and more. This needs to converge and become more consumer driven and focused
Skills Convergence — The DNA of the modern marketer itself has to converge across traditional silos; the so called UNICORNS or the PI Shaped marketer
But there is a deeper fundamental flaw in the definition and understanding of “omni-channel” itself where the experience is restricted to the scope of either a brand or a retailer instead of using a consumer perspective. Here are the 3 omni-channel worlds:
1. Omni Channel Retail Experience
2. Omni Channel Brand Experience
The Fundamental Gap in Both
3. The True Omni Channel “CONSUMER” Experience – No boundaries and no silos
While this seems difficult, it is not impossible to be accomplished especially for brands that own and drive retail experiences as well, they have to lead the way followed by a strategic partnerships between brands and retailers. With the evolution and expansion of cloud based APIs and availability of data across a consumer journey, this is very much possible.
We all seem to be running really fast, just in the wrong direction. The process however needs to begin by putting the consumer at the center and not the channel.