Lately I have been inundated with information and articles on “Omni-Channel Marketing”, an approach to marketing that focuses on a seamless consumer experience across multiple marketing channels. The point of Omni-Channel marketing is to let the consumer experience your brand on their terms, and in the way they see fit, while providing a consistent experience as they cross channels and platforms.
In today’s world of “pull” marketing, where consumers control the messaging they choose to receive and may engage with brands in multiple ways, you may already see the power of a unified front. The echoes of a constant message resonate across all channels and devices a consumer may choose to use, initiating a Déjà vu effect that makes your brand feel familiar and comfortable.
I have seen much of this writing geared toward the traditional retail marketplace, and I propose that omni-channel strategies have far reaching implications, especially into higher education. Why? The demographic is highly tech savvy, and as such, a huge percentage participates in multiple channels of consumption simultaneously.
Considering that access to information is more portable than ever, it is important to leverage technology wherever possible to broadcast your message. This technology strategy obviously includes the traditional screens being Computers, Tablets, Phones, and Televisions, and I argue that a fifth screen, the multi-touch monitor may be even more powerful in promoting omni-channel messaging.
I have written in the past on the enhanced retention of messaging, when it is experienced through the use of more and more senses, and that holds true in this case as well. Increased retention of a college or university’s messaging has obvious implications to initial enrollment. The same MultiTouch technology also promotes more than increased retention, it helps to create a bridge between multiple marketing channels, and unifying your messaging and strategy and enhancing the overall experience with your school’s brand.
Not only does it unify the experience, it can do so in a way that promotes both new student enrollment (acquisition), but also promotes re-enrollment and brand evangelization. How can multi-touch monitors do all of this you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. It does so in three main ways.
1) A large part of the MultiTouch’s value comes from its digital nature. Digital content can be quickly and easily changed remotely. This allows universities to tailor content to their audience on the fly to relate everything from emergency information, to sports scores, to current events that may all help promote the university brand. Real time marketing has been used notably by Oreo and Kit Kat lately, and could also break off some sweet value for higher education as well. It allows for student recognition and promotion of social feeds, online messaging, crowd sourcing information, etc that all add value to the experience of being a current student, while creating a warm community feel for others who are looking for a school to call home.
2) Multi-Touch also has a low barrier to interaction. Large multi-touch displays get more attention, and customized attract loops and bold messaging inspire an approach to the screen. I already established that a large portion of the college and university demographic has extensive screen experience. MultiTouch leverages that existing knowledge, Multitouch gestures and interactivity on those devices. It creates a bridge between online content and traditionally printed signage and bulletin board content, and can also facilitate a transition to the existing mobile devices via QR codes and Near Field Communication capabilities.
3) Multi-Touch is the ultimate manifestation of pull marketing. With content just being a fingertip away, it allows the consumer to quickly navigate the information contained within, and to create a customized diet of the information that is most relevant to them personally. This type of access promotes learning for student enrollment, as well as long term value for current students who need to quickly and easily find info on the fly.
Universities who leverage Multitouch unite their marketing efforts into a device that bridges mobile, web and print platforms. They consolidate information and messaging, while creating a student driven experience that allows them to experience the college or university in a way most relevant to them, whether as a prospect, or as an energized current student. Multitouch creates an impression of the school that lasts longer, and an experience that is more likely to be shared.
Author Bio| Mark Coxon | Horizon Display
Mark started his technology career at IBM in 2000 before migrating into AV integration in early 2002. He currently works at Horizon Display, an interactive multitouch hardware and software provider. Mark lives in Orange County with Lesley, his wife of 11 years and his 3 children.