Researching a favored holiday destination in the internet; retrieving details to a personal offer via email while noticing advertisement of the desired destination on Facebook; implementing the purchase by calling and finally receiving the confirmation via the mobile phone. Nowadays this is the norm and no exception anymore. Everybody knows that procedure. The so called “Omni Channel” approach is one theory without which a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) cannot survive in the future anymore.
Customers are more and more reliant on starting a purchase in one media channel and ending it in another. This has also to do with the increasing technological development and the customer’s dependency on the mobile phone. (Davis, Leroux, & al, 2014) The mobile option today is a fundamental role to increase the consumer experience in a very practical manner. A physical store is not particular relevant for a Destination Marketing Organization, however being available throughout multiple channels is vital. These channels can be e-commerce, mobile, social media and catalogues, which make the customer experience coherent. (Davis, Leroux, & al, 2014) One of the main goals for the DMO while creating an omni channel strategy is to find the perfect channel mix which gives value to the company and the customer. If implemented correctly this also enhances the relationship between the customer and the company. (Peelen & Beltman, 2013)
Another driving role by pursuing the goal of Omnichanneling is to create quality customer databases. This is of utmost importance because the chance that a customer is more satisfied is higher, when a conversation could also be picked up in another media channel. (Peelen & Beltman, 2013) For instance if a customer has asked information about a holiday booking in a specific hotel and during a specific time frame via e-mail, the record system of the customer databases should be filled with this information. Then it is easy for any employee to answer also on a direct message on Facebook to that specific customer without asking for the same details again. This makes the entire relationship and information sharing between customer and organization much easier and pleasurable. In addition the customer feels understood and knows that the contact with the organization is without much effort. On the contrary, this means more effort for the organization due to maintenance of the customer databases but with prospective positive outcomes in the future.
Many Destination Marketing Organizations implement Social media and different media channels into their communication strategy. Therefore DMO’s like Lanzarote Turismo and VisitEngland apply Social Media channels onto their website. These channels can be: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Linked in, Flickr and Google+ as well as e-newsletters. (Lanzarote) (Visit England) Moreover it can be seen that VisitEngland for example tries to engage with the customers by putting the email addresses of all employees and the departments onto the website to encourage the customers to engage with them personally.
This can be very profitable for the DMO as long as the contact is as efficient and pleasurable as mentioned above and customers can reach the organization whenever they want to and through whatever medium they like the most. If a valuable media channel mix is found and the databases are also beneficial to the customer- employee conversation, then customers are likely to be more satisfied. Thus, Omnichannelling does create loyal customers in the future if the strategy is applied thoroughly.
“Today, the focus is moving towards customer recognition and data connectivity across channels, media and devices”. ~ Paul Hatley (Davis, Leroux, & al, 2014)
Davis, H., Leroux, M., & al, e. (2014). Raconteur- Customer Experience and Loyalty. Raconteur Media.
Lanzarote. (n.d.). Lanzarote- Your holiday spot. Retrieved from http://www.turismolanzarote.com/en/
Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer Relationship Management. Pearson.
Visit England. (n.d.). Connect with us. Retrieved October 2015, from https://www.visitengland.com/biz/about-us/contact-us/connect-us