Omnichannel Strategy: the way forward?

Nowadays, consumers have moved out of their normal routines on how they research and buy products. The one true goal of marketing is to reach its consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions. The consumer journey doesn’t just begin and end in the store, due to the variety of options present both online and in store.

It has been identified that both digital and video play a huge role in influencing consumers to walk in through the door, as 80% of people say they typically switch between online search and video when researching products to buy. With this in mind, every brand with an online presence is now looking for the best way to integrate the two to drive growth.

H&R Block, an American tax preparation company identified that while 60% of its customers come to the company retail stores to get in-person tax help, more than half of the offline investors first gather their information online. Trying something new, the company merged its online & offline experiences through a YouTube campaign that led to a 31% increase in incremental reach, almost 1.4 million store visits, and 79,000 confirmed retail appointments.

The Role of Intent & Affinity in Omnichannel Strategy

Firstly, they analyzed Google Search data to identify the frequently asked tax questions and then classified them into two types of customer behaviors: those who did online research and later visited a physical store, and those who looked at doing everything online, from research  to filing all their taxes.

With this information, video tailored ads were built for each need. For example, someone searching for “online tax software” would see a video directing them to H&R Block’s online tax preparation, while someone searching for “tax help nearby” would see a video inviting them to get an in-person appointment with H&R Block.

“Looking at user intent on search helped us customize our video message and connect with our audience in a much more powerful way,” said Amy Clark, director of media at H&R Block.

In addition to these audiences, they partnered with their creative agency, Deutsch LA to create more than 15 different ads showcasing a range of common tax questions and the brand also used Geotargeting to create customized ads for areas where it was snowing. H&R Block got through the clutter and provided their consumers with what they were looking for in the moment by being hyper-relevant to its audiences.

Finding the best proxy for the job

The final step in the campaign was measuring its success. Connecting digital campaigns to digital KPIs didn’t help H&R Block to quantify the full picture of the online appointments made. To identify the impact of their online campaign in driving customers into retail stores, they used the store visits tool, which used anonymous, aggregated statistics to determine the number of people who viewed or clicked an ad, actually visited the store.

H&R Block also used a treatment group and a control group to understand the accurate incremental lift of the video ad campaign, and the result was over 1 million store visits and 79,000 confirmed appointments.

Of course, this is just one notable case, but it still signifies an important point: Omnichannel strategy is the way forward for brands looking to reach new heights.