What is Multi-channel marketing?
Multichannel marketing refers to the practice by which companies interact with customers via multiple channels, both direct and indirect, to sell them goods and services. Companies use direct channels, ones in which the company proactively reaches the customer — such as physical stores, catalogs and direct mail — or indirect ones in which they push content via websites or social media, also known as inbound marketing.
In today’s marketing landscape there are lots of channels a business could choose to reach potential customers – and it can be a bit of a minefield knowing which ones are right for you, your business and / or campaign.
The reason multi-channel marketing is effective is because we know users tend to frequent many different channels throughout the course of an average day/week. Using a single channel for your campaign is unlikely to be robust enough to give the return on investment needed for that campaign to achieve its objectives.
It is important to understand each channel has its own strengths and weaknesses, costs and limits. And therefore an integrated marketing campaign needs to be carefully planned and mapped against overall objectives of the business and what results it needs to drive.
A good place to start is with your objectives. Ensure they are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timebound) From there, you can ensure you have the right channel mix – matching the channel to the objective. This in turn will help you identify what creative formats you may need and from that you can ascertain the value of production of such assets in relation to what the media may cost.
Let’s look at some of the channels available to us, both on and offline:
- TV & Radio
- Direct Mail
- Physical location (eg a shop/store)
- Outdoor/Out Of Home
- Social Media
- Search Engine Optimisation
The ultimate goal of a multi-channel marketing plan is to ensure that potential prospects are continually being engaged and nurtured with the aim to convert to a sale or lead over-time. This could also involve an element of retargeting.
Where to start?
Here are some pointers on what to include in a multi-channel marketing plan.
- Information about your intended target audience. This might be a customer profile or a persona. If you do not have a range of personas for your business, it would be a good exercise to map them out using your data (link to data services), to help inform future campaigns and targeting.
- Define your objectives for the campaign and make them SMART objectives. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timebound)
- Choose which marketing tactics you will deploy – which will cover all your content and messaging.
- Which integrated marketing channels to be utilised
- How results will be measured and reported on.
What elements are the fundamentals to the success of a multi-channel marketing strategy?
Brand Reach – The goal of a multi-channel marketing is to increase brand awareness by expanding your reach. You’ll want to choose the channels that will accomplish this goal, unless of course the campaign is pure acquisition.
Message – Your message has to resonate with your buyer, therefore, your content needs to be on point.
Consistency – One of the most important aspects to multi-channel marketing is being consistent with your messaging across all channels and formats.
Engagement – Not all channels are solely for content distribution. Pay attention to channels like Social Media, where there will naturally be an element of engagement with your audiences. This will help you sustain long-term success.
Experience – Intrinsically linked to consistency – ensure the experience at all touchpoints is a good one for potential buyers / customers.
If you’re unsure which channels could work for you, or bring you the best return, then have a read and meet our EDWPS Marketing Team.