Multichannel Marketing: 101

Multichannel marketing. Integrated marketing. Chances are, you’ve probably seen or heard these marketing buzzwords a lot lately. And if you’re wondering what they mean—or more importantly why you should care—you’re not alone.

Truth is, they both refer to the same concept. So, for the sake of clarity, we’re going to call it “multichannel marketing.” Let’s begin with a definition.

 

What is multichannel marketing?

Multichannel marketing is the practice of using more than one marketing method to directly and indirectly interact with current and potential customers. This generally begins with your physical location or your website, and then expands to include any combination of the following:

  • Email/direct mail
  • Catalog
  • Online advertising
  • Telemarketing
  • Traditional advertising (print, broadcast, etc.)
  • Social media
  • Public relations

Sounds complicated?

It doesn’t need to be. Let’s explore how businesses like yours can put together a simple, yet effective, multichannel marketing strategy.
  • Know your audience – Understand who your target audience is. Do they read emails? Or do they prefer a phone call? Then do a little research to determine what strategies might work best.
  • Start small – Begin with two or three different touchpoints, then build on your efforts (or revise strategies) as you learn more about your results. An example of this could be to send out a direct mail or email campaign and then follow up with a phone call. It can be that simple!
  • Be consistent – Treat all marketing methods as part of a single, cohesive unit. Be sure your messages are consistent and that they complement one another.
  • Test your strategy – Set a control group of customers that won’t receive the multichannel messaging or that receive only select communications, so you can gauge the results of your test against your control group and revise your plan as needed.

The moral of the story

Customers today utilize a wide variety of ways to interact with brands. And they expect to get an integrated, cohesive message across all touchpoints. Unfortunately, marketers don’t appear to be meeting these expectations. A recent article published by Social Media Today indicated that 72 percent of consumers report that they want an integrated marketing approach, yet only 39 percent say that they are getting one.1

In the end, the extra effort is worth it. Marketers have reported that content published on two or three channels increased engagement by 24 percent.2 So take those few simple steps to give your current and potential customers the experience they want—and they’ll hopefully give you the sales you need.

 

Sources:

1 http://socialmediatoday.com/steve-olenski/441782/silos-biggest-barrier-true-brand-consumer-engagement

2 http://brickstreetsoftware.com/content/posts/7-stats-to-build-your-multichannel-marketing-business-case/