Consumers can interact with brands in multiple ways and across devices. So marketers need to have a strategy that helps them reach customers no matter how they choose to communicate.
Multichannel marketing is becoming more and more common in organizations as the number of channels a prospect engages with increases over time. Seventy-three percent of consumers regularly use multiple engagement channels to interact with a favorite retailer, according to a harvard business review to study.
Since consumers often use multiple devices in a day, frequently switching from a cell phone to a tablet or laptop to complete a single task, marketers should take advantage of a multi-channel marketing strategy.
What is multichannel marketing?
Multichannel marketing is more than just running campaigns across different channels. A true multi-channel marketing approach uses multiple channels for the same campaign. This keeps the user experience consistent throughout their engagement with a brand, no matter what platform they use, and casts a wider net to strengthen the campaign in the eyes of the customer. For example, a single campaign would use the same offer, same creative elements, and same copy on social media, email, or paid ads.
Interacting with prospects through a combination of direct or indirect channels allows buyers to engage on the platform of their choice, providing a positive customer experience. Today, customer experience takes precedence over product and price as a key brand differentiator, and most consumers seek a more personalized shopping experience with only around 25% having the impression of having understood it. By putting the right content in front of the right user at the right time, marketers are more likely to convert target leads into leads for their brand.
Benefits of multichannel marketing
A multi-channel marketing approach allows customers and prospects to have a consistent user experience across interactions with a brand, so one of the benefits of this approach is reinforcing the message that the brand is marketing. This not only allows marketing teams to ensure that the target audience sees the message on the channel they often engage with, but also allows marketers to combine traditional and emerging channels to create a cohesive user experience by online and offline.
B2B campaigns that use a multi-channel marketing approach see a 24% increase in ROI, and companies that use more than four channels see their performance increase by 300% compared to their counterparts in single or dual channel campaigns.
Other benefits of multichannel marketing include:
- Increased visibility. Businesses increase their chances of prospects seeing their message by running their marketing campaign across multiple channels. By having as many touchpoints as possible within a campaign, brand awareness can increase and lead to higher conversion rates on future campaigns.
- A greater variety of channels to reach customers. Using multiple channels allows marketers to meet their target audience on the channel of their choice. Spreading the message across all channels could combine offline and online marketing efforts and result in a larger target audience.
- Improved ability to outperform the competition. When looking to increase market share over the competition, a face-to-face approach does not always win. It is important to identify and address the gaps in the competitive landscape. When promoting a single campaign message across multiple channels, businesses can fill a void left by their competitors when they don’t take advantage of the same opportunities. When a competitor is not using a particular channel, it provides the opportunity for a marketing team to approach their customers where the competition is not.
- Integrated strategy. Running a campaign across multiple channels shows a company’s tendency to have an integrated marketing strategy. Using all the channels available to a business and meeting customers where they are not only improves the organization of marketing campaigns, but also increases efficiency and repeatability in the future. By continuing this methodology, brand awareness continues to increase as marketers use these channels to cross-promote additional products or services.
What to include in a multichannel marketing plan
A multi-channel marketing campaign is not meant to be a quick or one-size-fits-all approach to campaign management, but rather a long-term strategy based on building brand awareness and a relationship with prospects. Marketing teams can run many one-on-one short-term campaigns, but being consistent in using all the channels available to them will continue to strengthen that campaign over time, especially in companies with long sales cycles like this. real estate, finance and automotive.
Some of the typical elements found in a marketing campaign are:
- websites or physical storefronts;
- to print;
- electronic mail and printed mail;
- text messaging;
- blogs and other premium content, such as white papers, e-books and case studies;
- sponsored media and other paid advertising; and
- Social media.
An effective multi-channel marketing strategy uses a combination of all of these elements to deliver a cohesive message to the target market. This connects multiple channels together in a well-balanced campaign.
Apart from specific content or channels, the multichannel marketing plan should consider the basics for executing these types of campaigns. The multichannel marketing campaign requires:
- detailed customer and buyer profiles;
- specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely (SMART) goals for new customer acquisition, as well as customer retention or repeat purchases;
- marketing tactics that combine an inbound and outbound marketing approach using content and sales alignment;
- the ability of the marketing team to track and collect data across integrated channels for any potential optimization; and
- an understanding of how the marketing team will measure results for effectiveness.
By putting this foundation in place, marketing teams can identify where sales are coming from and how – or where – to allocate resources and budget in future campaigns.
Many companies also incorporate other organizational plans, such as digital marketing plans, overall marketing plan, and individual campaign plan, into their multi-channel marketing approach. Effective integration of these plans can generate a long-term integrated communications strategy to attract, maintain and convert leads and exceed sales targets.