When consumers are everywhere, your marketing materials should be too.
Creating a cohesive campaign with multi-channel marketing means meeting people where they are. So, what is multi-channel marketing? And why is it important for your business?
In today’s world, we talk a lot about meeting people where they are. Multi-channel marketing ensures your marketing materials are going to cross paths with the right people at the right moment. It’s like being in multiple places at once, but in the best way possible. Have you ever been invited to two events at the same day and on the same time? One is a fancy dinner party with an exclusive guest list. The other is a casual game night with close friends. They’re on opposite sides of town and there’s no way you could go from one to the other.
In the multi-channel marketing world, you can go to both. It’s as if one version of you is dressed to the nines and about to eat a five-course meal while another version of you is relaxed in jeans sipping beer on a couch. In each scenario, your whole self is present, but adjusted slightly for the occasion. Each version has a great time and connects with the best people. In other words, you have your cake and eat it, too—twice.
Multi-Channel Marketing is Twice as Nice
Since we’re talking about meeting people where they are, the first question to ask is: Where? Where are the consumers you want to tell about your product or organization? In today’s modern marketing world, that could be any number of places. And, don’t forget that people could fall into multiple categories.
A few “places” where you could meet your potential customers include:
- The web
- Social media platforms
- Billboards or outdoor posters
- Radio, TV, or streaming platform ads
- Email inboxes
- Physical inboxes
- Text message inboxes
- Print magazines or catalogues
In other words, there are many channels and many places to meet potential consumers. This is both overwhelming and exciting. Let’s focus on how you can take advantage of these many options.
Multi-channel marketing gives you and your audience a choice, because it is the practice of using multiple channels to reach and engage with potential customers. You may have also heard it called integrated marketing or cross-channel marketing, which are also apt because it’s not about limiting yourself to one medium or another. Perhaps someone will learn about your product on the radio and see a social media ad. Or perhaps someone will discover your organization via a magazine advertorial and then be reminded of you when passing by a billboard. The point is that multi-channel marketing makes it easy for customers to find your business.
Remember how we talked about meeting people where they are? With multi-channel marketing, your product or business can be discovered on whatever platform a person is most comfortable. Because you’ve covered your bases, consumers have choices on how they can discover you.
More Benefits of Multi-Channel Marketing
Admittedly, the ability to do more sounds great. But is also sounds like it involves more work (it does), so you may be hesitant to commit to a multi-channel marketing plan. Not convinced yet? Here are more benefits to multi-channel marketing:
Increase engagement and connection. Shoppers want integration (in fact, 72% of online consumers report they like connecting with businesses across various channels). When businesses engage with multi-channel marketing, they speak to consumers’ desires by making the discovery process easier. Audiences can find you in their favorite channel. This can make your community of followers stronger as well, as your technique gains traction.
Gain competitive advantage. In covering all your bases, you do more than the competition. Having your product or organization in front of a larger audiences means your brand recognition will increase. Seeing an ad on Facebook could lead to a Google search. By using the holistic approach that multi-channel marketing offers, you can stay busy while working in multiple lanes.
Increase sales and revenue. This is the big one! Through all of the points above, your business sees an increase in growth. Multiple touch points means more interest and, ultimately, data that will demonstrate success. Brands that use multi-channel marketing can lead to a 300% ROI improvement.
Get Ready to Coordinate
Multi-channel marketing is a dance. And for all to go well, it must be choreographed and rehearsed. You know you want to connect with audiences, but this isn’t simply about covering a lot of ground. It’s about creating a targeted approach that comes off feeling seamless. Instead of focusing on having a lot of messages, focus on creating the right kind of targeted messages. This is how you generate a desired response from your audience.
Additionally, because a multi-channel marketing campaign is a complex web, it’s important to also consider the most effective strategy. That means considering cost and time of implementing your ideas across channels, and tracking the performance of your campaigns. Proper analytics and a clear approach behind the scenes will ensure you are monitoring your growth effectively.
Since multi-channel marketing is all about engaging across multiple platforms, it may seem counterintuitive to talk about silos. But it’s actually more important than ever. Since there is so much integration at play, you have to make sense your approach doesn’t merely work for mobile or print but mobile and print. If the two hands aren’t talking to each other, it’s like running two separate campaigns…not one integrated campaign. There should even be a feeling of seamlessness. This should be the case when a consumer is toggling between Facebook and Instagram, or receiving materials in their print inbox with branding that matches what is in their email inbox.
What Makes Sense to Match?
In multi-channel marketing, multiple touchpoints work in concert with each other. So, how do you choose which channels to pair up?
A challenge of multi-channel marketing may be your business’ preference for a specific channel. Try to avoid funneling too much time and energy into one platform over another. This keeps you from reaping the benefits of an integrated approach. Even if it feels overwhelming to keep your hands on many reins at once, working together can yield results. A way to gain order out of the chaos is to have a match-it strategy. This in part goes back to understanding your audience and where they already are.
So, which channels work well together? How can you use these natural matches to your business’ advantage? One look at combos found “double act” popular pairings:
- Computer / Mobile
- TV / Mobile
- Computer / TV
- Radio / Mobile
- Computer / Radio
While this data is from several years ago, and much is often changing in the way people use and consume media, it speaks to an integrated approach. Multi-channel marketing comes to audiences from different angles. It’s about an introduction and a follow-up. A person could hear about your product on the radio, then see an ad while on mobile.
What pairings would you add in 2020? How could you leverage podcasts, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram ads, or influencer and blog partnerships?
Don’t Set It and Forget It
Did you and a sibling ever fight over the remote control? You found yourself jumping from channel to channel. Okay, so multi-channel marketing should not feel that crazy. But without the right setup, it will feel disjointed.
Creating multiple touchpoints is a high point of multi-channel marketing. The points then connect together, and inform the next steps in your marketing plan. This is not a set-it-and-forget-it strategy. For example, multiple touchpoints could include a social media hashtag, print postcard, podcast sponsorship, and e-newsletter feature. Although each point can feel personal, when added up the result can be greater. It’s a careful balance between keeping your brand relevant and not overwhelming the consumer. If one point doesn’t land, the next point can be adjusted.
Like most marketing strategies, multi-channel marketing comes back to people. Whatever channel you are on, make sure it is where your audience is and meet them how they want to be met. A combination of the right imagery, text, and timing can create a beautiful package.