But first...what IS Multi-Channel Marketing (McM)?
Multi-channel marketing refers to the practice of engaging with your target audience using consistent messaging via a combination of traditional and digital marketing platforms - website, social media, email, video, live streaming, podcasts, apps, commercials, radio, billboards, etc. In doing so, you give them the choice to interact with you in a way that’s best for them at all stages of their customer journey.
Over 90% of marketers struggle to seamlessly connect more than three channels on the buyer journey. ~Gartner Research
Why is Multi-Channel Marketing important?
Multi-channel marketing is important for the simple reason that you must be where your customers are. And they are everywhere.
According to a study by SAP, nearly 75% of survey respondents indicated that a multi-channel approach led to increased sales, 64% responded an increase in customer loyalty and 62% found a competitive advantage.
There’s no doubt that customers today have much more control over the buying process than marketers do. Thanks to the proliferation of channels available, customers have more choices. Do you ever stop to think: why do they choose us? More importantly, why will they choose us again?
Three Challenges of Multi-Channel Marketing
Targeted messages: Thanks to the increasing number of channels available to customers, delivering the right - and consistent - message to the right audience at the right time isn’t enough anymore. Ask yourself: what do I want them to experience in the first 7 seconds? That’s all the time you have to take them to take the next step.
Choreographed campaigns: Know where your customers consume content from you. With that and knowing the platforms, develop and coordinate the touch points and what action you want them to take at each points. The experience should create trust that navigating them through each channel will lead them to where they wanted to go. The experience needs to be simple and meaningful.
Marketing responses: As marketers, we know how challenging it is to know which channels, campaigns and touch points triggered the highest desired response, conversion and sales. When you’ve designed a customer experience with the customer in mind, and have the touch points identified on each channel, you will be better able to assess which marketing efforts resulted in the best results.
Here are 4 steps to help you get started:
Gather internal customer data and conduct external research about your ideal customer.
Map your customer journey. It’s time to step into your customer’s shoes! What’s the starting point? How do you want them to feel about your message? What are the triggers? What do you want them to do? What action are you going to have them take next? Ultimately, where do you want them to leave your brand, feel about your brand?
Create a consistent customer experience – and message - across all channels.
List what you will be measuring and goals for each - touch points, triggers, action. You will need to collect the data and know what worked/ didn’t work.
While McM is complex and the planning process is time consuming, the rewards far outweigh the risk of not having a McM plan in place. Strengthen your brand with consistent messaging and customer experiences across all channels. The customer experience is the most powerful and competitive differentiator today.
Keep in mind that while multi-channel marketing is complex from a brand’s perspective, it needs to be experienced in a simplistic way. From your customer’s perspective multi-channel marketing is all about choice.