Multichannel marketing refers to the practice of targeting and engaging prospects, leads and customers across a combination of online channels liking pushing content via websites, social media, mobile or email and offline communication channels like retail stores, mail order catalogs, or direct mail and facilitating them to respond back through some action – preferably to buy your product or service, using their preferred channel.
Today’s customers are everywhere which means as a marketer you need to be everywhere too. Multichannel marketing is the answer to this. What’s more significant is that multichannel customers spend about four times more than single-channel customers. Customers today have more choices and sources of information to make a purchase decision thanks to the increase in the channels available. In fact, the truth is that 90% of the buying process is over before a prospect actually talks to a salesperson.
While this stratification might make the work of the marketers more challenging, for those who are ready to adapt, multichannel marketing opens up a door to vast opportunities. The older methods of reaching out to the customers through print media, television and radio ads or telemarketing needs are no longer the only focus of the marketing departments. It is now just a part of a bigger strategy that includes social media, email, mobile and other such channels and continuously evolves with the changing customer habits and preferences.
Benefits of multichannel marketing
- Enhanced brand awareness
For most organizations, building brand awareness is still their top priority. It is said that it takes on an average around five to seven impressions before someone will remember your brand. So with more channels you get more impressions and better brand awareness. Multichannel marketing not only focuses on engaging existing customers and leads but also on reaching out to new prospects.
- Higher conversions and higher revenue
Being present and visible on the same channels as your customers would mean greater levels of engagement which could lead to higher conversions. So being at the right place at the right time, an effective interaction could influence your leads and convert them into customers.
With multiple channels providing you with more opportunities to sell your product or services, customers are more likely to purchase more giving revenue a boost. Companies with multichannel strategies have consistently reported a healthier top and bottom line as compared to single channels marketers.
- Better Customer Insights
For better customer analytics, it is just not sufficient to have a list of email addresses or open and click rates; you want progressive profile data of leads which means more data about your customers. By being available across multiple channels means you are providing many more touch points for your customers which in turn provide you with more information about your customer. More the information you have on your customers, better your chances of understanding your customer’s preferences and habits.
This enables you to track your campaigns more accurately, map the lead journeys properly and come up with more relevant and focused personalized messages and offers which you could then roll out on the most effective channel/s at an appropriate time to for increased effectiveness and impact.
Challenges in multichannel marketing
Well, the benefits of multichannel marketing are many but it is not all smooth sailing as most marketers definitely hit a snag when it comes to multichannel marketing.
One of the challenges is of departments working in isolation making it difficult to coordinate the message across all departments to ensure that it is consistent across all channels. Another pain point is the lack of common technology which could integrate all departments or the inability of legacy systems to respond to new technology. Struggling to create a single repository for customer data is another constraint to multichannel marketing.
Pointers for setting up a successful multichannel marketing strategy
Executing an effective multichannel marketing plan requires planning, data and efficiency in execution. A few key tenets for a fruitful multichannel strategy include:
- Maintaining a single view of the customer across all channels.
Today’s customers interact with you in different ways across multiple touch points. It is imperative that you understand their behavior across all channels and also their value to you. Hence it is vital to have a single view of the customer. By ensuring that all customer data from the various touch points get consolidated in one centralized repository, you could create a single view of your customer’s profile which needs to evolve as customers and businesses change. It also helps track every campaign and its effectiveness.
- Integrate systems to establish a comprehensive multichannel marketing platform
Most of the departments in organizations work in silos which affect their business negatively. For a multichannel marketing strategy to succeed, it is essential that barriers between departments are broken down and your marketing tools are integrated into a multichannel marketing platform that caters to campaign management, predictive analytics, digital marketing amongst other features.
By establishing such a platform, traditional and emerging channels can be integrated; cross-channel campaigns can be executed seamlessly, in essence, a single campaign could be executed across various channels.
- Maintain consistency in the customer experiences across all channels.
Consistency in the customer experience that you offer is of paramount importance so that the brand experience that the customer gets is the same across all the channels. It is not only essential that you send the right message to the right customer at the right time through the right channel but it needs to give the same consistent experience every time.
With the evolving customer journey, organizations are bound to embrace a more unified multichannel approach integrating all their marketing activities across all channels for a more effective, meaningful and satisfying customer experience yielding higher revenue and customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Comsense, with its vast knowledge of technology-driven next-generation marketing services & approach, could be your ideal partner to set up multichannel marketing for your organization.