The Benefits and Challenges of Multi-Channel Marketing
In this age of multiple screens, multi-channel marketing is a fact of life. As businesses communicating with customers, we need to understand the challenges and benefits of multi-channel marketing and tailor our strategies accordingly.
What is Multi-Channel Marketing
Today, the average adult uses four and a half connected devices to access the internet. As businesses communicating with customers, it’s imperative that we understand this fundamental aspect of the user experience – and tailor our marketing strategies accordingly. Keeping in touch with customers requires a multi-channel strategy.
When done right, multi-channel interactions amplify the brand – just the way that orchestrating different instruments together yields a much richer musical experience than any single instrument played alone.
Benefits of Multi-Channel Customer Marketing
Different people are more receptive to communications via different channels. Facebook, mobile push notifications, email, text messages, and phone calls – determining which channels are preferred by which customer personas is a powerful way to improve the response rates and uplift of your campaigns.
Different types of messages work better over different channels. For example, SMS text messages work best for short messages that have some urgency associated with them. Emails are obviously better suited for longer messages and in cases where the visual design plays an important role. Facebook is best suited to social communications or messages that are designed to “go viral,” etc.
Our brains are wired to automatically differentiate between information that we need to notice and retain versus information that we can discard immediately. Without this ability, we would be quickly overwhelmed with information and unable to function. Because our brains are able to ignore or discard most marketing messages, advertising must be repeated to get the audience’s attention. Repeating a message via different channels is much more effective than repeating it via a single channel.
Sometimes the whole is worth more than the sum of its parts. When using multiple channels in ways that complement and support each other, individual campaigns can generate better than expected results. For example, if there is no response to a push notification within a reasonable amount of time, we can use another channel to reinforce the message without annoying the customer.
The Challenges of Multi-channel Marketing
Thanks to the abundance of channels and choices facing customers, delivering the message isn’t enough. Messaging must be tailored to the audience’s preferences and take into consideration demographic, behavioral and transactional history, preferred channel and current location. Engaging customers this way will ensure that they not only receive your message, but are also attentive, receptive and willing to act – regardless of the channel.
Highly choreographed campaigns
Customers are everywhere, and you should always aim to be where your customers are. In addition, customers today have much more control over the buying process than marketers do. As a result, marketers must constantly develop and coordinate highly orchestrated touch points and micro-campaigns that span multiple channels fluidly, in a way that the customer finds meaningful and trustworthy.
Marketing response attribution
It is increasingly difficult to know which channels, campaigns or sequence of touch points contributed to qualified conversions and sales. Knowing what triggered each response would enable marketers to assess whether or not their marketing efforts are getting the best results.
Leveraging Multi-Channel Marketing Strategies
One of the keys to successful multi-channel customer marketing is managing all channels in a coordinated way, within the same framework. It is critical to maintain a single-customer-view customer database. Additionally, it is ideal to have a single campaign management framework for scheduling, executing and evaluating all customer campaigns via all channels. This assures full coordination of which customers are receiving which messages via which channels.
The benefits of multi-channel marketing outweigh the challenges. With the right tools and know-how, it is a strategy bound to yield significant results. For a detailed presentation of the pros, cons and best practices of each channel and additional tips for orchestrating winning multi-channel campaigns, download The Magic of Multi-Channel Customer Marketing e-book. I’d love to hear what you make of it, and what your multi-channel challenges are.