In today’s increasingly mobile economy, consumers interact with brands across a variety of platforms and channels. In order to be continuously engaged and connected to consumers, brands must expand their marketing reach across all of these different platforms.
This is called multi-channel marketing, a strategic term that refers to a brand’s ability to reach customers across all of these various channels, whether online, in-store, via social, or another channel altogether.
A multi-channel marketing platform is important to today’s B2C marketers because customers now have the ability to “be” in multiple places at once, regardless of their geographic location. There is the brick-and-mortar store, of course, but there are also various social media sites, blogs, emails, and, of course, the brand website.
Implementing multi-channel marketing strategies increases the chance of marketing content being seen by consumers, which in turn increases the potential for revenue generation.
Let’s take a closer look at why multichannel marketing matters:
An Introduction to Multi-Channel Marketing
So what makes multi-channel marketing so important for today’s marketer? It’s about leveraging different marketing tactics and platforms to interact with and engage a wide range of consumers in a variety of ways. The goal is to use multiple marketing channels to ensure messages reach target audiences regardless of the devices, communities, technologies or platforms they may or may not use.
For B2C marketers, multi-channel marketing is also about giving consumers a choice in how and where they interact with the brand. Consumers have more power today over how they are marketed to. Gone are the days of trusting that consumers will see your billboard message hidden among all the other noise cluttering the marketplace. Multi-channel marketing strategies increase the likelihood that a brand’s message will be seen by using a variety of ways to try to interact with consumers – hopefully in ways that they will find engaging.
The Best Multi-Channel is Omnichannel
Although it may be tempting to throw out multiple messages and themes to see what sticks and what doesn’t, it’s important to remember how the customer will experience the content. The key to creating winning marketing strategies is ensuring they are not just multi-channel, but also omnichannel. True omnichannel strategies deliver holistic, seamless experiences for customers; they are unified across all channels.
Marketers getting into multi-channel strategies should ask themselves if their audiences are being provided with consistent experiences across all channels. For example, is the quality and overall feel of shopping online similar to shopping in-store? Is messaging consistent from email to SMS? Is the ecommerce site easy to browse on any device? These are all vital parts of not only a multi-channel strategy, but also one that delivers an omnichannel experience to consumers.
Scale with Automation
For some marketers, the idea of creating and executing simultaneous campaigns across multiple platforms may feel overwhelming, but they shouldn’t worry; this is where marketing automation solutions can help scale the approach. With the right technology in place, it is easy to execute complex multi-channel campaigns from a single solution with minimal manual effort.
Marketing automation solutions can help marketers optimize messages across multiple channels. This could include engaging SMS messages, personalized emails, targeted social campaigns, and so on. Leveraging automation solutions to handle the segmentation and personalization of the messaging frees up the marketers’ time to be more strategic and continuously refine and optimize the messaging and approach.
Use That Data
One of the best tools available to marketers is information, and multi-channel marketing creates an immense cache of consumer data. Even when certain messages aren’t converting or they are generating unimpressive results, they are still generating data. In fact, it’s this continuous cycle of testing and refining messaging and content that will ultimately build a seamless multi-channel marketing campaign.
Looking back at data and metrics from past multi-channel campaigns can also help define what customers are looking for at every touchpoint. Maybe, for example, data reveals that social media isn’t the place to announce new product offerings, but email is extremely effective for such messages. Marketers must use the data generated by multi-channel marketing to deliver effective omnichannel experiences and continuously make them better and better.
Multi-channel marketing is a must for any savvy marketer who is looking to connect with as many consumers as possible in meaningful ways. Meeting consumers at multiple touch points across the consumer lifecycle means more opportunities to engage and convert consumers into customers.