Multi-channel marketing involves reaching customers using a multitude of indirect and direct channels including websites, brick-and-mortar stores, direct mail, email, mobile, social, and others. It also encompasses empowering customers to respond and to purchase your product or service using the channels they prefer. The key is choice, as there are more options than ever before for businesses and customers to interact.
Of course, getting it right will determine your success with it. Companies must be consistent with their messaging and look across devices and channels to avoid confusing or frustrating site visitors. They also need to tailor the messages consumers receive across channels if they are going to make an impact. Remember, consumers have choices, and they can opt to ignore you or block you on one channel if you do not engage them properly. Thus, you need to consider your audience’s preferences, demographics, behavioral and transactional history, preferred channel, and current location to fully optimize your strategy.
Another challenge is sticking with it long enough to see results. It is easy for executives to avoid this strategy if they do not immediately see results and the ROI they expect from campaigns. It can be difficult for companies to stay the course, however, if they face some of the more common challenges with it:
Another challenge is the inability to break down silos. If your data resides in silos, your marketing team cannot have a complete view of customers, their behaviors, or their channel preferences. It is this atomic-level view of the customer that enables companies to personalize and target messaging.
Companies that employ multi-channel marketing have a much greater chance of communicating with, and selling to, more customers. This gives them a competitive edge, as consumers have come to expect to have access to companies and information on their own terms. And, customers use multiple channels throughout the purchasing process as they look for information on the company’s website via a laptop or smartphone, ask questions on social media, and eventually make the purchase online or in a retail store.
In fact, one report by Forbes Insights in association with Synchrony Financial found that customers conduct research online but then make large purchases in stores. According to the report, 46% of retailers claim customers use the internet to research major products but prefer to make actual purchases in person in a store; more than 33% of retailers find that customers conduct research and make purchases online; and 18% of retailers say customers research and purchase in the store. Clearly, customers prefer a cross-channel shopping experience; as a result, companies must meet this demand if they want to stay in the game.
Multi-channel marketing also offers other benefits. Specifically, it:
Multi-channel marketing must be a way of life if a company is going to survive the screen epidemic; people are connected now more than ever before.
For more information about multi-channel marketing, visit our blog. For your convenience, we have linked to three related posts below:
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