Multichannel marketing is incredibly important. That might seem like an obvious statement in this digital day and age, but you’d be surprised how few actually get it right.
Imagine if there was only one channel on TV. And it was PBS. Oh my. That would be tragic.
Sure, we dig PBS, but there’s only so much Masterpiece Theater and Daniel Tiger one can take.
Luckily TVs come with more than one channel. In fact, they come with lots and lots of channels. Most of which are STARZ. So we don’t have to rely on only one channel to be entertained, or run the risk of having nothing to watch so we might actually have to go outside.
If TV has taught us anything (other than high school kids like to sing a lot, warfare over kingdoms can be unnecessarily brutal, and we actually can’t keep up with the Kardashians), it’s that multiple channels are a really, really good thing.
Something that it seems the marketing world is catching on to.
But Danny, isn’t everyone already doing multichannel marketing these days?
You would think so, right?
You would think every business would have some kind of multichannel marketing strategy in the works given the multitude of channels available online. Yet, although 95% of marketers know how important multichannel marketing is, not all businesses have an effective multichannel marketing strategy in place.
First off, who are the 5% that don’t know how important multichannel marketing is? Probably the same people who only watch PBS.
Secondly, the key word there is ‘effective.’ So while some businesses are marketing on multiple channels, it doesn’t mean they’re doing it right.
That’s why today, we’re going to discuss not only why multichannel marketing is so important, but also the right way to do it.
Here at Titan Growth, we’re all about multi-channeling. It’s something we come across and work with all the time at our agency. In fact, every day, more and more people ask us about multichannel marketing, even if they don’t put it into those exact words.
What a Typical Client Meeting at Titan Growth About Multichannel Marketing Looks Like
A potential client rolls into our office on a segway and says:
Client: Good day! I want my business to reach more people.
Us: Sure thing. We can help with that. Do you have any marketing channels you’d like to focus on?
Client: All of them. All the channels.
Us: That might not…
Client: Hold my baby giraffe.
Us: Wait….what? Why do you have a…
Client: HOLD IT!
Us: *Takes Baby Giraffe*
Client: I like my marketing like I like my giraffes — far-reaching, friendly, and covered in lots of spots.
Us: Uh… ok. That’s a surprisingly spot-on analogy for multichannel marketing.
Client: Is that a spot pun? I like those, too. Well played. You’re hired.
*Baby giraffe licks our face.*
Happens all the time.
But imagine if we weren’t prepared for that meeting. Imagine if we didn’t offer multichannel marketing services.
For one, we’d be missing out on baby giraffe licks.
For another, we’d look like the PBS of marketing agencies — staking all our success solely on British period pieces.
No marketing agency wants that. And the same applies to any other business. If a business wants to land clients, close customers, improve sales, and grow, they need to embrace a multichannel marketing strategy.
It’s that simple.
But before getting to the how of things, let’s do a spot check.
Do you know what multichannel marketing is?
Do you? Do you really?
Yeah, you probably do.
But we’re going to go over it again anyway.
What is Multichannel Marketing: The Short Answer
Multichannel marketing is a strategy to boost closing rates by reaching consumers across different touchpoints.
What is Multichannel Marketing: The Longer Answer
Multichannel marketing provides multiple opportunities for someone to engage with your brand by marketing to them across more than one communication channel.
Since different people use the Internet in different ways at different times from different places (or not at all), multichannel marketing ensures you reach your target audience, no matter where they are.
At the same time, it capitalizes on brand recognition and retention to increase the likelihood that that audience will notice, interact, and transact with your business.
What is Multichannel Marketing: The GIF Answer
One Very Good Reason To Start Multichannel Marketing Right Now
In the old days, figuring out how to engage customers was a fairly straightforward affair. That’s because the buyer journey was linear. There were one or two entry points and a clear singular exit point. So the whole marketing thing was simpler, relatively speaking, leaving plenty of time for more important matters.
But things have changed. The buyer journey is all over the place.
It’s immersive. It’s inter-connected. It’s anything but straightforward. Or linear. If anything, it is multi-linear.
Do you need more of a reason to start multichannel marketing?
But we’re going to give you more anyway.
4 More Very Good Reasons To Start Multichannel Marketing Right Now
With added marketing channels come added multichannel marketing benefits. Let us count the reasons why:
- Increased revenues: Multichannel customers spend three to four times more than single-channel ones.
- Grow brand awareness: It takes an estimated 5-7 impressions before someone remembers a brand. First impressions matter. So why not make a lot of them?
- Expand consumer analytics: Data-driven marketing delivers 5-8x higher ROI. With each new channel comes new data to track. Imagine the possibilities.
- Boost customer value: Consumers shopping across multiple channels have a 30% higher lifetime value. So not only do you reach more, but you get more from those you reach.
If these reasons still aren’t enough to convince someone that multichannel marketing is effective, there’s one more stat for that: Teams integrating multichannel marketing report 2x higher marketing effectiveness than those that do not.
Seeing a trend here?
As more consumers use more channels to engage with brands, there are more opportunities to make more money.
In summary, multichannel marketing gives you more.
But you probably don’t need convincing.
You probably already do multichannel marketing, even if you don’t know it.
So if that’s the case, why are we wasting your time with other people’s stats when all you really care about is how to make your own stats more awesome.
Let’s do that.
How to Implement Multichannel Marketing the Right Way
STEP 1: Identify Top Performing Channels
To start, answer these two questions:
- What channels are your target customers using the most?
- Through what channels do your customers engage with your brand the most?
These channels could include:
- Retail Store
- Branded Website
- 3rd-Party Website (like Amazon)
- Direct Mail
To name a few.
Next, pick out the winners.
Find the ones that perfectly balance resources, monetization, and customer interest. Those will be the channels you should build your multichannel strategy around.
There’s no set rule on how many channels you should come up with, but if you’re just starting, a good rule of thumb is to stick to 4-8 for now. Once you start growing, then expand into more.
First Note: Social media is not a single channel. It’s a conglomerate of channels. And there’s like a billion of them. Best not to try to conquer them all.
STEP 2: Come up with a Few New Channels to Test
No brand should ever rest on its laurels. ROIs can drop fast and hard with little warning, especially where the Internet is concerned. Users grow accustomed to marketing and tune things out with vigor.
So it’s important to test new channels for opportunities.
Maybe it’s a channel from the list above that your brand is not currently targeting. Maybe it’s an entirely new channel, like voice search.
There are two ways to find these new channels:
- Pick a channel that didn’t make the cut from STEP 1
- Pick a promising new one with a strong product channel fit
Just don’t go too crazy with channel testing.
We recommend sticking to the 80/20 Rule when multichannel marketing. This means spending 80% of your time on data-proven marketing channels and the other 20% on testing new channels.
And if you do not see the results you desire, move on to something new.
STEP 3: Establish a Multichannel Platform
What’s a multichannel platform? It is a platform with all the tools in place for you to implement, track, and analyze your multichannel marketing efforts.
- Creating attribution models
- Building predictive analytics
- Managing campaign workflows
- Leveraging your CRM
- Executing in real-time
- Developing ROI-driven processes
There are a bunch of great multichannel marketing tools to help get you there. Though be warned: there are a lot. It can get overwhelming to the point you’re spending less time multichannel marketing and most of your time multitool managing. If you want some help narrowing down the best to use for your business, give us a shout.
Remember, time can play a considerable part in multichannel marketing.
It’s easy to fall behind when working with several different channels. To ensure you maintain a good schedule, divvy up managing this platform between manual and automated processes, especially when it comes to your follow-up strategy.
STEP 4: Multichannel Your Messaging
Make sure your messaging and creative are adjusted according to whatever channel it appears on. Like don’t use your Pinterest image set at a 2:3 aspect ratio for your image in a Facebook ad. That would just be embarrassing.
But don’t just stop there.
Most marketers know that A/B testing is the key to success. You wouldn’t skimp on A/B testing your social media ad creative and copy, right?
Okay, good. You had us worried there for a moment.
So why not apply that same methodology to your multichannel messaging. As in A/B test your messaging. Here’s how we suggest:
- A: Use a similar, tried and true evergreen message that speaks to your brand and works well on any channel.
- B: Try a channel-specific tweak to your message that might not be proven but is tailored uniquely to that channel’s audience.
Over time this strategy will help you hone in on what works best for each channel. That is, so long as you…
STEP 5: Track Results
This should go without saying.
STEP 6: Repeat
Because a marketer’s job is never done.
An Example of an Integrated Approach to Reach Consumers Across Different Channels
There are a lot of different ways to integrate a multichannel strategy into your marketing mix. Ultimately, the route you take will be unique to your business and its offerings.
But to give you an example, below is a sample of how we might implement multichannel marketing. Let’s take that client we met with earlier. After he segwayed away, we got right to work coming up with a multichannel strategy for his business. Which it turns out was selling branded stuffed giraffes of various sizes.
This strategy involved the following multichannel marketing benefits:
Reaching Customers in Search
- Improving SEO on search engines, like Google and Bing, for queries such as “Stuffed giraffe for nursery” and “Life-size stuffed giraffe” to increase brand visibility and engagement.
- Running PPC ads on Google and Bing to maximize reach for highly competitive, profitable keywords like “Cute stuffed animals.”
Reaching Customers on Social Media
- Running paid ads on Facebook and Instagram showcasing engaging images and video of the product, targeting people who would have a strong affinity for a stuffed giraffe, like new parents who like giraffes.
- If the business is B2B, this would also include LinkedIn, which allows for micro-multichannel marketing via Sponsored Content and Sponsored InMail. For this example, we could reach out to stuffed animal companies on LinkedIn that don’t currently have a giraffe in their product line.
Reaching Customers on Amazon
- Optimizing Amazon product listings and running Amazon ads for branded pages selling the client’s stuffed giraffes.
- Running Amazon display ads to retarget potential customers via 3rd-party sites.
Reaching Customers via Email
- Sending out emails to develop marketing drips and nurture campaigns that promote an eCommerce site selling the stuffed giraffes directly or the brand’s Amazon pages.
So if this client actually existed (Sorry, we lied earlier. Clients don’t typically ride segways into our office carrying baby giraffes), their initial multichannel marketing strategy would integrate around eight channels.
The One Thing Not to Do When Multichannel Marketing
Before we go, there is one last thing we want to mention. It’s probably the most common thing we see people get wrong when multichannel marketing.
Like we said earlier, more than likely, you’re probably already multi-channeling. After all, there are so many marketing opportunities out there these days that it’s almost impossible not to use several different channels.
And that’s where the problem lies—too much choice.
It’s enticing to jump on board with every new digital marketing trend that comes along. Of which there are many, often. But as you’ll find out, that can get overwhelming, quick.
So don’t spread yourself too thin.
Just because you can market on multiple channels doesn’t mean you should try and market on ALL of them. Be discerning about which channels you work with, using the steps we listed above.
And the next time you come across an online article saying something like “10 Marketing Channels You Need to Try in [INSERT CURRENT YEAR],” don’t immediately start using all of them. Things will just spiral out of control, and your marketing strategy will likely become a hectic mess. Not to mention all the stress that comes from trying to keep up with “the latest thing.”
Just ask anyone that spent a couple hundred thousand perfecting their Google+ account. Now wouldn’t that spend have gone a lot of further if were put towards a marketing channel mainstay, like email?