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March 10, 2016

Multiple Marketing Channels, One User Experience

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We live in a very technology-dependent society, where everyone is connected to just about everything. We use the Internet in place of everyday jobs and tasks, blurring the lines between online activity and real-life experiences. Chances are, you can probably list off at least five wireless and Internet-based gadgets within eyeshot.

There’s really no need to wax on about the proliferation of technology; the more it evolves, the more it becomes integrated into our lives. What technology does call for, however, is the need for marketers to be agile enough to adapt with the changing times.

Gone are the days of designing separate desktop and mobile experiences for users. We need to reposition the mindset so that the goal is to instead carry out one, thriving end-user experience. And how does one accomplish this, exactly? Through the practice of multi-channel marketing.  

What is Multi-Channel Marketing?

Have you ever experienced a time in which you bopped into a store and handed over a coupon upon check-out, just to be told it’s only eligible for online purchases? The experience likely left a bad taste in your mouth and soured your perception of the place, especially if you went out of your way to shop there to begin with. This is a classic example of multi-channel marketing gone wrong. Unity is the name of the multi-channel game.

When done correctly, multi-channel marketing is the act of communicating with and spreading your message to consumers and prospects by using a combination of digital and offline channels: direct mail, mobile, email, and social, to list just a few.

Instead of cobbling together a scattershot campaign that engages only one marketing tactic, multi-channel marketers are keeping tabs on the online spaces the current-day consumer resides in.

Take a moment to reflect on your own daily habits. Your competing priorities likely lead you to toggle back and forth between the screen on your phone, the screen on your laptop, and the screen of the TV. Content is everywhere. Almost anywhere the eye can see, we consciously - and subconsciously - consume hundreds of pieces of content a day.

With consumers being oversaturated from all angles, it’s hard for brands to successfully cut through the noise. Those who implement a multi-channel approach have the aptitude to associate their target audience with the channels they occupy and have an accurate read on the journey consumers make from one channel to the next, rounding out the complete user experience.

What Are the Keys to Multi-Channel Success?

Brand recall is boosted by making your brand relevant within the context of your target audience’s daily life. In our information age, consumers don’t think in disparate terms. In fact, 72% of consumers look for an integrated marketing approach, but only 39% report receiving that. Multi-channel marketing renounces siloed marketing activities to create an integrated presence across multiple mediums that has greater relevance to the way today’s consumers engage with brands and discover new products.

In order to drive success, multi-channel marketers need to internalize the following principles:

  1. Marketing is always in “communication mode,” but listening to and observing consumer behavior should be given equal priority. Have a thorough understanding of your buyer personas. Learn what their attitudes, habits, and motivations are. This will give you a running start on the channels you should invest your time and resources into.
  2. Skip the sales schtick. By opting for promotional, self-serving speak over consumer-driven content, you’re setting your efforts up to fail. Share helpful and relevant content that will resonate with your target audience. Think of it as applying the inbound marketing approach - creating quality content that naturally pulls visitors in every step of the way.
  3. Having a presence doesn’t translate to making a presence. Integrate, integrate, integrate. Make sure the channels at the helm of your marketing efforts cohesively work together for maximum business-converting impact.
  4. In our increasingly connected world, we transition seamlessly between channels and devices without pause. Consumer expectations do not change from channel to channel. Make sure access is easy and uniform across your channels, starting with a user-friendly and responsive website.  
  5. With so many touch points to stay on top of, it’s crucial to continuously analyze consumer responses. Tracking and refining your message and the channels used to deliver it will enable you to fine-tune your campaigns to deliver high-quality, highly-targeted content.

While multi-channel marketing is one of those rare instances in which “more is better,” it’s important to note that some channels have a higher compatibility rate than others. A study was published by MediaPost that demonstrated which media pairs are most commonly used at different times of the week among adults ages 18-64. The results break down like this: computer-mobile; TV-mobile; computer-TV, radio-mobile; computer-radio.

Computer-mobile peaks during work hours, but slowly fades into the night as the combination of TV with other devices rises. As we pointed out earlier, there’s a lot of channel-changing that occurs over the course of an average day. It’s important for multi-channel marketers to keep watch over these trends as they plan out their efforts.

Determine Your Multi-Channel Strategy
Multi-channel marketing is a smart strategy because it empowers the consumer, letting them choose the preferred marketing channel for engaging with your message and your brand. The more integrated your programs are, the more convenience and value you provide to your prospects and consumers.

Our marketing experts will help you develop multi-channel marketing strategies, and then execute those strategies for you. Simply put, it’s what we do.

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