What is Multi-channel marketing?
Multi-channel marketing is simply marketing across different channels. These different channels can be different platforms in general (TV, Radio, Internet, etc.) or for a digital marketer it can be different digital channels and devices with internet access.
Multi-channel marketing is not just about marketing across different channels, but also integrating all the channels in a single marketing strategy and targeting customers on various channels and devices by the data provided by another channel. The concept of tracking multi-channel activity of customer’s behavior and using the data for marketing called Cross-channel marketing.
But, in general, people use multi-channel marketing or cross-channel marketing or omnichannel marketing as the same concept.
There are different channels in order to reach your customers or prospects in order to take the advantage of cross-channel marketing.
Here are a few channels and statistics of the usage of those channels,
Marketing Channels Includes,
- Social Media
- Direct Mail
Why is Multi-Channel Marketing Important?
In initial days, internet users used to spend most of their time on search engines and websites, but now, people are spending most of their time on social media, smart phones, playing games and for checking emails.
Statistics of Social Media, Mobile, and Email Usage:
- As of 2015, daily social media usage of global internet users amounted to 106.2 minutes per day, up from 103.2 minutes in the previous year. (Source)
- According to a eMarketer study, 50.3 million millennials are mobile Internet users, and over half (49 million) of the 86.2 million strong generation use a smartphone (Source)
- 90% of Millennials use the web to send and receive email. (Source)
The Major Benefits of multi-channel marketing,
Better Understanding of Customers: You know about your customers better when you can track the behavior of your customer’s journey across the different channels and different devices.
Customers Have a Choice: Your customers have the number of options to interact with you on every channel and any device they prefer.
Increase Your Brand Value: Keeping in touch with your customers through all the channels available makes customers more comfortable with your brand.
Here are a few facts of multi-channel usage in today’s world,
- Mobile & Social Media: Nearly 80 percent of social media time now spent on mobile devices. (Source)
- Desktop & Social Media: 19 percent of time spent on social media sites across the desktop and PC. (Source)
- Mobile & Email: 54% of email is now opened on a mobile device. (Source)
- Desktop & Email: 20% of email is now opened on desktops. (Source)
Several traditional print publishers made huge gains with their digital audiences by making effective use of mobile to attract new readers and becoming more digitally-savvy operations. (2016 U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus)
Multi-Channel Marketing Examples
Here are a few examples of Multi-channel marketing,
PPC Ad Extensions: PPC ad extensions in AdWords and Bing Ads are the best examples of integrating online ads with a phone number and promoting printable coupons through online ads.
Direct Mail & URLs: Direct mail marketing is still the best marketing channel for b2b marketers. Advertising your website URL on mail order catalogs and offer discounts and online orders is the best example of integrating offline and online marketing strategies.
Hashtags on TV Shows: Nowadays, we see all the popular TV shows and news channels request visitors to tweet about their topic to express their views. Here, you’re encouraging your visitors to respond to something and giving the credibility to your customers’ views and feedback.
So, you’re listening to your customers and promoting your brand at the same time.
How to Create an Effective Cross-Channel Marketing Strategy?
Set Your End Goals
It is very important to set your goals before implementing the multi-channel marketing campaign.
Here are few common goals for multi-channel marketers,
- Increasing the visibility of your business
- Increasing multi-channel engagement
- Increasing Customer Retention
- Increasing brand value
Your goals might change based on the nature of your business. So, have them on the table before start building your strategy.
Track and Analyze
Tracking customers and collecting customer data is everything in marketing, and it gives precise information to target their tastes and desires. You need to track and collect the information about your customers’ tastes, preferences, demographics, past purchasing history and their wish-lists.
Here are a few Tools to Track Customer’s Behaviour:
- Google Analytics:
Google Analytics is one of the best free analytics tools by Google. Google Analytics tracks the website traffic from different channels and devices. You can easily set up multiple channels funnels using Google Analytics.
- Marin Software
Marin Software is one of the best cross-channel performance advertising platforms. You can track your ads on multiple platforms (Search, Social and Display ads) and across channels and devices
AdRoll is one of the best retargeting platforms for advertisers retargeting products for cross-platform, cross-device display advertising. AdRoll creates new audience similar to your existing customers to show them your ads by analyzing your customer’s behavior on your website.
Review all the analytics and the information you got from the tools to get the better understanding about your customers’ muti-channel behavior. It will help you to build better strategies to interact with your customers in multiple channels.
Implementation of multi-channel marketing starts with building a strategy using the information of customers’ behavior on multiple channels and multiple devices.
If your prospects signed up for your email newsletters to get more information on your products and more articles on your niche, then try to connect with them in Social media and target them with remarketing campaigns.
For targeted prospects,
- Collect the information (Email, Social Media Profiles, etc.)
- Connect with them in social media
- Target them in all channels and devices
- Send them weekly and monthly email newsletters
- Remarketing through social media and PPC campaigns
- If you’re advertising on TV or Radio, mention your website and social media channels to connect with you for updates and special offers
For Existing Customers,
- Connect with them on Social Media
- Send them Send them weekly and monthly email newsletters
- Encourage them to install the mobile app of your company and offer exclusive discounts for mobile app users and promote this using email, direct mail, and social media channels.
So, our goal is to track interactions by the same customer across a variety of devices.
Review, Revise & Repeat
Once you implemented any marketing strategy, you should analyze and examine the results after a certain amount of time and revise your strategy based on the results.
- Analyze the overall performance
- Analyze the performance of each of the channel (Email, Search Engine, Mobile, Social Media)
If you’re going well with your existing strategy, well and good, repeat it. If you think you can improve it, revise it, and work on new strategy.
You need to find the perfect combination of channel and your end goal. Devices and channels performance might change over time, and you need to be aware of what are the best channels to target your prospects today.