by Buddy Nievera |
Multichannel marketing is not exactly new, though it has become quite a buzzword in business circles over the past few years, one that will be increasingly used as social media marketing plays an ever more important role in the promotional efforts of business organisations.
For those unfamiliar with the term, multichannel marketing refers to the practice of communicating with current and future customers on various platforms. According to experts, multichannel marketing is essentially about increasing the choices that consumers have by providing them with ways to buy their products that suit the consumer’s preferences.
Why it’s important
In addition to the fact that your competitors are probably already working hard at perfecting their multichannel marketing efforts, there are a number of reasons why multichannel marketing is so important and why your business organisation, if it is to effectively compete with the competition, needs to step up and implement a suitable multichannel marketing strategy.
- Your business organisation must be where your customers are at all times
- There are more ways to reach out to potential customers than ever before
- Multichannel customers spend far more than single-channel customers
- Consumers have more control over buying process than marketers
To sit back and wait for customers to come to a business has never been a good idea, yet some organisations seem to think that as there are more potential customers than ever before they’ll get their fair share in the end.
This is not the way to raise revenues, especially seeing that multichannel marketing is providing business organisations with fantastic new opportunities to increase their customer base and sell more products and/or services.
The benefits of multichannel marketing
One of the most notable benefits to multichannel marketing is that it empowers businesses, through a number of channels, to reach a larger audience, but there are a number of additional benefits to multichannel marketing that are just as important and therefore of note. These benefits include:
- Businesses are able to reach out to more potential customers
- They are able to gain a greater understanding of their customer base
- They are better able to receive customer feedback for them to act upon
- They stand to increase their revenues as a result
These are some of the many excellent benefits that have come to be associated with successful multichannel marketing, with emphasis placed on ‘successful’ as there are many challenges associated with carrying out a successful multichannel marketing campaign.
Businesses will find that there are a number of challenges that they will come across when formulating a multichannel marketing campaign. Not every business organisation should expect to experience the same challenges, though the following list should give you an idea of some of the challenges that you may have to deal with.
- Delivering the right message to the right audience on the right channel
- Spanning multiple channels of communication in a fluid manner
- Understanding which channels best contribute to sales conversions
- Sourcing the right service providers to assist you with your efforts
Not every business will experience the same challenges, but as there are multiple channels involved in multichannel marketing, you can expect to be dealing with a certain degree of trial and error in order to get the right multichannel marketing mix.
Additionally, the last point about sourcing the right service providers to assist you with your efforts is an important one as there are many companies that can assist you with your multichannel marketing efforts; however, you have to source the right ones to work with and there are many to select from.
The right mix
Trends in multichannel marketing in 2015 follow on from those of the following year and getting the right mix is just as important this year as it was the last, perhaps even more so considering just how many more business organisations have been engaging in multichannel marketing over the past 12 months.
To get the right multichannel marketing mix you need to understand your target audience and work at combining a number of indirect and direct communication channels that will enable your current and future customers to take your desired course of action in response, i.e. buy the product or service you are proffering, using the communication channel of their choice.
Understanding your target audience is rarely as easy as businesses hope it to be, but as there are now so many channels through which you can communicate, you can’t complain that you don’t have a number of excellent paths to pursue.
These include, for instance, Facebook, Twitter, emails, direct mail, message taking, mobile marketing, media response and brochure requests, to name a few of the many channels you should be using to interact with your customers and get to know them better, plus there’s always in person if you meet with your clients regularly, or even just occasionally.
Here are a few tips for getting the right multichannel marketing mix.
- Set up a multichannel marketing platform that’s in-line with your audience
- Understand the need to maintain a consistent view of your customers
- Work hard to create consistent customer experiences across each channel
- Seek assistance from an experienced multichannel marketing company
You may not need to work with a multichannel marketing company – many small businesses couldn’t afford to anyway – though consider conferring with a consultant on occasion if you find your efforts are not delivering the results you had hoped for.
Their fees are often pricey, but if you can cut to the chase, identify the areas in which you are falling short of the mark and implement changes that get you up to speed, then they will prove to be an investment, one that saves you time and empowers you to integrate new channels of communication with your traditional channels of communication. This could entail, for instance, integrating social media with direct mail, or email marketing with mail order catalogues and brochure request services.
Getting the right multichannel marketing mix is essential as consumer choices increase – get the right mix to gain a leading edge over your competitors.