Multichannel Marketing: What it is and How it Delivers Results

By admin on August 19, 2020

What is A Multichannel Marketing Strategy?

A one-size-fits-all solution is great for some things. Unfortunately, marketing isn’t one of them. Your customers are unique. They can be found in different stages of life, they have different interests, and their purchasing preferences vary greatly. If your customers are unique, shouldn’t your approach to marketing be unique as well? As the name suggests, multichannel marketing refers to the approach of targeting customers through multiple marketing mediums and sharing relevant messages with them. This type of marketing enhances the customer experience by combining digital and physical methods to create personalized messages. Let’s take a look at a few of the perks of investing in a multichannel marketing strategy!

Benefits of Multichannel Marketing 

Marketing has changed. Many years ago, you could get away with choosing a single marketing strategy, stick with it, and see exceptional results. However, since the advent of the internet, businesses are becoming increasingly aware of how important it is to target their customers through multiple channels. Here are 8 reasons why this is true:

Connect with Customers 

A multichannel approach to marketing allows businesses to connect with customers on all of their favourite devices, across all of their favourite platforms. In fact, 72% of consumers say they would rather connect to brands and businesses through multiple channels.

Increase Engagement 

When you reach out to your customers through multiple channels you have the potential to significantly increase their engagement. For example, a company that sends out a piece of direct mail with their social media handles printed on the piece increases the likelihood that readers will follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other platform they might be on.

Keep up with On-the-go Customers

People are busier than ever before. In today’s world, you need to be able to pivot at a moment’s notice or you’ll be left behind. This makes it important for businesses to consider how they’re going to reach customers who barely have the time to stop for lunch, let alone consume your brand’s message. Multichannel marketing allows you to keep up with busy customers while they’re on the go. For example, an individual riding the LRT to work might see a print ad on the window, then scroll through their phone and see an ad from the same company on Facebook. Having your brand appear multiple times on different channels throughout the day helps create a sense of relevancy for your company in the eyes of the consumer.

Get a Leg Up On Competition

Businesses are becoming aware of how important it is to share their message through multiple channels. However, despite this, 21% of marketers claim they lack the understanding to develop multichannel marketing campaigns. If you’re able to jump on board now, you’ll gain a significant edge over your competitors. Learn how here.

Expand Your Customer Base

Another benefit of multichannel marketing is that it allows you to increase your customer base. In many cases, marketing is a numbers game. Using more channels will mean there are more eyes on your brand which generally correlates with more customers for your business.

Decrease Customer Acquisition Costs

Multichannel marketing allows you to target your customers in the places they’re most likely to engage with. This means your message will be better received and you can acquire customers for a fraction of the price compared to using a “shotgun” approach where you target everyone, everywhere.

Gather Useful Data

As you continue to optimize your multichannel campaigns, you will begin to gather massive amounts of data on your customers. This is critical, considering that businesses that deploy a data-driven marketing strategy deliver 5-8x the ROI on marketing spend. Data provides a number of valuable insights. For example, which demographic is engaging with your messages on each respective platform? Where does your brand’s message have the most impact? How can you adjust your targeting to increase your marketing ROI? The answers to these and other questions will begin to present themselves as you continue to assess your multichannel marketing campaign. For more on how data-driven marketing can help your business, see this post.

Target High-Value Customers

The more campaigns you run, the easier it is to see which demographic is responsible for generating the majority of your revenue. Once you have this information, you can double down and target this cohort through several different channels.

Build Brand Recognition and Relationships

If you focus on creating great content across multiple channels, consumers will take notice and reward your efforts with their loyalty. For example, a blog post that provides useful information to customers increases the chances that they’ll come to you for answers (or products and services) in the future when they need them.

The Different Types of Marketing Channels

There are a number of different marketing mediums that can be incorporated into your multichannel marketing strategy:
  • Direct mail
  • Email
  • Text
  • Social media
  • Personalized landing pages
  • Websites
  • Catalogues
  • Blog posts
Keep in mind, this list is non-exhaustive. There are dozens of more channels that might prove to be effective for your business.

The Power of Print in Multichannel Marketing 

When it comes to multichannel marketing, print mediums deserve special consideration. Here’s why:
  • 56% of marketers find print to be the most trustworthy type of marketing.
  • 92% of 18-23-year-olds find it easier to read print over digital content.
  • Print marketing is proven to increase the effectiveness of other forms of advertising.
Here are some ways print can enhance the effectiveness of your multichannel marketing strategy:

Variable Printing

Variable printing uses digital printing to create direct mail and other print products that are highly personalized towards the recipient. Based on the fact that 44% of customers say they will likely become repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience, this strategy can be extremely effective. This process is successful because digital printing does not require the use of printing plates and, therefore, text, graphics, and other elements within individual mail pieces can be highly personalized.

QR Codes

QR code is a barcode that is printed on direct mail pieces that can be scanned with the camera of a smartphone. Once scanned, this code will open up a landing page that presents a specific offer. This landing page can be set up to feature products, prompt the user to make a call, add an event to their calendar, or a number of other actions. Using QR codes, businesses can combine the proven and powerful results of direct mail with digital strategies for optimal results.

Social Media Handles 

Whether you’re printing a brochure, direct mail letter, postcard, catalogue, or any other piece of print content, social media handles can be added to prompt readers to find your brand on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or any other accounts you might have.

AR and Print 

Although in its infant stages, the use of AR (augmented reality) and print together is extremely promising. AR has the ability to transform text into 3D animations and images into explanatory videos, helping to create a truly immersive experience for the customer.

Creating A Multichannel Marketing Strategy (7 Key Elements)

Now that you have a clear understanding of what a multichannel marketing strategy is and how it can be used to help your business, it’s time to look at how to actually build a multichannel marketing strategy. In order to have success, you need to consider 7 key elements:

1. Analyze the Data 

The more you know about your customers, the greater the success you will have with your marketing campaign. During this stage of the process, go over all of your existing data with a fine-tooth comb. Here are a few questions to help you get started:
  • What age groups of customers are most interested in each of your products and services?
  • How do customers behave when they land on your website? Which pages have high bounce rates? 
  • Which social media platforms are generating the most traffic for your business?
  • What strategies seem to be working for your competitors? How are you different from your competitors?
At ION, we have a data specialist that dives deep into dozens of metrics to help uncover as much data as possible about customers and competition. However, we understand that not every business owner has that luxury. If you don’t know where to start, simply defining your current customer base and a few of your main competitors can go a long way in providing a clear direction moving forward.

2. Create a Strategy

It’s time to start building the strategy. This is the phase where you come up with a campaign outline. This involves:
  • Solidifying the target market for this particular campaign.
  • Building a campaign map.
  • Establishing campaign timelines.
  • Estimating costs.
  • Setting goals for the campaign.
You’ll also need to determine who on your team is responsible for each task. You can also outsource work to the appropriate parties. For example, you might place one person in charge of design. This individual is responsible for all of the artwork, images, and graphics that will be used throughout the campaign. Another person could be tasked to handle copywriting, and so on…

3. Focus on Design

This step involves beginning to create design elements and content for your marketing campaign. The goal here should be to create a cohesive message that resonates with your audience while staying true to your brand.

4. Choose your Channels 

Here, you need to choose which marketing channels you will focus on (based on previous research) and establish how they will work together to deliver the results you’re trying to accomplish. For example, direct mail has proven to be an extremely effective way for nonprofit organizations to generate donations. These efforts can easily be supplemented with a matching email campaign. 5. Deliver Your Message This is where you begin to roll out your campaign and put your brand in front of customers. During this step, you’ll need to consider:
  • How often you’ll share your message (posting frequency)
  • When is your message most likely to be heard/seen (what time of day? What day of the week? Etc..)
  • What steps do you have in place to follow up with people who engage with your message?
Although some might consider these considerations to be insignificant, they can have an enormous effect on your campaign and should not be overlooked. 6. Automate Your Campaigns You want every campaign to be more successful than the last. Therefore, when building each campaign, it’s important to keep track of the processes you have in place. This will allow you to streamline the process for next time, saving you both time and money. There are many marketing tools and software available that can be used to help with the automation process.

7. Reporting and Analysis

Finally, you need to have a way of tracking your results. Conversions, clicks, engagements, and many other metrics can be analyzed to help you see what’s working and what isn’t. Once you have a clearer picture you can adjust accordingly and continue to improve each campaign. As a business owner, these 7 steps can be a lot to digest. That’s why ION has consolidated them into an efficient marketing program for business owners who do not have the time to master them on their own. Click here to learn more about Chain ReactION, our multichannel marketing program.

4 Great Examples of Multichannel Marketing 

There are endless examples that showcase how effective multichannel marketing can be. However, including all of them would make this the longest blog post ever written, so we decide to select just a few of our favourites. Here are 4 examples of well-known brands and how they have been able to use multichannel marketing to their advantage.

JC Penny

Holidays are meant for spending time with your family, friends, and loved ones. However, sometimes it’s difficult to get together during these times. With their “Santa Tags,” JC Penny is providing a multichannel solution to this problem. These tags allow gift-givers to record a personalized message that can later be shared when the recipient scans the QR code on the gift tag with their smartphone: This way, no matter where you are in the world, you can open your gift while enjoying well-wishes from the people you love!

Wayfair

A major online furniture retailer has found a clever way to use direct mail to increase conversion rates for their online store. They do so by sending targeted direct mail to customers who have abandoned items in their online shopping carts. These people will receive a direct mail piece that contains a message that motivates them to act: “Complete your order before they sell out!” The mailer then instructs them on the next steps they need to take so that they don’t miss out. According to Canada Post, this strategy has had a huge impact on Wayfair’s conversion rates.

Apple 

Apple is possibly the most well-known brand in the world. They also happen to be a classic example of how multichannel marketing can boost sales. Despite the vast majority of their sales occurring online, Apple still has thousands of physical retail stores that provide a place for tech enthusiasts (and technophobes) to touch, feel, and experience their products in person before they buy. Apple’s approach to marketing just goes to show how using multiple channels helps provide a superior buying experience for customers.

Large Online Shoe Retailer 

One of the biggest challenges for the online shoe industry is the inability for customers to try on shoes before they buy. A large online shoe retailer is using print materials to help supplement their online sales efforts. They have done this by creating a textured catalogue to send out to customers. This catalogue features raised images of their newest shoes, complete with the textures and materials that were actually used to make each part of the shoe. For example, you can feel the type of rubber used to create the bottom of the shoe or the fabric used on the top or inside the shoe. Adding these physical elements to their online sales strategy has significantly increased their conversion rates. You’ve probably noticed that these examples share a common theme. They all rely heavily on combining digital and physical channels to increase the ROI from their marketing efforts.

Looking to get started with a multichannel marketing strategy?

ION provides multichannel marketing strategies for Edmonton businesses designed to increase the ROI for every dollar you spend to promote your business. Our marketing team includes:
  • Data/research specialists.
  • Campaign managers.
  • Content strategists.
  • Social media experts.
Together, we’ll come up with a multichannel marketing strategy customized to your business and goals. Visit this page to learn more!