At its core, multi-channel marketing is a strategy that blends various communication channels (online, mail, email, social etc.) using consistent messages and brand imagery. The name of the game is a seamless experience for the customer, however or whenever they decide to interact with your brand. In a data-driven marketing world, it’s now easier than ever to create an integrated marketing experience across multiple channels, with a personal touch.
According to Marin Software, 50% of digital marketers state that they want to venture further into the world of integrated marketing, while 46% want to integrate online and offline channels more thoroughly.
It’s hard to bring these efforts together – even in today’s world of instant analytics, connecting more than 2 or 3 channels can be a challenge.
In an age where it takes 7 to 13 or more “touches” before someone actually buys a product, having a multi-channel strategy really is no longer an option. And with statistics reporting that multi-channel consumers spend three to four times more than single-channel consumers, who wouldn’t want to get on board?
The Multi-Channel Consumer
More and more consumers today are becoming multichannel media users. According to research by Nielsen, 46% of smartphone owners and 43% of tablet owners said they use their devices while watching TV every day. 20% of those consumers reported that they purchase a product or service on their second screen tablet or mobile device based on the program they’re watching. According to an Econsultancy survey, 40% of consumers state it is very important to be able to purchase from a retailer via different channels.
Marketing channels also influence consumers at different points in their path to purchase. Google Analytics tools such as Multi-Channel Functions aggregate insights from a variety of industries to benchmark what a journey to purchase may look like for different industries. The path to purchase will vary across industries, the one constant being that consumers use multiple channels at different points to help them make a decision.
6 Recommended Marketing Channels
There are numerous channels you may want to consider using, but here is a look at the top 6 we recommend:
Email remains one of the most highly effective and affordable channels. The average ROI for email is $40 for every $1 spent. Like any form of data, your email list needs to be up to date for the highest return. If you are missing email addresses or your email database hasn’t been refreshed in a while, be sure to use a third-party email append service to remove bad email addresses, correct syntax errors, and add missing contact details.
2. Display Advertising
Target consumers with targeted display advertising by working with a display advertising network to deliver impressions of your product on popular websites such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, and others. For greater exposure, implement remarketing campaigns based on a consumer’s search history to help boost your brand awareness and customer acquisition.
Consumers turn to social for peer recommendations, research, and as a way to connect with prospective brands. According to a report by Deloitte, consumers who use social media during their shopping process are four times more likely to spend more on their purchases than those who don’t use social. The report also states that shoppers are 29% more likely to make a purchase the same day when using social media for research before or during visiting a physical store location.
4. Direct Mail
Despite an increasing number of online and mobile channels available to consumers, direct mail continues to reign as a key channel for many industries. In fact, according to the 2015 DMA Response Rate Report, direct mail response rates outperform digital channels by a huge percentage. Direct mail achieves a 3.7% response rate with a customer list, and a 1.0% response rate with a prospect list. All digital channels combined only achieve a 0.62% response rate.
More consumers than ever before are using mobile devices as a starting point when researching products and services. And mobile produces results! 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action, and more than half lead to sales. (SearchEngineLand) Your site MUST be mobile-optimized. Otherwise consumers will quickly leave in favor of a site they can navigate from a mobile device.
6. SEO (Organic Search)
Optimizing your website with key words, fresh content, H1s, and other SEO tactics is nothing new but it remains to be a hugely effective channel for reaching in-market consumers. While traditional marketing messages and advertising can be disruptive, optimizing your site for search allows you to be found based on what consumers want and are looking for. If someone types in “HDTV” or “baby furniture”, of course you want to rank high in search results if you offer those products. Consumers who type in these terms are more than likely ready to purchase. By investing time and resources into your SEO strategy, you can ensure you are found and are one of the choices consumers will consider.
Marketers who do not expand their reach beyond more than one channel are at serious risk in getting left behind. While we touched on some key channels you should consider implementing, remember that the most effective channels tend to vary by industry. Print advertising, telemarketing, tradeshows, and broadcast may also be effective ways to get your message across various touchpoints. The most important thing is to get your message across as many channels as possible. And when you do so, the people you reach may just spend three to four times more with you.
To learn how to target multi-channel shoppers with better marketing data, download this free guide.