Just fifteen years ago, marketing agencies and professionals could use multichannel expertise as a selling point and have a real edge over their competition. But these days, if you’re a single-channel marketer, you might want to consider another line of work because multichannel marketing is now the standard and your peers will be light years ahead of you. A strong multichannel marketing campaign can increase lead generation, lead conversion, and boost revenue.
Though it may seem self-explanatory, we’ll define it anyway: a multichannel marketing campaign is one that combines a variety of online, offline, direct and indirect marketing channels to communicate with customers. These can include (but are not limited to):
- Direct mail
- Retail stores
- Digital out-of-home
A core tenet of marketing is to be where your customers are, and in 2018 that’s pretty much everywhere. Social monitoring and mobile marketing have been the major digital disrupters in the last several years. However, email and even direct mail are still going strong, especially in certain sectors like B2B and consumer retail.
The idea behind multichannel marketing is to give your customers a choice in how they interact with you, whether that’s one, two, or ten different ways. In fact, according to HBR, 73% of consumers regularly use multiple engagement channels to interact with a preferred retailer.
But you don’t jump into all the channels at once without a plan. Here are some tips on how to crush your multichannel marketing campaign.
Define your channel focus
Marketing teams will often hear from sales or the C-suite “We need to be on Twitter!” “What’s our LinkedIn strategy?!” “Let’s start a mobile campaign!” and then be left to figure out exactly what that means for their business.
Contrary to what some might think, multichannel doesn’t mean being everywhere at once. For instance, while social media has proven to be an important engagement channel, Facebook might not be as good a fit for your business as LinkedIn. Mobile marketing is crucial but think about whether or not your customer base is likely to want to receive text messages from you. It’s all about self-awareness, context, and nuance.
It is important to experiment with different channels, but start by narrowing your focus to a few of the most strategic per your customer base. It’s ok, even advisable, to start small and grow from there.
Use your tools
A multichannel marketing campaign is only as good as the technology that powers it. To keep up with consumers as they bounce around channels, you’ll need a powerful automation solution. Automation utilizes data integration to identify and qualify leads, to pinpoint trigger events that signify a lead is ready to engage, and to send out the right messages to the right people at the right time.
Marketing automation tools fueled by customer insights can integrate with every channel you want to be on, and handle the heavy lifting of actually engaging on those channels. They provide the scalability you need to be in several different places at once. Read more about the benefits of marketing automation.
Be a data diva
Data is your friend; data is your currency; data is the foundation of your multichannel marketing campaign. As such, you need to be picky about where it comes from. When you collect data from third party sources, make sure it’s trustworthy and verified. If the data comes from your own first-party sources, make sure it is relevant and constantly refreshed.
Also, make sure you’re using all the data that is available to you. Even within your organization, data can live in silos scattered across departments. Get rid of the data silos and create a centralized repository where you can parse data into customer profiles, buyer personas, predictive models, and other actionable insights. For example, a shared 360-degree contact view of all contact interactions—across the entire company, from marketing to sales and support—helps immensely to eliminate data silos and aligns teams around a single source of truth.
Leverage your CRM system
Speaking of data, your CRM system is a treasure trove of valuable insight, providing you with holistic views of individual customers and leads. Solutions like Agile CRM integrate with marketing automation tools to deliver the insight that fuels those communications and ensures their relevance.
You can track which channels and devices your prospects and customers use, which brands they engage with, where they do most of their research, and where they make purchases. This lets you interact with them exactly when, where, and how they want you to, boosting the efficacy of your multichannel campaign.
Maintain a cohesive, consistent customer experience
According to Google, 90% of consumers move between at least two screens a day, and many use more. Ideally, your multichannel marketing campaign will look and feel the same on each one of those devices.
In addition to using the same colors, images, branding, and messaging in every channel, use customer profiles to make sure that you pick up where you left off with them on the device they were just using. The conversation should continue seamlessly as they move from laptops to smartphones and back again. According to Walker Info, by 2020, customer experience will overtake product and price as the key brand differentiator. There’s never been a better time to ensure you’re delivering a consistent and world-class customer experience.
Testing is a pillar of any smart multichannel marketing campaign. With so many avenues to engage with leads and customers, they can’t all be a perfect fit. Like we already said, experimenting and starting small is a great idea, just make sure you’re monitoring KPIs. Use A/B testing to hone in on the right recipe for success.
CRM and other automation tools can help you there too. Most, like Agile CRM, offer real-time analytics and reporting, as well as predictive analytics, so you can tell which channels have performed well in the past and which are likely to perform well in the future.
Business2Community notes that, in retail settings, brands that engage clients through multiple channels see a loyalty retention rate of 89% compared with 33% for those who don’t.
SAS research states that multichannel customers spend three to four times more than single-channel customers do.
Deciding to launch a multichannel marketing campaign should be a no-brainer, and the actual execution of it can also be pretty painless with the right tools and approach. Use customer data and automation to deliver relevant messaging and maintain a cohesive experience as users shift between channels, and you too can easily become a multichannel marketing champion.