Multi-channel marketing means selling to your customers by direct or indirect means – eCommerce stores, websites, Value-added resellers (VARs), physical stores, mobile applications, email marketing, marketplaces, and making it easy for customers to buy easily from the channel of their choice.
Multi-channel marketing was an option back in time but today it is a necessity for both the customer and the seller alike. You’d want to be present on as many channels as your customers are at and your customers want the convenience of shopping from just about anyplace.
Most companies struggle with Multi Channel marketing because they lack the time and strategy to manage multiple channels. Siloed efforts at one channel reduce your return on investment significantly because your target audience may be hanging out on some other channel.
For example, if you only have an online store with a good number of visitors and your customers are email lovers then email marketing is something you can focus on. Sending out offers or promotional codes makes them feel they’ve bought something good at a lesser price. This way you not only gain customers but also retain them.
Types of Multi Channel Marketing
Businesses have more opportunities than ever before to engage audiences with the right messaging. To get your message to your target audience at the right time you need to be present at the right places. Here are some options you should consider.
- Brick and mortar stores
- Ecommerce store
- Mobile application
- Email marketing
- Tv and Radio ads
- SEO ads
- Sell on marketplaces (eBay. Amazon etc)
- Social media channels( Facebook, LinkedIn, Tiktok, etc)
What are the Challenges Businesses Face With Multi Channel marketing?
Cost and time constraints
Getting the best results within a budget can be challenging. Creating content across multiple channels can burn a hole in your pocket if not strategized by experts. Managing multiple channels consistently may end up taking a significant amount of time as well.
Getting the right message across
Different platforms have different algorithms and different types of customer behavior. Getting a knack for such variations is essential to get the right message across to the right audience at the right time and not only attract them but also persuade them to take an action.
Deciding the right marketing channels
This is most often the biggest challenge for marketers. It’s not about the number of channels you are at, it’s about where your customers are most likely to engage with your product or service.
Lack of technology
To analyze, strategize and execute, everything involves tech. 51% of marketers can’t react to new channels, devices, trends, or competitors using their current tech. This is another major challenge in multi-channel marketing.
Monitoring sales touchpoints
With ever-evolving technology, consumers are present on multiple platforms. A segment of your target market may be millennials who use mobile and online stores to shop while another segment might be relying on television and radio ads. Monitoring multiple channels and consumer behavior can be challenging.
How to establish a Multi Channel Marketing Strategy?
Marketing channels are diversified based on attributes like,
- Type (Online or offline)
- Customer intent (Buying, consuming information, socializing, or entertainment),
- Accessibility ( Paid and free platforms ).
Tapping into your target audience’s places is the key to greater targeting. The multi-channel marketing strategy starts out with creating catalogs, physical brick, and mortar stores but in advancement, you’ll need to establish online channels as well. Here we’ll look at how you can strategize your multi-channel strategy to get the best returns.
Figure out where your audience hangs out
- You’re sure to have an ideal customer profile if you’re selling products or services. You know who uses your products and how it benefits them( for example, a children’s health drink would have a target audience, mostly parents aged 25-55).
- Collect their demographic data (gender, age, jobs they’re in, devices they’re on, etc), data on how they react to your website or emails, and sort them out to draw conclusions.
- Another way of doing this would be to research your competitors and observe how they market. See what your potential customers are talking about on platforms like Reddit or Quora.
- Based on consumer demographics you can figure out which social media platforms they’re most active on. For example, LinkedIn has more professional networkers ( ideal for software products, services, manufacturers, distributors, and so on) Facebook has a more casual audience who are there for either connecting with friends or for entertainment ( ideal for B2Cs, online courses, home grew small businesses to name a few).
Get the right technology
Lack of technical sophistication as we discussed earlier in the blog, can be an obstacle in setting up a Multi Channel Marketing strategy.
Understand Customer behavior
There are free tools like Google analytics that help you understand customer behavior on your website.
Establish a single working platform for all marketing channels
Once you have the customer behavior figured out, you’d want to be able to easily share data from one place to multiple touchpoints like emails, social media, eCommerce store, mobile app, print media to name a few.
A PIM solution( Product information Management tool) comes in handy. PIM tools like flexiPIM enable you
- To import data from sources like ERP, datasheets, or legacy back-end systems in various formats.
- To enrich them with marketing information like images, videos, files, docs.
- To add SEO information to product pages.
- To manage catalog information and categorization.
- To export marketing information to multiple channels within one click.
To understand more about how a PIM solution makes lives easier for businesses wanting to succeed on multiple fronts read – “Multi Channel marketing with PIM”
Be consistent across multiple platforms
Great customer experience can be a strong differentiator. Customers expect a consistent experience across all channels. You may think of multiple channels as different entities but for your customers, it is one holistic experience. Site navigation, feedback, response, customer care, pricing, nurturing, emails, product quality, information quality everything is tied to your brand. If this is not a reason good enough for being consistent then I don’t know what is.
Create convenient experiences
With millennial customers becoming decision-makers, it is important to be easy to deal with. Let’s see this with an example.
A fashion retailer Nordstrom links photos of products on its Pinterest page to the corresponding product on its e-commerce site, which helps bring its 4.4 million Pinterest followers directly to the point of sale. In the past, many brands only offered red-carpet treatment during the holiday season or special sales. Today, customers expect the best deals and service every day of the year. Shoppers won’t just buy the first product they see; the vast majority actively search for the best deal they can get. So companies should respond in real-time.
Found this helpful? Get started with a Multi Channel Marketing strategy today, so that you do not miss out on any opportunities to reach your target audience.