Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "How to Create Effective Multichannel Results," breaks down the elements required to achieve leads, conversions, and marketing effectiveness. For one, the timeframe for best practices ranges anywhere between 18 months to three years. Multichannel or Omnichannel marketing is a structured process that incorporates various online and offline marketing communications channels to target, engage and elicit improved response rates from both prospects and customers over the course of a stated campaign timeline. To achieve notable results, it all begins with establishing a framework whereby marketing teams, brands, and managers engage and plan an optimization process designed to access the necessary resources to achieve improved sales and engagement with the targeted demographics. While there are several marketing channels to choose from, the decision-makers must decide on a few key metrics, including a budget, channel performance, and the channels that the primary target engages most often.
Our Quote of the Day: "Sometimes, when there's too much traffic clogging up the road, you need to take a different route. But following the same path as everyone else can stall your progress in reaching your investment goals too." — Author Mark Mobius
Divergent Channels Open the Communication Highway
Now more than ever, pandemic included, marketing plans must shift to keep pace with the continuing evolution of human behavior. Regardless of where consumers face ad impression bombardment, brands still need to communicate and share their stories. Each story must break through on average 10,000 impressions per day. That's a mind-boggling amount of advertorial content to sift through, let alone remember.
Further, the digital highway is clogged and overrun by an unforgiving amount of advertising and communications collateral. Between slowing internet load times, endless scrolling, and constant email notifications, consumers are in a delete and block mindset, so much so that marketers have raised issues in recent months claiming that many users do not see their ads.
The current marketing conditions further indicate that multichannel marketing strategies are more critical now than at any time in recent history. Reaching consumers wherever they are, or in today's language, directing consumers from their favorite traditional or online place to the brand's preferred destination is a huge task. The new wherever, whenever process requires reaching consumers at various times and touchpoints along the journey, which is why multichannel marketing strategies are necessary. Examples of some communications channels include, but are not limited to the following:
Defining the Market
Most businesses deem acquiring leads and qualified sales targets as a primary goal. Defining the product, service, or solution is the best starting point. However, part of defining targets and offerings includes understanding how the consumer will use the offer. Will it be for the industry as a whole with various sectors or for a single market? Are there competitive offerings that range across product, service, or solution categories? By defining the market, brands can better deliver offerings across any market that the consumer chooses.
The typical multichannel marketing strategy builds upon a plan that strategically connects different channels with each consumer, hence the term multichannel. The bottom line is to make it easy for the consumer to purchase a product on whatever medium they prefer.
On the other hand, Omnichannel presents a compelling alternative strategy that employs an integrated approach between multiple communication channels. Omnichannel recognizes that consumers use any number of channels to connect with a brand, and the brand obliges that concept by providing a seamless experience regardless of the medium.
Integration and Timing
Every successful multichannel marketing plan depends on how to integrate the channels. The industry calls it the integration challenge, and most marketers experience it. For example, if your brand has a digital marketing plan in play, there is the danger of executing that plan in a silo. Implementing the same program across all channels may seem easy, but that may not generate the desired results. Conversely, it would be best if you utilized that digital marketing plan across a myriad of communication channels with the goal of marketing to targets regardless of the channel the consumer uses.
To be effective and efficient, multichannel marketing should publish campaigns that range across multiple channels, speaking directly to the customer's needs. However, marketers should create these campaigns to align with the dimensional parameters related to each channel. In other words, if a social media aspect of the campaign is using Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, then each piece of digital collateral will need to be created to optimize each channel's dimensions.
That said, the customer or consumer still controls the purchasing process. By default, this is why most marketers and brands, methods default to the "always on" mentality. However, multichannel marketing offers customers and prospects a choice by providing inbound or outbound channels for responses.
Effective tracking and converting leads to sales is the overarching goal. Organizations that employ effective, integrated multichannel marketing strategies are more successful, sustain qualified lead numbers, and optimize conversion rates throughout the customer lifecycle. The most essential and best practice multichannel marketing strategies are built to continually inform, engage, nurture and retarget customers and prospects with the intent of increasing sales and the ROI.
Include This in the Multichannel Marketing Plan
A multichannel marketing plan should include the following for starters:
Creating Detailed Customer Profiles known as Buyer Personas matched to relevant marketing channels
Marketing tactics that utilize content marketing for inbound
The manner by which multichannel results can be measured for engagement, exclusion, and overall effectiveness
The strategic objectives for both customer retention and acquisition
Identify which integrated marketing channels will be utilized across devices and those platforms best suited to attract and convert sales.
Knowing which channels produce the most sales will aid in creating an efficient strategy, which will increase ROI. Also, it is wise to understand that consumers move from channel to channel rather rapidly in today's instant gratification society. Therefore, plan to use a measurement tool to analyze the data in real-time. Measuring more than once will help to avoid wasting resources on less productive channels.
Customer Segments and Intermediary Maps
Customer segments and Intermediary Maps for Search, Media Sites, and Destination Sites represent a best practice strategy that will help align the brand and its offering(s) to the customer buyer personas. Customer Segments and Intermediary Maps can range as follows:
Divergent customer segmentation outlining specific requirements
Creation of customer buyer personas defining targeted audiences
New customer versus existing customer profiles
Customers that are web-centric versus those that are more traditional
Demographic and psychographic segments
Search intermediaries deal with the web, SEO, and divergent search channels. That said, the search destinations could contain the following:
Yahoo! Live Ask
Other search networks
Vertical search engines
Intermediaries Media Sites
Intermediaries can create and entail various flows among and between them. The most likely list includes the following types:
Horizontal portals, including mainstream media
Niche media sites
Social network channels
Super-affiliates and aggregators
Blogs and small-affiliates
Brands and marketers scout for consumers on destination sites. These are sites where consumers land to engage, review competitors, or make that final purchase decision. Those destination sites most likely contain the following types:
Company Sites - Online Value Propositions
Competitor Sites - Online Value Propositions
Indirect Competitor Sites - Online Value Propositions
Applying Situation Analysis, Objectives, Strategy, and Tactics
Multichannel or Omnichannel marketing requires a framework containing essential planning elements while serving as the preferred framework for all marketing, including traditional and digital within the organization's business structure. Having this framework in place is not only a time-saver but provides a more straightforward window for analyzing and confirming the significant objectives for any marketing campaign.
The situation analysis provides a snapshot of where the business is at any given time. Multichannel marketers can use the following points:
Is our marketing being measured accurately with data analytics?
Identify the type of prospects and buyer personas that you reach online
Analyze what the competition is doing
Identify what is working for the competitors
Determine if you are meeting your objectives. If the objectives are not met, how should the campaign perform, and what should you do? Multichannel marketers should use the following points:
Define the growth forecast and revisit often
Revisit the top-level strategic goals, such as Sell, Serve, Speak, Save and Sizzle. Timelines make all the difference. Build particular lead and sales forecasts to fit each channel—this roadmap can help reach the planned target goal.
The strategy is the basis for how the brand arrives at its stated goals. The strategic process also serves as a summation or directive regarding how to fulfill all objectives. Typically this represents the shortest segment of the plan. However, it is the most critical, as it can also direct how to implement various tactics. Strategy questions can start with the following:
Which channels should be the primary focus?
How will leads and targets be realized?
What is the choice for positioning?
Which segments will you target, and what are the propositions for each target segmentation?
What strategic communication messaging will be applied for customer acquisition, retention, and conversion?
As many of you know, tactics are the actionable items under the primary strategy. For example, communication mix, channel mix, and the marketing mix are tactical tools. Campaign timelines point to when and where a tactic will happen.
Creating and planning an effective multichannel marketing campaign takes time to prepare. However, once the framework is in place, executing a multichannel marketing campaign becomes less tedious. It also provides a mechanism to analyze and make any necessary adjustments to realize better leads, higher sales, and a more substantial ROI. Thanks for reading "How to Create Effective Multichannel Results!"
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