Multi-channel marketing is nothing new. In the past, it meant linking newspaper and magazine ads, billboards, TV ads, store promotions, telemarketing and direct mail efforts. Eventually, the internet was added as a marketing channel — and along with it has come dozens of different digital channels from video marketing sites like YouTube and social media networks to company blogs and email. And don’t forget about the explosion of the mobile channel!
In the modern era of marketing, businesses can’t afford to miss out on the benefits of a robust multi-channel marketing strategy. According to SaS, multi-channel customers spend three to four times more than single-channel customers. Furthermore, Mashable reports that 72% of customers expect and prefer an integrated marketing approach that gives them a seamless experience, no matter where they’re trying to access information about your brand.
A new study by Experian shows that 89% of marketers have trouble with cross-channel marketing. They cite challenges like “poor data quality, the siloing of departments, the inability to link different technologies, and the lack of technical tools.” This all makes launching a multichannel marketing campaign sound much more difficult than it really is.
Here are five essentials to creating a multi-channel marketing strategy that yields results:
1. CRM Software
Before gathering everyone together at your first meeting, you’ll want to collect whatever information you have to guide your decision making. Buyer personas are necessary to craft an effective strategy that aids personalization and decreases abandonment. Hopefully by now you have ample information about your customers — demographics, tastes and preferences, purchasing history, wish list data, and most popular channels for sales.
As Entrepreneur Magazine points out, “A lot of startups miss out on marketing opportunities because they’re using third-party CRM systems that are out-of-sync with their needs rather than smart, efficient systems.” Investing in custom CRM software tailored to your specific interests helps your team pinpoint the precise data needed to follow up with customers and automate as much marketing as possible. If you’re not in a position to build your own CRM, Entrepreneur recommends using services from Infusionsoft or Salesforce to track and manage customer relations.
2. Written Objectives
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Image Courtesy of: www.SmartInsights.com
This infographic gives you a good starting basis for planning that initial meeting with key members of your organization. Before you can do anything, you’ll need a clear message, goals and focus. As the image summarizes, your meeting should cover:
- Where are we now?
- Where do we want to be?
- How can we get there?
- What do we need to get there?
- How do we measure performance?
The ideal meeting involves members of various departments who will all work together on the creative process. You might need IT, marketing, social media, management, c-suite, content creators and designers all on board for this meeting. A digital marketing consultant can help you run things and serve as a liaison between departments to ensure efficient communication and seamless integration.
Don’t just talk it out. The Content Marketing Institute finds that documented strategies are more effective than verbal strategies. So write down your strategy, assign responsibility, and plan your next meeting.
Once you have your plan, you’ll need to create compelling content for your campaigns. You don’t want to simply parrot the same exact content across every channel. Instead, you’ll use careful analysis to drive message creation. Think: right message, right time. As UK digital marketing agency Blue Glass points out, “The goal should be to create the best piece of content on a given subject and to promote it to a targeted and relevant audience.”
So the question becomes: What makes the best multi-channel marketing content? Your content should:
- Tie into business goals and SEO without appearing like an obvious sales pitch.
- Tell your brand story to a specific audience without being too long or too short.
- Influence sales by answering important buying decision questions.
- Appeals with insightful, creative, funny and helpful information.
- Build online authority and brand reputation with quotes, facts and links.
- Expand your audience by not only appealing to current customers, but creating awareness for prospects too.
Image Courtesy of: Marketingland.com
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There are countless ways to connect disparate digital marketing channels. Don’t forget to sync up your online marketing with your offline endeavors as well. Here are a few multi-channel marketing ideas to get you started:
– Add social sharing and “follow us” buttons to emails.
– Feature ebook downloads in your pay-per-click campaigns.
– Include social sharing buttons on all blog posts.
– Optimize blogs with SEO keywords to rank well in search engines.
– Create a hashtag for offline events to build hype.
– Add QR codes to print materials to link with mobile content.
– Include an online coupon code in your emails or direct mailings.
– Add a hashtag overlay during a TV commercial or program to move the discussion online.
– Use AdWords PPC ad extensions like the click-to-call function to integrate PPC and mobile activity.
5. Tracking Tools
Measuring the success of your campaigns is a MUST, since there are so many ways to approach multi-channel marketing. Brands need to track user behavior to determine where their money and focus is best invested. Services like TUNE and Mixpanel are helpful places to start gathering consumer data. Salesforce is a big name in multi-channel marketing campaign tracking. Our preferred marketing automation platform, Hatchbuck, has a robust set of tracking tools for sales and marketing. Of course, Google Analytics is a common starting point as well.
Bonus Tip: A good consultant can help you wade your way through the many options to find marketing tools that are the best fit for your particular needs. For help with your multi-channel marketing strategy, contact Mod Girl Marketing to learn how a personalized plan can take your business from “just chugging along” to “full speed ahead.”Tags: cross-channel marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, multi-channel, multichannel marketing