May 2, 2023
7 min read
Nowadays, your prospective customer is most likely in two places (probably more) at once. With the rise of the Internet and mobile devices, your potential customers have more choices than ever to gather information, research, and explore their options. This means you’re constantly battling with your competitors and other outside noise for your prospect’s attention.
You should be aware of every place your customers like to hang out and be able to meet them there. Simply put, if you’re not where they are, you’ve already lost. Taking a multi-channel approach allows you to reach more of your potential customers and engage with them more frequently.
Multi-channel marketing is important because it allows you to reach your target audience through multiple communication channels, increasing the chance that you get in front of them, make an impact, and influence their behavior.
Compared to single-channel, multi-channel marketing allows you to expand your reach to customers who might be on multiple or completely different channels. Chances are, your customer is doing more than just scrolling through their Facebook feed. Instead, they are probably searching for products online and reading reviews, engaging with company pages on social media, visiting store locations, signing up for email promotions, and quite possibly, more. Sticking with one channel will only lead you to missed opportunities.
For example, when launching a new product, you might create a page on your website, tweet about it on social media, and send an email promotion. All of these channels are providing the same message, but acting independently. A consumer visiting your Twitter page will only see your tweet about the new product, and it will end there unless they seek out more information on your website.
Research shows that customers like to interact with multiple channels during their buyer’s journey to ensure they’re making the right decision. A study conducted by Harvard Business Review found that 73% of shoppers use multiple channels during their shopping journey.
The fact is, one channel won’t contain all of your target audience. That’s why you shouldn’t rely on one to generate all of your leads. On top of that, technology has made us subject to information overload, making it even harder to get and keep your customer’s attention in the crowded marketplace. One channel just isn’t enough. Your prospect can’t make a purchase if they don’t even know who you are.
Since a simple multi-channel approach typically includes one message across all channels, it can be more straightforward and cost-effective than an omni-channel approach, which we will discuss in the next section.
Here’s a metaphor to pull this together: If you’re fishing, do you think you have a better chance at catching more fish using just one net in the middle of the pond, or multiple nets spread across the pond?
Whereas multi-channel marketing is the use of multiple channels to reach your prospective customers, omni-channel marketing takes it a step further. Omni-channel marketing also uses multiple channels, but in addition, creates a seamless customer experience by integrating all channels.
Omni-channel marketing removes the barriers put up by individually operated channels, and focuses on giving the customer a seamless experience across all channels, while delivering a consistent brand and message. In turn, all of your channels work together to assist your prospect through their buyer’s journey and their way down the marketing funnel. Omni-channel marketing also allows you to retarget customers that might have shown interest, but have not made a purchasing decision yet.
In the past, a simple newspaper advertisement might have sufficed, but with the change in consumer behavior due to digital technology, customers now want a more personalized experience when they interact with your business. An omni-channel presence allows you to give them a targeted message through multiple channels to differentiate yourself from the competition, provide you with more data to understand your customer, and optimize your marketing efforts moving forward.
Here’s an example of an omni-channel approach. You go to a website to browse for shirts, put a shirt in your cart, and then leave the site. Normally, nothing would happen after that. But, in an omni-channel approach, you would receive an email reminding you of the shirt left in your cart and then get retargeted advertisements. This will remind you of your purchase intent and serve as another touchpoint in your buyer’s journey.
Selling is not as easy as it used to be. Consumers want a personalized, convenient, easy, and memorable purchasing experience. And, they only want to buy from companies they trust. That fixated advertisement on page five of the newspaper doesn’t go nearly as far as it used to. By taking an omni-channel approach to marketing, you can build trust, increase engagement and reach, and give your customer a unique experience. In turn, you gain loyal customers and generate more leads and revenue for your business.
At BlueByrd, we always say that the first steps in developing your company’s marketing strategy is to determine who you’re talking to, what keeps them up at night, and how you can solve their problem better than anyone else. The first part is all about determining who your target audience is, and includes figuring out what channels they use.
If you’re spending time and money on marketing channels your prospective customers don’t use, you might as well not be marketing at all. When selecting channels, there are a few steps you must take and some questions you should ask yourself.
Define your audience. Build very specific buyer personas and identify the channels they are most likely to use. Who are they? What are their preferences? What do they need? What problems keep them up at night? Where can you find them online and offline?
Determine your goals. Are you trying to raise brand awareness? Generate leads? Drive traffic to your website? Different channels are more effective than others when trying to achieve your goals.
Research channels. Decide which channels will work based on your budget and situation. How much does it cost? What’s the reach? How long will the content/deliverables take to produce?
Check out your competitors. This could be a chance for you to differentiate yourself and get a competitive edge. What channels are your competitors using? How are they using them? Are there channels they aren’t using that could benefit your business?
After deciding on your marketing channels and implementing your strategy, the work doesn’t stop. You should continually measure, check-in, and adjust your plan. Don’t get caught up going through the motions and pushing out content on the same channels month-after-month without reflecting on the results of your efforts.
Using KPIs like engagement rates, click-through rates, impressions, overall reach, and conversion rates can help you adjust your strategy and figure out what’s working and what isn’t. Which channels are generating the most leads? More importantly, which ones are generating quality leads? Keeping an eye on your KPIs will help you optimize your marketing efforts, spend more efficiently, and give you a better chance at turning prospects into customers.
Marketing channels and the way people consume information has changed throughout the years. Futurist Ray Kurzweil coined The Law of Accelerating Returns, which states that the fundamental measures of information technology follow predictable and exponential trajectories.
According to ZME Science, an iPhone 6 could theoretically be used to guide 120,000,000 Apollo-era spacecraft to the moon at the same time. Significant technological strides have changed life as we know it and are bound to affect everything – the way we reach people included. I mean, what number iPhone are we on now?
The Marketing Museum says that the first advertising practices were found in Ancient Mesopotamia in 3,000 BC. Mass production of printed advertising didn’t happen until 1450, and it took until the 17th century for the first newspaper advertisements to appear. If we fast forward to more recent history, notably the 1990s, SEO, marketing automation, SEM, the Internet, and social media all gained widespread attention. And, after surviving the Y2K Bug, we’ve seen even more growth.
Buckle up and get ready. More channels are on the way!
A multi-channel marketing approach can work wonders to increase your brand awareness and engagement. An omni-channel approach can help you stand out from the crowd through a personalized experience. You may not be able to convert every prospective customer that comes across your brand, but these two approaches give you the best opportunity to get in front of them to convert them from a prospect to a customer. If you don’t have the manpower or the know-how to implement a multi-channel or omni-channel marketing approach, let us know. We can set you up with a Fractional CMO or an outsourced marcom team that can help take your business to the next level by reaching your customers – no matter where they are.
Despite the unpredictability of marketing, there are several things that businesses can do to increase their chances of success. Here are some tips that will help you navigate the uncertainty of marketing.
The launch of ChatGPT and development of similar platforms has changed the face of marketing, and content creation may never be the same. Reluctance to accept the potential of ChatGPT and its future iterations may leave some marketers behind, but embracing it also places us in the position of being guides for ethical and legal implications related to its use.
Positioning outlines why your product is unique in comparison to market alternatives, and messaging describes to your target segments what you’ll do to deliver on the promises made in your positioning statement. It is a powerful one-two punch, and you need to be able to communicate yours before you start spending money on tactics.
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