Multi-channel marketing sounds fancy, but it’s essentially just ‘interaction with prospects through various platforms.’ A nicer way to put that might be ‘sharing your story through multiple, effective mediums.’
This is something we do every day as human beings. We are naturally multi-channel communicators. When we interact, we use body language, gestures, intonations, and facial expressions to supplement words in order to get our point across. We tailor our style and delivery depending on the audience. Why should our marketing be any different?
Play to Preferences
Your audience is not a homogenous cluster of robots and should not be treated as such. We shop, browse, read, watch, listen, and job hunt in our own way. We all have communication and technology preferences. Ergo it’s not good enough to blast out the same message to everybody – you need different messaging for different channels.
If your goal is to create conversion-based campaigns that connect with the unique individuals who make up your audience, it’s important to segment your communiques according to who you’re addressing.
Patience and Persistence
Multi-channel marketing is a great way to cater to your prospects’ messaging preferences, but it’s also about repetition. Hearing the same message multiple times helps it sink in. On average, it takes 10 touchpoints to convert a prospect.
Persistence and patience – plus pleasing prospect preferences – are paramount. (Pound the podium for this powerful point, please.)
How Do You Choose Channels?
When conducting research on our prospects’ preferences, we found that when contractors were searching for equipment, 22% used search engines, 20% used shoppers, and 15% used equipmentworld.com. This is the sort of information that helps us determine how to meet people where they are.
When determining which channels you want to pursue, you’ll want to consider:
- Demographic research – Who exactly are you trying to reach? What channels do they use? How do they use them?
- Defined goals – Start with broad goals like brand awareness, lead generation, and online sales. And then further define these goals…
– Form conversions?
– Content downloads?
– Phone calls?
- Channel testing – Demographic preferences shift. Stay ahead by testing new channels and experimenting with different mediums (Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram, phone calls, email, etc.).
- Channel metrics – Are you tracking your communications and results? Make sure you have defined metrics you can measure. Campaign data reveals the real story and gives you a blueprint for moving forward!
Also ask yourself these questions:
- What is your budget?
- What assets do you have?
- Which channel converts the fastest?
- Which channel has the lowest cost per conversion?
So How Do You Use Multiple Channels Effectively?
Excellent question! Here are a few (OK, 15) tips:
- Start with the end in mind.
- Clearly define your definition of a ‘conversion.’
- Measure every solution by the metric(s) you decide upon.
- Focus every solution toward your ‘win,’ or whatever it is you are trying to achieve.
- Make sure you’re consistent across channels so you don’t dilute your brand or confuse people.
- Choose measureable and actionable solutions. Always measure $ and %!
- Demand consistent and accurate reporting.
- Adjust your program as you go to make sure you stay on top of trends. Don’t waste time on channel loyalties!
- Compare and contrast your messaging with A/B testing.
- Segment each traffic source.
- Take time to find and pursue ‘easy wins’ within a channel.
- Drive quick success with transactional channels.
- Choose channels that can be optimized whenever possible, so you can measure, adjust and hone as you go.
- Choose channels that drive response in a way that your organization can utilize.
- Choose channels that work together toward your specific goal.
The Path to Success
All of this, of course, is about paving a path to success. It’s not about communicating on different platforms just for the sake of visibility or ‘getting the word out there.’ Multi-channel marketing is useless if there is no overall strategy, goal, or tracking of results. It’s just wasted effort and noise into the void.
But, when done right, multi-channel marketing can make a huge difference in your bottom line.
Ultimately it’s not about you, your company, or your brand, it’s about meeting your prospects on their turf, on their terms. The goal is to communicate in a way that fosters personal connections, exemplary service, and genuine appreciation. That is the essence of multi-channel marketing, and the secret to reaching more individuals in your audience.