Multichannel marketing is a brand’s ability to connect, convert, and service its customers and leads across these channels. It gives the customer absolute freedom in interacting with the brand.
I can buy from the brand’s physical store, request a return on Facebook, and coordinate the refund with the CS team by email. Multichannel consumption is what the customer wants, and multichannel marketing is how businesses should fulfill these wants.
Let’s look at how you can create a multichannel marketing strategy that works.
Essential elements of multichannel marketing
The goal of multi-channel marketing is to stay connected with customers as they surf across different channels during the day. For online channels, you need visibility across search engines, social networks, email, and blogs, to name a few. Offline channels need your presence through physical stores, print, TV, and radio campaigns.
However, presence alone won’t be sufficient. You will need to address customer needs across different areas to engage and convert your audience. The way you manage these areas becomes vital as you push towards a multichannel presence. Your online properties are both marketing and sales channels, and keeping track of visitor traffic is just as important as tracking your sales figures.
- Brand Reach: The more channels you’re present on, the greater the visibility of your brand. Greater visibility helps in creating brand awareness. Your range of channels should give you maximum visibility and awareness within your audience.
- Message: The success of your multi-channel marketing efforts depends on how relevant your message is to your audience and how well it resonates with your target customer.
- Consistency: Another critical aspect of multi-channel marketing is giving the customer similar messaging across channels to ensure a consistent brand experience.
- Engagement: If your content focuses solely on selling, your audience will quickly lose interest in your brand. Social media, in particular, requires a high level of engagement to build an audience.
The four cornerstones of multichannel marketing are building awareness, delivering consistent messaging, providing a seamless experience, and building engagement with your audience.
1. Identify your customers
Start by identifying your customers and creating buyer personas for each segment of your audience. For example, a fitness brand catering to customers ranging from Gen Z to the baby boomers will need different approaches as its customers have a wide variety of needs.
Hence, segment the broad audience into smaller, more cohesive segments—Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X—and create separate personas for each segment. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer’s demographic and behavioral characteristics. Look at the example shown below:
Alex’s buyer persona represents older millennials and tells us about their demographic details like their income levels, education level, and income levels. It also tells us about their interests and behavioral patterns. The customer persona tells us that customers like Alex are into fitness and their purchase decisions are value-driven by discounts and sales.
A buyer persona is also helpful while using sales funnel tools to track the buyer’s journey. It can help you figure out the content that speaks to the customer at each stage of the funnel.
The more details you pack into your persona, the more you can focus your marketing message to try and trigger a purchase with Alex. Ideally, you will need to tap into multiple resources to build the personas. These could range from customer focus groups, your CRM data, published industry data, and Google Analytics of your online store.
2. Select the channels used by your audience
Multichannel marketing doesn’t imply that you need to be present on every conceivable channel. Just focus on the ones your customers use, as highlighted in the personas.
If you target the late boomers active on social media, you need to be present on Facebook rather than Instagram.
Of course, you would need to use Instagram for millennials and the GenZ as they tend to be active and engaged on this platform. Just make sure you gain more followers on Instagram so you can reach more people.
The channels you use will also change as you grow and acquire new customers. A digital store is a must-have today, even if the bulk of your sales come from physical stores. Evaluate if you want online sales to be exclusive to your brand store or if you need to list yourself on marketplace platforms like Amazon as well.
3. Create engaging content and a seamless experience
To effectively engage customers and boost sales through your digital channels, your eCommerce or SaaS content should be tailored to suit each customer segment while maintaining a distinct style for each platform. The ultimate goal of your content strategy should be to foster a unified brand identity that provides a seamless experience to customers across all touchpoints.
Fashion retailer, Forever 21 recently ran a Black History Month campaign across all its marketing channels. Here’s a look at their website:
The messaging extended to the physical stores for a seamless and cohesive message.
Your messaging should be consistent across all channels. However, that does not mean that your content should be the same for each channel. A channel like Instagram would require more visual content, while your Facebook page would allow for a combination of visual and text-based content. Tailor your content for each channel.However, your content cannot afford to focus heavily on sales.
Ensure you respond to every comment, both positive and negative. By creating non-sales content and responding to comments, you engage with your customers and involve them in the conversation, resulting in higher sales.
4. Invest in retargeting
Let’s say a customer checks one of your products and maybe even adds it to the cart before bouncing away. Retargeting that customer enables you to show the same product to them on multiple other platforms they browse. Retargeting follows your customer and enables you to engage them with unique messaging, like offering them a special purchase discount.
We live in a customer-first world, and if the customer surfs and consumes through multiple channels, we also need to service the customer through multiple channels. Retargeting allows you to keep your brand at the top of the customer’s mind, regardless of the channel they’re currently using.
5. Bring your data to one platform
For best results on your multichannel marketing strategy, you need to track all your campaigns. That means bringing all your campaigns to one platform so that you can generate and interpret analytic results.
Tools such as Improvado and Zoho can help you here.
Improvado has dashboard templates you can use if you have no time to create one. The tool enables you to track data across social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn and across other marketing channels. All in all, the platform has over 500 integrations. It also automates reporting, and can show you data at many granular dimensions, from the campaign level to the ad and keyword levels.
With Zoho, you can build your own dashboard with a drag-and-drop editor. You can also choose the best visualization type for your reports. Choose among pie charts, maps, and pivot tables to visualize your data.
Dashboards don’t just keep you from manually switching between channels. They can also give you analytics you can use to make informed marketing decisions.
Consumer consumption today is a mix of physical and digital interactions. Multichannel marketing is catching them wherever they may happen to be. However, just a brand presence on a channel is not sufficient. Multichannel marketing is all identifying, segmenting, and understanding the audience as it is about engaging and converting the segments.
The success of multichannel marketing depends on your ability to deliver personalized messages to diverse audiences on different channels. You also need to maintain your brand voice and promoting your products. That is how granular and refined multi or omnichannel marketing has become.
Use the five tips discussed above to create a multichannel marketing strategy that works.