Multi-Channel marketing in a digitally-driven world is often the most effective way to engage, nurture and convert customers. The data shows both marketers’ gaining confidence in a multi-channel approach and demonstrating strong improvements in marketing program results:
- 86% Marketing Pros agree that an integrated marketing strategy is crucial to success*
- 60% of Mature Marketers report multichannel strategies directly result in revenue increases of more than 10%*
- Content published on 2 or 3 channels experiences a 24% increase in engagement**
- On average, a 20%+ increase in reach with the same or less media investment***
Discovering and nurturing prospects and building an audience requires the right combination and integration of the channels your target customer uses or frequents, such as their mobile device, social network, email, search via the web, and your web site(s). For most marketers, the debate and consternation is not should I or shouldn’t I use multi-channel. Rather, how do I make it a standard practice?
Having developed thousands of marketing campaigns and programs, I have learned it starts with nailing the essentials before you get started. The essentials for multi-channel marketing all start with building a mindset and methodology organized around YOUR CUSTOMER(s), and then using data and tools to model and define success via metrics. Here are my 3 essentials:
- Talent: Break down organizational barriers, traditional single-channel roles and tap into skills and knowledge across your team. Think integrated. No silos!
- Techniques: Develop a repeatable, data-driven methodology that includes understanding customer profiles, their buyer journey and how to engage using your story and content.
- Technology: Use tools to automate, measure and manage the process, eliminating bandwidth and time-intensive manual tasks so you can focus on strategy, optimization and acting on insights from data.
Let’s dive into the essentials for multi-channel marketing and break them down a bit more.
It is critical to break out of hierarchal, silo’d organizational structures (one person handles social, one handles search, one handles lead gen, etc.). This mindset is a recipe for disaster and a missed opportunity. If your organization functions like this, rally your team and break out of these constricting silos, whether it is your “job” or not.
You also have to evolve your own skills and mindset. “Old school” can be fun if you are reminiscing about your favorite music or classic movies, but it won’t help you stand out and deliver results in multi-channel marketing. The chart below is inspiration for skills to use to get the best results from multi-touch, multi-channel marketing.
Developing a simple 3-step process (3 is popular in the multi-channel world) will help you stay focused on your customer and use channels and sources they frequent. Just as importantly, it will allow you to use data to align your story with your target customer’s needs, tap into behavioral and other data to nurture and personalize the experience, and be able to use analytics to track and measure your success. I call this “BIG IDEA MEETS BIG DATA”.
The 3 steps include:
1) Define and Profile Your Ideal Customer: This is even more critical when most of us are marketing in a digital world, where both consumers and business professionals are always-on, always connected and engage on their terms, not yours.
2) Map out their information or buyer journey: What information? What sources? How do they like to be communicated with?
3) Align Your Story and Value to Your Target Customers’ Journey: Break up your story, content and offers to align with how they consume info and make decisions on a purchase.
The resulting road map will allow you to better select the optimal channels and touch points to deliver your content/message/offer, all delivering pieces of your story and value to your target customer.
Contrary to what your ad tech sales pro tells you, tech alone is not the silver bullet for multi-channel marketing. However, deploying the right amount of technology and tools with progressive marketing techniques and skills is essential to success. These tools empower you to automate marketing processes, and eliminate time and resource-draining manual tasks. Tech should also be utilized to provide analytics and insights that help you manage, measure and guide marketing techniques and media investment. You want to spend a majority of your time on planning, strategy and optimizing the outcome, not compiling disparate data points into tracking spreadsheets and manually putting together your campaigns.
The ability to track, measure and optimize your multi-channel effort is critical to developing a repeatable multi-touch, multi-channel model. Return on marketing investment is enabled when you can close the loop by connecting your data and marketing systems – CRM, email automation, web site, search, etc. – to guide your efforts. But that’s another topic for another blog.
Following the essentials of multi-channel marketing will enhance your program results, advance your skills, and allow you to demonstrate more value to your company. And, your target customers will appreciate you and your brand much more too!
*Forrester’s “Multi-Channel Maturity Mandate”
**Stand Out Social Marketing, Michael Lewis
***Integrate Client Program data