Like many terms in business, multichannel marketing can get very confusing very quickly, but it’s actually quite simple to define.
If you work in tech long enough, you’re likely to have come across the dreaded question, “Okay, but what exactly do you do?” While I can’t supply an answer for that, I do have an answer for the question, “What is multichannel marketing?”
Simple talk: A multichannel marketing definition
At its most fundamental level, multichannel marketing integrates traditional and digital marketing channels that customers use to engage with your company.
Whether via email, app, social, website, television, radio, print media, billboards, or in-store, multichannel marketing incorporates a unified strategy across channels to reach the best target audience. The goal, of course, is to drive engagements that increase business, increase revenue, and increase loyal customers.
The benefits and challenges of multichannel marketing
Not only does multichannel marketing increase your reach to potential customers with a consistent brand message, it orchestrates a plethora of customer choices, making it easier for them to purchase when, how, and where they want.
Along with opportunity, successfully fitting the pieces together presents great challenges. Creating consistent customer experiences that are seamless and enjoyable requires more than simply flooding the airwaves and networks with more information.
Big lights will inspire you: How to develop a multichannel strategy
Now that you’ve got a definition of multichannel marketing, how do you put together a successful multichannel marketing strategy? This answer is a bit more complex, but here are some important aspects:
1.) You’ll need to integrate, align, and orchestrate various functions within your organization, especially across marketing and sales.
2.) The goal is to gain deeper insight into your customer – what they want, need, and value. To understand their intent and sentiment, be sure you’re designing the customer journey from the inside out – don’t assume your customer knows what you do.
3.) Design, create, and deliver personalized customer experiences that are consistent across all channels. Customers are looking for personalized information that adds value; whether it saves them time, provides new information on “how-to,” makes things easier, or rewards them for being a customer. These things will get your customer’s attention.
4.) Manage teams, processes, data, and campaigns with an integrated digital platform, or a multichannel marketing hub (MMH).
Important MMH features and functions also include the capability for segmentation informed by advanced analytics, like customer-level data and analysis, predictive and journey analytics modeling, and customer profile management. These functions fuel the data-driven design and creation of campaigns and messaging, as well as the management of campaign execution and workflow.
Get it together, Karen: Integrating multichannel marketing and business solutions
Integrating your multichannel platform with your existing business solutions is another essential element of strong multichannel marketing because it provides a single 360 view of the customer.
These deep insights into how your customers behave across channels will help you successfully reach the right customer, at the right time, with the right message, on the right channel.
Along with creating a 360 view of the customer, you need to maintain those deep insights as your customer changes, day-to-day, and even minute-to-minute. Advanced analytics and customer-level data and analysis, along with predictive and journey analytics are key to the optimization of campaign messaging, design, and execution.
Gathering large amounts of data is only useful if you’re able to read the story it tells, make meaning out of it, and spin it into growth and increased revenue. Understanding what the customer wants, needs, and values will give you new opportunities via effective, personalized multichannel marketing strategies.
It’s all about the CX, and the CX is about all of it
Creating great and consistent customer experiences across all channels has become one of the great differentiators for competitive businesses today, with the caveat being that successful design and execution is far more challenging to achieve and sustain.
To align executive vision and organizational functions, obtain and implement technology, design, execute, and manage an ambitious multichannel marketing campaign, while creating a consistent and positive CX across channels is challenging. Then remember that you’ll need to be measuring, learning, and optimizing along the way – and great tech can help you do it.