Making Multi-Channel Marketing a Reality

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Today’s marketing teams have more channel options than ever to reach their target consumer. With smartphones and tablets, social media, and email, it is possible to tailor a message that will make the most impact on the intended audience using a number of channels that each offer different advantages. 

Social Media Marketing

This type of marketing facilitates mutual interaction between the business and the consumer. Businesses are no longer talking at consumers, they are welcoming a dialogue. In fact, customers are even able to ask a brand a specific question, complain, or even proclaim their love for the brand.  

In this case, a customer can feel as though they are being heard, and receive a direct response tailored to a specific question in a timely manner. 

If the interaction is positive, the business benefits from the free publicity associated with that person’s followers noticing the tweet, and seeing the response. If the message is negative, such as a customer complaining about a customer service situation, the business is able to redeem themselves by rectifying the situation right then and there. 

Some retailers, like Doritos, have even encouraged fans of their brand to make their own ads, and offer the chance for the best idea to be selected to run nationally in addition to cash prizes. 

By transferring this kind of thing to the customers, they are creating the opportunity for the message to go viral. For a marketing message to go viral due to the customer’s being so pleased with the content is truly the ideal representation of how social media marketing can propel a brand into success. 

Additionally, with social media, the followers and fans of a business have self-identified as the target consumers. Accordingly, the business is able to gather invaluable data and marketing demographic information about who their customer is, and how they are reacting to the messages that are published. 

Customer “likes,” “retweets,” “follows,” and conversations with each other about businesses all act as marketing metrics that can provide critical feedback as to the effectiveness of a marketing campaign. Before the advent of social media marketing, identifying who to target your brand’s message to was a complicated, long, and expensive task. Today, the customers do a bulk of that work for you, and even provide you a direct channel through which to reach them.

To make social media marketing a reality for your business, you must ensure that you have promotional tools that can lead to positive interactions between your social media accounts and your customers. Make the messages short, and easy to share, and monitor your accounts to ensure the constant positive interaction with your customers.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile phone usage has truly come to transform eCommerce. In order for a marketing message to be effective on this channel, the functionality and design must be optimized for a phone’s capabilities. 

Make it work correctly

Accordingly, to make your mobile marketing campaign successful, you are going to want to ensure that your load times are fast, that the screen layout is tailored to a screen that is only a few inches big, and that the links associated with that advertisement are going to mobile sites. 

For example, you are not going to want your mobile site to display links to pages that require a flash player, or other form of media that most mobile phones cannot accommodate. 

By optimizing your message to cater to the mobile phone channel, you are ensuring that your customer’s phones will be able to successfully load and communicate the message you have crafted. 

Leverage the Attention they Demand from the User

Additionally, because mobile phones are so important in the everyday life of a large part of the population, marketers can take advantage of the constant attention these devices get from their target customers.

One way to leverage the attention these devices get it to engage the customer’s via text message. This is a great strategy to include because of the fact that the message is sent directly to the phone, and there is no spam filter or other forms of interference in the way of conveying the message. 

The text messages from the retailers are on the same screen as text messages from friends and family, and therefore, get the attention in the same way. 

Another way you can leverage the attention is to utilize beacons which will trigger a text message or other alert to customers who are in the vicinity of a store, and perhaps entice them to stop by and shop. Customers who may not have even been aware of a store location will them be notified of the store, and perhaps a potential sale opportunity within that alert.

Overall, marketing messages sent via mobile are much more difficult for a customer to ignore, or miss altogether as compared to other channels such as email and ads on the web. It is critical that your business utilize the mobile channel as a part of their strategy. 

To make mobile marketing a reality for your channel you should be sure that you have carefully optimized the message, and that you are getting the customer’s attention in ways that will lead to sales.

Email Marketing

Customers that are fans of your business may opt in to receiving promotional emails from your business. This is another example of a group of customers self-identifying as interested parties who are asking to be marketed to. 

To make your email marketing a successful reality your business should look to ensure that your message is compelling, that it is not being put through a spam filter, and that it is conveying the type of message the customers want. 

Sending too many emails, is something that may trigger a spam filter to hide the message. Sending emails that do not interest the customer may make the customer unsubscribe from receiving communications altogether. This channel is critical in facilitating web traffic, so to make it a reality, your business can include messages that will directly lead to a transaction, such as a coupon or an abandoned cart recovery email. 

Additionally, email marketing can be made to be relatively low maintenance.  With the right eCommerce platform, you can automate the associated workflow that goes into deciding when to email, what kind of email to send, and how often the email marketing should be done. 

For example, when a customer assembles a cart, but leaves the site before purchasing anything, you could implement trigger email that sends that customer a reminder email. Or, on a customer’s birthday you may wish to send them a coupon as a birthday gift.  That may just be the catalyst to a sale, and the oversight/manpower necessary to do this was minimal. 

In this case, your platform can do the hard work for you, while your ROI will be maximized.

In-Store Marketing

The marketing done online and via mobile can be creatively supplemented with in-store marketing efforts.

By drawing customers into a store, you are allowing your business to do several things. First, you are creating an opportunity to upsell the customers. Employees and sales associates can recognize accompanying products to what the customer is buying and be made aware of a newer model that might work better for their needs. 

Second, they can be exposed to other products they may not have noticed, especially if you strategically place products, or even play videos of how they work and what they do. You can make your products market themselves by making them noticeable, and drawing attention to them. 

Last, you can obtain important customer information that will allow customers to be able to be signed up for a mailing list, or text message alerts, and be made aware of special in-store events. 

The most important way to make this a reality for you marketing strategy is to ensure that you have a well-trained and knowledgeable sales staff that are aware of their role in the marketing program. 

Conclusion

Having a marketing strategy that incorporates multiple channels is one of the most important ways your business can ensure that they are effectively reaching their audience. 

As mobile phone usage begins to eclipse desktop, you can be sure that it will essentially be a requirement to incorporate a mobile channel into your marketing arsenal. 

Email marketing messages are an excellent and easy way to reach your customers and increase conversion rates when you are able to automate the process to send relevant and useful content to customers who are signed up to receive them. 

In-store opportunities can also be vital in ensuring that you are presenting your customers with marketing messages that will fulfill their purpose to sell your products. It is hard to replace the power for face-to-face communication and physical-handling of products to encourage a customer to purchase. By grabbing the attention of a person in real life, your sales team can cater the message to the individual, and provide the customer with the information they need shop with you.

Overall, multi-channel marketing can and should be a reality for your business.

 


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