Multi-channel marketing, also known as cross-channel marketing, is the process of interacting with customers using a combination of indirect and direct marketing channels. Multi-channel marketing combines online and offline channels such as direct mail, mobile and social platforms, in-store and websites.
To have a successful multi-channel marketing strategy, you need to be thinking about the range of online and offline channels that your customers are using. We've shared 4 steps that are key to running and managing effective and results-driving multi-channel marketing campaigns.
The key starting point for successful management of your multi-channel marketing efforts is getting your customer data in working order.
Having accurate customer data is essential to delivering a superior customer experience. Without it, organisations struggle to understand the behaviour of their customers, such as what makes them tick and how they interact with their brand. Despite the importance of having accurate and clean customer data platforms, many organisations often end up buying expensive marketing tools before thinking about tidying up their databases.
So, the first action you need to perform is to do a thorough health check of your customer data platform.
Start by removing any customer details that are no longer useful and retain only the most business-relevant data points - especially the ones relating to customer buying behaviours, such as repeat purchase rates, conversions, and channel preferences. Make sure your data is clean enough to give you a clear and up-to-date view of who your customers are – and how you can engage with them efficiently.
The next step is to ensure that everyone across your company has access to that data. If any business-critical information is trapped in silos, your sales and marketing efforts will work against each other.
Ideally, the marketing function should sit horizontally across the business. Everyone, regardless of actual role, needs to make sure that the company as a whole is delivering a seamless experience for customers to achieve great results and customer satisfaction.
Creating customer segments helps to enable marketers to know your audience better and deliver the right marketing message to them more effectively. Customer segmentation divides your customer-base into groups that share certain characteristics related to age or gender and, more importantly, buying habits, behaviour and responsiveness. In turn, this helps your organisation to target your audience more successfully at each stage of the marketing funnel.
What's more, segmentation captures behavioural indicators that determine various propensities, such as how likely a customer is to complete an online form or respond to an offer via email.
Once your database has been segmented, you can identify the different personas in your audience and work out who the best prospects are to engage with. That way you can focus your resources on targeting the most lucrative opportunities with relevant, personalised marketing communications.
Once you've profiled and segmented your customers, you need to work out which marketing channels will be best to target each group for your marketing campaigns.
It's important to note that to be successful at multi-channel marketing, you don't have to feel pressured to utilise every marketing channel. Instead, effective multi-channel marketing focuses on only targeting the multiple channels that your customers are using, together with where it makes sense for your business to be.
For instance, some channels simply won't factor into your customers' experience. WhatsApp, for example, may not the best way to target an audience of people over the age of 65, whilst 18-25 year olds may prefer to communicate via this channel.
Given the rate at which new channels are launching, delivering a consistent message to the right people, at the right time, via the right channels, can be a challenge. Some organisations have responded by appointing a customer experience team who can oversee specific channels, such as email, mobile and social. This is definitely something you could consider as you define and evaluate your multi-channel marketing strategy.
Choosing the right type of technology is crucial to support your multi-channel marketing campaigns. But, there is a confusingly wide range of options to choose from.
Don't try to procure every possible piece of software that promises the earth. You'll only succeed at depleting your marketing budget and delivering an inconsistent and disparate customer experience. Customer retention and customer loyalty are both so important to organisations, so choosing the right marketing technology for your multi-channel efforts is of paramount importance.
Also, it's important to get your whole team on-board with a superior and highly accessible marketing software. Marketing automation solutions like Apteco, Acoustic, and Adobe Campaign, have the capabilities to orchestrate and automate complex multi-channel marketing campaigns.
When choosing the right multi-channel marketing platform for your business, it may be best to contact experts to help you, so that you can get it right first time and avoid any unnecessary wastage of budget and time. At DCX, we are marketing technology experts that can advise you on the best technology solutions for your business' needs using our vast knowledge of the technological landscape.
At DCX, we provide innovative and creative solutions to help organisations deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right audience. We have worked with a variety of businesses across different sectors, just take a look at our digital transformation case study examples so you can see how we've helped other businesses do business, better.
Keen to know how we can help you with the marketing activation of your multi-channel campaign strategy? Our consultants would love to have a chat - just get in touch.