There are a myriad ways to reach your customers. But how will you choose the best ones to engage with them and close a sale? Multichannel marketing has become a firm favorite with marketers everywhere. In this article, we’ll discuss what you need to know about multichannel marketing in order to use the strategy effectively in 2022.
But first, let’s distinguish between multichannel and omnichannel marketing, two terms that are easy to mix up.
Multichannel is about providing more options for selling and we’ll be talking about this below. On the other hand, omnichannel is about integrating the channels you offer. This is in order to give the customer a seamless experience while they move from channel to channel while purchasing your product. It might involve
- clicking a link from an email,
- previewing a product from your website descriptions,
- calling through to check about insurance for it, and
- finally ordering via post.
There are advantages of multichannel marketing/retailing – and equal-but-different advantages of the omnichannel idea. But here, let’s move on to multichannel in more detail.
What is Multichannel Marketing?
We’ve established, therefore, that you will engage your customers through a variety of direct and indirect channels in order to sell them your products or services.
The intention of your multichannel marketing is to distribute your content and advertising across several different channels. Your consumers then have the freedom to choose where they want to interact with your brand according to where and when they’re available and ready.
For example, some of your customers will prefer to deal with you in a store and take something away or have it delivered later. Others will prefer to order online from your website and arrange to pick up the product at a collection point.
Other channels might include
- social media,
- direct mail,
- press advertisements,
- promotional events, etc.
Bearing in mind what we said above about the omnichannel experience, you’ll see that multichannel retailing is different. These multichannel ways of buying from you are not necessarily linked up from the customer’s point of view. This can be a disadvantage, but not necessarily so, because customers will always have preferences for how they buy.
Why is Multichannel Marketing Important?
1 Increase Your Brand Reach
This marketing strategy helps you leverage the different available channels and platforms to interact with a wide range of consumers and target audience who nevertheless share the common ideal customer characteristics.
2 Engage New Customers in Their Preferred Channel
Especially if you’re a B2C marketer, when you utilize more channels, you’re reaching new potential customers who simply prefer a different channel.
When consumers have a choice in how they want to interact with your brand, it helps them feel empowered. We’ve all heard the righteous cries of customers who want to deal in a building with a real bank manager and not have to set up an online account!
Multichannel marketing also makes sure that, wherever your customers are, your brand message will be seen by the right audience in the ways that they’re comfortable with.
3 Accelerate Customer Decision-Making With Multichannel Marketing
Imagine a customer desperate to buy your product who goes to their preferred channel (one of your bricks-and-mortar outlets). What if they don’t find it there? Will they go home, fire up the internet (if they’re computer savvy) and then try to discover if you have an online outlet?
It’s much more likely, in this age of instant desire and purchase, that they’ll be swayed by a similar product from your competitor that they see on the shelf in front of them.
Your internet buyer, on the other hand, will immediately go to your web store and buy their purchase from you without knowing if you have real stores.
Thus, a multichannel approach allows each customer to become aware of your brand in their own way and buy immediately from their preferred channel.
4 Create Realistic Customer Personas in a Specific Segment
If you only have one channel to reach your target customers, you can only track so much of your customer activity. To be able to create a complete buyer persona, you need to gather more meaningful data and as many details as you can about your target customer.
Information like age group, pain points, demographic, and behavior traits helps you create the ideal customer profile – and in turn prepares you for effective marketing strategies. You will have customer profiles for how each segment buys what they want.
A multichannel marketing strategy therefore helps you understand the complete customer persona with less effort. All of the data you collect from multiple channel analytics will help you curate segmented customer lists, and prepare, for example, an effective email, direct mail, or social media marketing strategy.
Such data will make you more effective in your approach to developing a comprehensive marketing framework. Very few products and services appeal to only one type of customer buying in only one channel.
5 Multichannel Marketing Increases Customer Loyalty
If you provide customers with multiple channel options for them to access your brand, you improve brand-customer relationship and thus customer loyalty. As long as customers get a good UX when they do business with you, the more likely it is they’ll become returning customers.
How to Build Effective Multichannel Marketing
Just like any other marketing strategy, there are steps to follow when you’re looking to build a multichannel strategy that will work.
Identify and Understand Your Target Customer/Audience
The first step is to understand your target audience in detail. Understanding who your customer is, their pain points, and what they value and want is crucial for the success of any marketing campaign.
So before you start building any multichannel campaign, begin by creating detailed buyer personas that represent the customers you’re targeting and how they buy. Customer persona is fictional but has to be based on deep research of your existing or target audience.
Choose the Channels You Want to Utilize
The next step is to leverage the customer profiles you created to choose the most effective channels for marketing. You can use AI to analyze the behavior data in order to find out where they’re most active. There are many channels available and it’s impossible to use them all. That’s not effective.
If your prospective customers don’t buy via email marketing, consider omitting that channel. Use your insights, instead, to analyze what channels will be effective in reaching them. For example, if your customers are very active on social media, find out which platforms they’re more active on and use those to reach them.
However, customers are not stationary, and thus the more channels you use, the more people you will reach. And that’s why updating your analysis is important.
Create Consistent Messaging
Even though you have multiple channels for your marketing, don’t forget that they all represent your brand. Therefore, even though your channels might operate independently of each other (unlike in omnichannel marketing), it’s important to make sure you have consistent messaging in all your campaigns to ensure each customer experience is the same.
This doesn’t mean you have to match everything up to the exact wording, but all your marketing campaigns, no matter how different they are, should follow brand guidelines in tone, style, graphics, etc.
When a customer happens to find you on a different channel, things should be familiar, with content that shares the same values and vision. This will improve trust in your brand.
In order to find out if your marketing campaigns are working or not, you have to track how well they’re doing in the multiple channels that are active.
You can simply use the data you gathered through the previous customer analytics, or use the help of AI and other CRM software to help you track customer interactions and engagement (their journey) with each of your marketing channels.
This is important because the data you track will help you steer your campaign to maximize ROI.
Retargeting is an approach many brands use to engage their customers when they failed to take the desired action. For example, if a customer visited your website and left without purchasing anything, or left an un-checked-out cart, you can retarget by engaging those customers with well-curated ads that engage them to take action.
You can do this in a different, appropriate channel to help you target more customers that didn’t buy in one particular channel.
In addition, if you’ve discovered your campaigns are not doing well in a certain channel, you can retarget and use the same campaign in another channel and see how it performs there.
Multichannels for Ecommerce Business
If you have a solely ecommerce business, it’s even more important for you to have a multichannel marketing strategy. You may already have a website and be doing virtual selling instead of face to face. But now more than ever, with so many businesses online and every business competing for customers’ attention – which is rather short these days – you need more digital marketing channels, too.
It’s therefore wise to utilize every digital channel you can to reach more of your potential customers. Here are some tips to help you succeed!
- Create a customer-friendly online store. This is where your customer will be shopping. It’s also a primary marketing channel that allows customers to buy from you directly. So make sure you create the online store with your customer in mind. Help your customers stay online with great visuals, speed, responsive design, and simplicity.
- Explore different types of content. Even though we want to remain consistent with our content/messaging, exploring and creating different types of content will allow you to reach more people who enjoy those particular types of content. For example, you can explore user-generated content you get from your existing customers such as reviews and feedback.
- Leverage influencer multichannel marketing. Sometimes ads are too “in your face,” and customers will do everything they can to avoid them. Using influencers is a good substitute because it’s a warm and more subtle approach to advertising your products. Influencers have already established an audience that you can reach out to.
- Social media platforms. Ecommerce-only brands, especially, need to use social media to reach out. Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook have become a huge part of our lives and therefore you can utilize these to reach your customers where they are – if they are.
Why You Should Use Multichannel Marketing in 2022
In a digital era, multichannel marketing will amplify your marketing campaign’s frequency and reach, creating more effective messaging. Even behemoth Amazon is starting to use real stores! Unthinkable a short while ago.
So, even though your marketing strategies may be working well for your business to date, your audience tends to frequent many different channels these days. Why not make yourself accessible to everyone in 2022 and consider deploying a wider marketing strategy?
For this reason, as you look to implement multichannel marketing this year, take note of the following three trends.
1 A More Authentic, Personalized, Human-Centered Approach
As you prepare your marketing strategies, don’t be just about selling your products. Prepare your new strategy with your customer/audience in mind first and be more authentic in your storytelling through creative content.
2 Social Media Variety
More retailers and marketers are using social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook to market their products. With that in mind, make sure to utilize all the business tools available with social media platforms. You might also include animations, videos, interactive content, free white paper lead gens, etc.
3 Focus on Sustainability and Ethical Business
With consumers becoming more mindful of what they buy, you need to make sure you’re delivering value and also taking into consideration your impact on the environment and society.
You can commit to these values by partnering with organizations that support your values and make products that are more ethical and sustainable. For example, consider the glue under the labels, the kind of ink that prints the addresses, the source of any packaging, etc. If this sounds far-fetched, believe us, your customers are asking these questions right now!
We Can Help You Set Up Multichannel Marketing
There is so much your business has to keep up with! However, multichannel marketing should be high up the list in 2022 to ensure your continued growth this decade. You need to be able to make changes quickly and adapt.
If this is not yet your area of expertise, contact us to consult with one of our sales experts to help you create your effective multichannel sales strategy today!