Did you say multi-channel marketing is also known as Omnichannel marketing?
Oops. Multi-channel marketing is not similar to omnichannel marketing. They are two separate concepts that can work together.
Multichannel marketing refers to all the efforts a brand puts together to interact with their customers across multiple channels and platforms. Multi-channel marketing is followed by Omnichannel marketing which offers a seamless and integrated customer experience irrespective of how or where the potential lead is engaging with the brand.
Doubts cleared. Let’s proceed.
Marketing is ever evolving and consumer demands are fast paced. To keep up with what your target audience is looking for, you need to stay connected with them. And if they are spending time on multiple channels and platforms, you ought to be there too!
Enter multi-channel marketing approach. If marketing automation alone overwhelmed you, multi-channel marketing automation is the newly acquired power for marketers.
What is Multi-Channel Marketing?
Like I mentioned, it is a cross-channel marketing effort of a brand to stay connected with their leads and customers. When done correctly, it can amplify your brand. It’s more like that soulful song you love to hear where so many instruments played together creates an enriched musical experience. Imagine one instrument playing differently (out of rhythm) – Yes, it would spoil the entire song. Multi-channel marketing is also something like that. Marketing efforts spanned across multiple channels together form a unique customer experience, leveraging your brand-to-customer relationship.
Multi-channel marketing platforms (also offline platforms) include:
- Landing pages
- SMS campaigns
- Push notifications
- Social media platforms
- Phone calls
- Banner ads
- Affiliate networks
- Print and TV
PS: In this article, we will not talk about offline marketing efforts.
Now you know what is multi-channel marketing, and you have made up your mind to start channelizing your marketing efforts across all these channels. Awesome!
But hold on. Are you sure you NEED to expand your marketing efforts to all the mentioned channels?
Invest time where your audience is
All businesses are not alike. So, marketing efforts for every business will be different. What will work for your brand may not work for another brand. Secondly, your marketing efforts must align with your brand proposition.
Let’s assume you run an apparel brand and your target customers spend considerable time on Facebook and Instagram. You can definitely raise the quotient with visually enriched Facebook and Instagram images (and videos). But you will not waste that much time on Twitter or Google+. Neither will you spend a large chunk of your energy and time (and money) in creating high-end long videos on Youtube. Time-to-time email newsletters, tailored push notifications and SMS announcing offers or discounts will work for your brand.
Your choice of a channel depends on your brand and your customers.
Thanks to marketing automation tools, you can now define a buyer’s persona that (almost) replicates your target customer. Based on the buyer’s person and behaviour tracking, you can gauge which mode of communication that particular customer will prefer. Will it be a phone call or email or SMS, or all the three? For instance, suppose you have two leads A and B. Here are the two sales paths they chose respectively-
Subscribe for newsletter -> Visit product page -> visit pricing page -> go back to home page -> receive invitation for a webinar -> no activity
Subscribe for newsletter -> visit product page -> immediately visit pricing page -> sign up for demo -> attend the demo -> receive webinar invitation -> sign up for the same and attend it
Clearly, Lead B is more interested in your product. Unlike Lead A, it has invested time in your webinar which indicates a seriousness. a direct phone call will quickly convert this lead.
Lead A, on the other hand, is still in considering your brand. Since it has visited your pricing page and is still browsing through your homepage (or product pages), you can keep connecting with this lead through emails, send discount coupons via SMS, offer free reading materials and urge them to sign up from your landing page, and add them to your drip campaign list.
So you see, here lead behaviour and activity determined the channel preferences.
We know how marketing has become customer-centric and how a marketing automation tool enables in establishing a personalized brand-to-customer relationship. You can sign up with Aritic PinPoint for free and see how multi-channel marketing works: creating intuitive landing pages and downloadable assets, scheduling SMS campaigns and email marketing campaigns, automated drip push notification campaigns, mobile marketing, and social media marketing. Like I said, based on lead behaviour, Aritic Pinpoint helps in marketing-sales alignment by giving exact lead behaviour information for sales reps to take over.
7 Common Multi-Channel Marketing Myths
Despite the benefits, many marketers refrain from opting for multi-channel marketing. Thanks to some common myths surrounding this concept, marketers are often confused about its benefits. So, here are 7 such common myths of multi-channel marketing; busted.
1. Only emails offer good ROI
Okay. I understand the affinity towards email marketing (since it is a proved fact that emails are the most effective mode of communication between a brand and its consumers). But tagging emails as the ONLY channel to generate good revenue is vague. Had it just been emails, other channels like social media platforms, SMS, push notifications and landing pages would have been obsolete. But that’s not the reality.
Emails are a part (an integral part) of your entire marketing approach. If your target audience is spending time across other channels as well, you might want to expand your outreach so that you don’t miss out on your business opportunities. Brands often use Facebook ads to generate more leads, offer downloadable content via landing pages to capture lead information, schedule SMS campaigns to target mobile users on-the-go and launch drip push notification campaigns to keep the user engagement going on. All these mediums together boost your ROI. Just an email campaign can do no good to your brand. Seriously.
2. Too many channels = Spamming
Another common belief is when you opt for multiple channels, it is equivalent to spamming. This is mainly because many believe that sending a single message across multiple channels will irritate their customers and as a result, they will be marked as spam or worse blocked.
NO. That is not true.
Yes, multi-channel marketing means spreading a single message across various channels. But it also doesn’t mean that you will have the same content, same design, same wordings across all the channels. Rather, when you are framing your content, each channel will have a different approach without changing the core concept. Also, maintaining a consistency in design doesn’t mean copy-pasting the same template everywhere. It refers to using the same colour palette, fonts, CTAs, and element placement.
For instance, in an email campaign, you can have a content spanning for four-five lines. You can use a GIF as well. But when you are trying to send the same message via SMS, you will need to cut down your content to, say, 8-10 words. You cannot send a 2-page SMS. That will obviously not help because most of your recipients will not read the full message. You will need to device a content (and include your target link) that can be read at one glance. And yes, it should appear the same way across a 4-inch screen and a 6-inch screen.
3. Many Channels = Tons of Leads
Many channels will means tons of leads instantly. This is one fairly common belief most marketers have. Honestly, I wish this was true. But it isn’t.
Multiple channels increase your outreach, but it doesn’t promise bucket-full leads. That’s not possible. You can say, with multi-channel marketing approach, lead acquisition picks up. If you tell me that multi-channel marketing will increase your lead acquisition by leaps and bounds, then I beg to differ.
Leads don’t come channel-wise. It is not a mathematical formula where the total number of leads will be directly proportional to in-flow of new leads. Lead acquisition requires a lot of marketing practices like landing pages, interactive forms and surveys, automated drip campaigns, and targeted marketing. Starting with dynamic contact list segmentation to assigning lead scores and launching referral programs – altogether contribute to the inflow of new leads. Just using multiple channels is not the key. Using all these channels effectively and efficiently is essential. Like I mentioned earlier, your brand may require all of the channels or may not. It depends on who your ideal customers are, what they want from you and how best you can reach out to them.
4. Copying other’s templates or marketing messages will give me success
Umm no. Copy-pasting is not the key to success. What worked for others may not work for you. You can take inspiration or ideas, but replicating others’ design and content is plain plagiarism. You may end up facing notice from those who’s templates you are copying, or worse your audience will know there is nothing genuine about your approach.
We often look up for design examples or campaign examples. The web is full of resources on best practices for each marketing channel, detailed examples of what kind of colour coordination works for each sector, how to place your elements in your landing page or email template, etc. Taking information and tips are great. Learning from successful examples are awesome. But if you are crafting an exact clone of a great email campaign or landing page design or social media message, you might end up missing out on your leads.
Related Read: Best Email Subject Lines: Marketers’ MasterGuide
Every business does a detailed survey, create a buyer’s persona, and then design their marketing messages. So, unless you are sharing your audience with another popular business, it makes no sense to believe that your copied message will work on your audience as well. You did not do a research but rather chose to generalize marketing efforts.
That’s one way to ruin your business effortlessly!
5. Focus should only be on CONTENT; rest can wait
Another misconception. Although Content is king, ignoring every other aspect will do no good to your marketing strategy, especially in multi-channel marketing. Take a look at this email
If GlobalWebIndex decided to send the same message via an SMS-campaign, it wouldn’t be this long. Although the core message will remain same, probably it will be something like this:
‘The Brand Discovery Trends to Know” – Register for Live Webinar by Experts on September 21, 2017. [registration URL, shortened].
Basically, the most important words are picked up and put together to form a short message that is easy to read and follow up. The link is added at the end so that one can register directly from their mobile browser.
This also means that the landing page they will create has to be device responsive. Similarly, a Facebook campaign will look lot different. The design elements will be placed differently, maybe with an image, a short update and a bold CTA redirecting to the landing page.
The whole point here is, it is not just the content. You need to make your landing pages device responsive. You have to maintain a design consistency across all the channels. And ofcourse, for each channel, the content structure will be different. If you are just copy-pasting the same content everywhere with no modifications, you are just shooting arrows in the darkness.
Also Read: 13 Email Template Design Mistakes to Avoid
6. Social Media Marketing is a separate strategy altogether
Social media marketing is often branded as an independent marketing strategy. It is true to some extent because it has its own practices and can run without relying on any other strategy. However, social media marketing cannot alone give you results. It works together with an effective content and SEO strategy, influencer marketing, and personalized branding. These support social media strategy and make way for its effectiveness. You can call them as the peripheral strategy that helps marketers widen their outreach using social media campaigns.
However, this does not mean social media marketing has no value of its own. Rather, in the present time, it has the maximum potential to drive in leads and revenue. The only formula is doing it right and placing it as a conjunction to your content marketing, SEO strategy, influencer marketing and brand awareness.
7. Multi-Channel marketing is expensive and requires more staff
This is one dangerous myth: Multi-channel marketing requires more staff. Why? Because there are so many channels and for each channel, one person is required. Hence it is costly.
Multi-channel marketing refers to utilizing multiple marketing avenues to reach out to your target audience. That does not mean, one person is required for each channel. Let’s put it like this:
Do you have different people to update your Facebook, read your emails, and design your content? No, right. As a matter of fact, Aritic PinPoint does not require multiple hands to run multiple campaigns. You need to sit back and configure your settings, and then you are good to go. Whatever number of people you have in your team is enough to get going with your multi-channel marketing on Aritic PinPoint. Yes, you need the knowledge to understand your audience’s interests, track their behaviour, and segment them properly. Also, you must analyze which of the marketing channels will give you maximum result.
Coming to the cost, each marketing platform can be leveraged with organic and/or paid ads. It is your choice which one you want. You can run sponsored ads on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. Or, you can rely on organic search results and keep pushing your envelope to do better. The cost depends on your marketing strategy and initial budgeting that you fix for your efforts. This also includes purchasing a marketing automation tool.
Aritic PinPoint makes it easy to start with a comprehensive feature list at an affordable price. Just saying 🙂
Benefits of Multi-Channel Marketing
Isn’t it great to stay connected with your customers simultaneously across multiple channels? Well, that’s not the only benefit of multi-channel marketing. There’s more to it.
- It increases your brand visibility. When you opt for multiple channels, you are exposed to a lot more opportunities than restricting to one single platform. Your business opportunities grow and so does your brand positioning. Your reach widens, giving your business more exposure and better leads.
- You can combine specific channels based on your customer preferences and implement your marketing efforts accordingly. Thanks to robust analytics, you can stay informed which channel or which combination of channels is working in your favour. It may be emails and SMS campaigns or emails, SMS campaigns, Facebook, and landing pages. It completely depends on the lead behaviour.
- Multi-channel marketing is cost-effective. Targeted and measured marketing ensures that you deploy your resources effectively. This automatically brings down your operational cost.
- The indirect use of multi-channel marketing. What I’m referring here is the use of ‘cookies’ by brands. When a customer clicks on a brand website page (homepage or landing page or product page), a cookie is placed in their browser. This cookie helps in tracking the lead behaviour and activities, which in turn helps in understanding the preferences of that lead. This information gets added to the buyer’s persona for this lead. Such information aid in deciding which channel will be most beneficial to connect with that particular lead. We call it ‘remarketing’.
Your views, please 🙂
Have you opted for Multi-channel marketing approach? Do you agree with these myths?
If you are aware of any such multi-channel marketing myths that stopped you from opting for this approach, tell me in the comments below.
PS: If you haven’t yet, try Aritic PinPoint. It’s easy to start with.