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How to Excel With Multichannel Marketing in the Digital Age

Customer engagement is more important than ever. We work in a business world where the competition is incredibly high and the margin for error so razor thin that anything you can do to reach additional customers will give you a chance to get ahead. And while certain mediums will be more effective for your brand than others, a multichannel marketing plan will yield fantastic results.

Why Multichannel Marketing Matters

Multichannel marketing is the practice of engaging customers using a variety of communication channels – some direct and others indirect. This can include websites, blogs, social media, email, direct mail, postcards, billboard advertisements, catalogs, and almost any other touchpoint. It’s about choice and access.

“Multichannel marketing is important for the simple reason that you must be where your customers are. And they are everywhere,” SAS explains. “If you need another reason, consider this: Multichannel customers spend three to four times more than single-channel customers do.”

Today’s customers have a choice over where they buy, whom they buy from, and how they interact with the brands that sell the products and services they’re purchasing. By adopting a multichannel approach, you earn the right to be heard anywhere and everywhere.

Thriving With a Multichannel Approach

Multichannel marketing may involve spreading out and targeting different channels and mediums, but you aren’t taking a shotgun approach. In other words, your strategy needs to be focused. And as you refine your approach, you’ll want to do the following:

1. Gather the Right Data and Insights

With multichannel marketing, your budget can quickly balloon if you aren’t careful. And if you aren’t investing in the right channels, all of this money will be wasted.

Shockingly, 55 percent of marketers don’t have sufficient data and insights for effective marketing personalization. This means that even if marketers are choosing the right channels, over half of them aren’t able to effectively tailor the messaging to them.

In order to take your multichannel marketing strategy to the next level, make sure you have a way to gather the right data and insights. A platform like SAP Marketing Cloud is a good place to start.

2. Go Beyond Digital

Social media, email, PPC advertising, blogging, and content marketing are all effective marketing channels. However, true multichannel marketing goes beyond just digital mediums and actually includes offline channels as well.

There’s something valuable about physical marketing mediums (particularly in a digital world). Something as simple as a print booklet can be seen, touched, felt, and even smelled, which engages people in an extremely tangible way.

A healthy mixture of online and offline media will allow you to enjoy the best of both worlds while still maximizing your reach.

3. Keep the Message Consistent

According to a study by McKinsey & Company, companies are 20 percent more successful when they have strong and consistent branding. Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges with multichannel marketing is keeping the brand messaging consistent from platform to platform.

“Messages are crafted differently for each platform, which is where brand consistency through multiple channels can be tricky,” marketer Chris Gomersall writes. “It’s important to implement the correct message for the specific audience of each platform, while remaining consistent with brand messaging. For example, an email newsletter, a website blog, an Instagram post or an online ad, will all have different [content], targeting a specific audience with a definite goal, yet still have a consistent voice and message.”

Though your approach to every channel will be different, always ask yourself if the underlying message is consistent with your brand values. If it’s not, then you’ll need to revisit the drawing table and make some tweaks.

Ushering in the New Age of Marketing

Around the turn of the new millennium, the marketing industry experienced a significant shift as billions of dollars moved away from traditional advertising methods and towards newer digital marketing strategies.

Though it’s taken nearly 20 years, new shifts are once again occurring in the space. Businesses are realizing that rigid strategies with pre-defined channels may not be the best way to go. Instead, flexible and far-reaching multichannel marketing initiatives are proving to be effective and profitable. Will you be an observer or an active participant?

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