How to Make Multi-Channel Marketing Work for You (& Why It's Important)
Sally wakes up to the sound of birds chirping and a soft spring rain. (She’s so happy she ordered that nature alarm she saw in a magazine on her last flight!) Before getting up, she checks her email for any urgent messages that came in overnight and checks what’s trending on Twitter. Over breakfast, she reads the local paper to see what’s happening in her community.
As she commutes to the office, Sally notices a couple of new billboards. One makes her laugh and the other reminds her that she’s due for an oil change. Throughout the morning, she responds to emails, meets with colleagues about a new project and searches for ideas for an upcoming event she’s helping to plan. (Note to self: Find inspiration on Pinterest this afternoon.)
For lunch, Sally and her colleagues head to their favorite local spot to continue discussing their upcoming project. Instead, they talk about the new running shoes her colleague saw online, their favorite shopping experiences and make plans to check out the new pop-up shop everyone’s buzzing about this weekend.
The afternoon flies by in a flurry of calls, direct messages and texts; it seems like everyone has their own preferred way to communicate today. After finding some good ideas on Pinterest, Sally visits several websites to review possible companies to work with for her company’s event. Before heading out, she finalizes the design for the invitation.
On her way home, Sally stops at the grocery store to pick up supplies to make dinner. At home, she opens her mail and is delighted to receive a handwritten card from a friend who lives out of state. It’s so nice to receive personal mail today! After catching up on a few of her favorite blogs, she watches an episode (or three) of that new documentary series on Netflix while RSVP’ing to her friend’s dinner party on Facebook.
Does Sally’s day sound familiar to you? Like most people, she interacts with a variety of channels every day while she navigates life. So, how do you connect with her—and so many other members like her in your target audience? Meet them where they are with multi-channel marketing.
What is Multi-Channel Marketing?
While it may seem like everyone’s on social media, people use a variety of channels to research, browse and buy products and services. Multi-channel marketing allows you to connect with buyers via the channels they use, making it easier for them to do business with you. Giving buyers the choice of where and how to interact and buy from you puts them in control and helps you deliver a better customer experience.
What channels may your customers use?
- Brick & Mortar Stores
- Social Media
- Direct Mail
- Email Marketing
- Temporary Pop-Up Shops
- Catalogs & Magazines
- Mobile Marketing
Before jumping in everywhere, create a strategy to deliver cohesive marketing efforts across your desired platforms.
How to Take a Multi-Channel Marketing Approach
Your company is launching a new product, so you want to create a multi-channel marketing campaign supporting the launch. First, decide on the overall look and feel of the new campaign. Then, you can create content for a multitude of platforms—from stickers for Instagram Stories and copy for social media captions to Facebook ads and a sponsored magazine article.
You know where your customers and prospective customers live, so your campaign strategy focuses on delivering a cohesive, on-brand message via those key channels. Ad buys are planned, content calendars are created, and your mailing is scheduled to deliver maximum effectiveness.
A central part of your campaign is to surprise and delight loyal customers and influencers in your industry with a sample mailing of the new product. Your mailing arrives in beautiful, eco-friendly packaging that your recipients are eager to open. Unboxing videos start popping up everywhere along with pictures of the recipients using your new product!
This user generated content (UGC) complements your coordinated digital marketing campaign, which showcases the benefits people will receive from your new product via a variety of videos and lifestyle images. You encourage users to engage with your campaign via fun, interactive content and reward audience members for participating with digital prizes and sweet branded merchandise.
The Power of Promo
Oh, the merch! In today’s digital world where we swap one screen for another, your new branded merchandise is a hit. Members of your community love receiving merch from you (and buying it from your online store) to use in their day-to-day lives. From reusable drinkware to gourmet treats, promotional products provide a tangible balance to the digital realm which exists behind a screen.
Besides being practical (and delicious), your promotional items help people communicate to the world that they’re part of your brand community online and off. A community member may see someone else using your notebook at a coffee shop or carrying your bag at a store and introduce themselves. It’s amazing how a promotional item can bring people together over shared experiences and common interests.
Online, your community members will be drawn to others posting photos and videos of your branded products via hashtags, mentions and by you sharing their content to the entire community. Remember that promo can play a powerful part in your multi-channel marketing efforts, so incorporate branded merch into your planning efforts from the beginning.
Why Multi-Channel Marketing Works Today
The days of mass media are long gone. There are so many marketing channels available today, people hop from one to another and back again. Buyers’ journeys are more personalized than ever, and your audience wants to interact with and buy from you on their terms.
Our friend Sally, who we introduced to you at the beginning of this article, may check out your product online, but she’d rather buy from you in-person at your trendy pop-up shop (and snap a pic to post on Facebook). Her colleague, Kate, prefers to browse and buy on Instagram, while her brother, Jack, likes the convenience of buying on your app when the mood strikes.
Whatever approach you take to your multi-channel marketing efforts, keep in mind that your audience expects a seamless buying experience.
- 90% of customers expect consistent interactions across channels.
- 71% of shoppers who use smartphones for research in-store say that it’s become an important part of the experience.
- 78% of B2B customers (and 83% of consumers) say fulfillment options are important or very important, including the ability to track purchases.
Planning your multi-channel marketing efforts takes time and resources, but it’s worth it. Omni-channel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel. We love incorporating multiple channels in our marketing efforts on the Farm. Share your multi-channel marketing efforts with us on social media (or your preferred channel)!