What Is Multi-Channel Marketing?

By on April 24th, 2013

The term “multi-channel marketing” is a mouthful, but the actual reality of what it is and what it can do for your business is certainly far from intimidating. The concept is not new, but as technology evolves, the meaning of multi-channel marketing and all that it embraces also evolves. Multi-channel marketing is all about using various methods (channels) to get your marketing message to the people who matter the most – your target market.

It involves the integration of websites, phone, email, texting, print and other available channels to market relevant messages. It’s all about sending the right people the right message using the right channel. By failing to maximize your opportunities using multi-channel marketing, you shoot yourself in the foot and lose out…losing future customers and future profits.

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One of the key elements behind multi-channel marketing is consistency in your branding. Using various ways to get your marketing message across to your prospects is pointless if that message isn’t consistent. In fact, if you muddy the marketing waters with different messages to your target market using various channels, you will in fact turn off your prospects.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the marketing game and think only of the message and reaching that target market, there are other points to consider. You have to make it easy for those prospects to contact you. You have to make it effortless to do business with your company. If your prospects experience any speed bumps along the way you are bound to lose them.

Think about it – perhaps you perform all your research of companies you want to deal with online without batting an eyelash. But not everyone is so trusting of or at ease with the internet. Those people want to talk with a warm body. They’d rather place a phone call and speak with someone directly to get all their questions answered. In this case, if your marketing messages lack a phone number for your prospects to call, you’ve just lost potential profits.

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This is where personalization comes into play. By personalizing your marketing messages to the recipients across the various marketing channels, you are increasing your odds of success. It doesn’t take in-depth market research to understand that a mobile text campaign targeted at senior citizens may fall flat on its face. But a well-crafted direct mail piece might be a home run!

Demographics are key to a successful multiple channel marketing strategy. You want your message to be heard, to be understood…but you need it to be received by the targeted group of people via the correct method in order for it to work.

Multi-Channel Marketing is all about a seamless, almost effortless (for the target market) process. Getting your message to your prospects using various channels. Keeping those messages and your branding consistent and understandable. And making it easy for your prospects to contact you to inquire further or step up and make a purchase of your products or goods.

Remember, “convenience” means different things to different people. A sound multi-channel marketing strategy will keep this in mind and be able to deliver that convenience to a receptive target market.

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    4 Responses to “What Is Multi-Channel Marketing?”

    1. jacob aizikowitz Says:

      I’d like to add few characteristics to multichannel communications.
      A key characteristics is that multichannel communications campaigns, are not just about approaching individuals through the channel that fits them most. Its more so about changing the nature of a campaign from outbound communications — the marketeer lecturing their audience — to interactive communications — a dialogue, a conversation, and not a simple one but one that possibly transcends media boundaries (starts at a postcard, continues through a web site, then goes to an email, and maybe closed with fully customized multi-page booklet delivered through the postal system).
      Another characteristic that can not be ignored is that with multichannel communications, the communicator (and its service provider) must have access to integrated online analytics. Because of the interactive nature of multichannel communications, the need to see live view of what’s happening and also be able to change and continue is critical. So, when one wants to practice multichannel one needs to understand how will they handle the analytics requirement.
      John is absolutely on the mark by stating the consistency requirement. Its a disaster to engage a prospect with one message, say in an email, and then, on their PURL, let them see something different (say, a different offer). So, either a lot of coordination, management, testing, and more efforts must be invested in order to absolutely guarantee consistency, or integrated solutions should be used where consistency is automatic.

    2. John Foley Says:

      Jacob, thanks very much for your additional points. You’ve added some great characteristics to this topic. Really appreciate your thoughts and for engaging!

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    4. John Foley Says:

      Thanks so much for engaging and for the kind words. I look forward to your future feedback!