Today’s consumers are overloaded with hundreds (if not, in some cases, thousands) of marketing messages a day. Because of this advertisers are finding it necessary to develop tactics that allow their campaigns to cut through the noise and make an impact on their target demographic. This is where multi-channel marketing comes in.
By using a combination of channels like print publications, radio, email marketing and banner ads, marketers are able to:
- Generate more qualified leads while driving down the cost per lead.
- Create a nurturing environment where these qualified leads can engage, interact and eventually convert.
- Collect data to ensure relevant campaigns that shorten the sales cycle.
- Grow relationships with current customers and increase profits.
- Build brand loyalty through consistent communication.
- Better align marketing goals with sales processes.
With these numerous benefits in mind, here are eight best practices for multi-channel marketing that will increase your ROI.
1. Keep It Simple at First
You’re ready to jump on the multi-channel marketing bandwagon and that’s great, but don’t try to do too much too soon. At the outset, avoid complex campaigns and keep things simple, especially if your company has no history of creating and launching multi-channel campaigns. For instance, you may want to start out with a free standing insert campaign that directs your audience to a special URL landing page where they can interact more with your brand.
2. Don’t Obsess with One Particular Channel
Before you go and throw your entire budget at one or two channels, make sure you have a cohesive strategy in place first. Your strategy will tell you how your audience will interact with all available touchpoints and whether that particular interaction will support or undermine your campaign’s objective. Once you know your strategy and objective, the right channels should become obvious.
3. Define Your Ideal Prospect
Never waste time or money attracting the wrong prospects. Your target audience must consist of people who are a perfect fit for your offer. So before you even begin to think about “which” channels, think about what characteristics, behavior and needs make up your idea customer and which media they prefer.
4. Don’t Sell – Demonstrate Value
Multi-media marketing requires you get involved in your prospect’s world long before they have identified their problems, issues or needs. Integrated marketers know their consumers intimately and can easily demonstrate the value of their offering.
5. Lead Prospects through the Sales Funnel
Today’s marketers have been confronted with a new dilemma: How do you lead a prospect through a sales funnel that has no straightforward path? It’s no longer enough to simply use campaigns to create demand and then convert; today’s campaigns must guide the buying journey by creating awareness, educating and building trust.
6. Always Be Relevant
Whether it’s an ad you’re running in a local paper or the blog posts you’re uploading three times a week, your information always has to be relevant to your prospect or you’ll lose their attention in lightning speed. Remember, it’s not about what you have to offer, it’s about what they need.
7. Make Connections
Back in the day the phrase all marketers knew was “ABC – always be closing,” as in closing a sale. But today’s marketers would be better off following a new mantra “ABC – always be connecting,” connecting problems with solutions, connecting stakeholders and opportunities, etc. The beauty is that burgeoning technology and new channels makes connecting easier.
8. Never Stop Testing
You should also “ABT – always be testing” your campaigns. Put successful campaigns under a microscope to determine what worked and why. Use this data to make stronger campaigns in the future, and test those as well. Test headlines, email subject lines, images, days of the week newspaper ads run, ink colors used in your FSI – test everything and never stop.
The bottom line is, because the very act of buying has changed significantly, the act of selling has also changed significantly. Those marketers who don’t adapt their tactics and embrace a multi-media approach will be left in the dust.