There are now more ways to reach your customers, thanks to multi-channel marketing. With multiple online platforms accessible for free, it should be seen as an unprecedented outpouring of opportunities.
It does bring different dynamics to the company. Almost every company should now have a social media manager, if not an entire department. There are also data management specialists in the UK who are dedicated to fact-checking the announcements and information on the company website and social media.
It is definitely different from traditional promotional campaigns. It could be greatly beneficial for smaller companies if they manage to do it right. However, there are challenges associated with it.
What is Multi-Channel Marketing?
Multi-channel marketing refers to the practice of using different channels simultaneously to reach prospective customers. It is sometimes referred to as cross-channel marketing. It allows the customers to interact with the company, or at the very least, have their opinions and feedback heard. The customers have a choice on which medium he/she can interact with the business. Multi-channel marketing lets the user decide. For the new generation of millennials, that means a lot.
Challenges to Face When Practicing Multi-Channel Marketing
Managing these different platforms will be a challenge, and aside from the obvious additional logistical requirements, there are also different challenges that multi-channel marketing practice can face.
The first challenge is when to target your market. There is a huge variety of channels, websites, and options facing customers, and simply getting your message to the right audience isn’t enough to close the deal. Your customers must be in a state when they are attentive, receptive, and ready to take action. Therefore, it is also a challenge to deliver your message at the right time.
Another challenge for the company is how they can present highly choreographed and well-coordinated campaigns. You must make yourself available throughout all the channels since you cannot expect the customers to chase you to the channel where you are. If you have accounts in multiple social media platforms and also have media and TV commercials, the information and theme of all these campaigns must be consistent. The customer should be able to access all the channels and have a fluid experience with a clear understanding of the company’s message.
As mentioned earlier, there would be a data management challenge when you engage in multiple channels. Noting this, the third challenge would be attribution. How do you determine which channels are bringing more market response? When the sales are up, did the customers buy because of Facebook, Twitter, TV commercials, or sponsored activities?
This data is important for the company to determine which campaigns are actually working for them. In case they need to streamline, they can choose which platforms to focus on.
With these challenges, the keys are close coordination, execution, and extensive market research. There are no shortcuts to multi-channel marketing success, but reaching a multitude of prospects all at once is more than enough reward for these efforts.
Multi-channel marketing is the wave of the future and we can no longer stop or deny it. If we are to thrive in our marketing ventures, we cannot be confined to direct marketing or confine efforts to a limited medium.