Marketing used to be simpler before the Internet, now it has become a complete science in itself altogether. Remember the door-to-door salesmen who would individually target homes to sell their products – from cleaners to equipment to even wines. However, today engaging customers is not as easy.

The Internet has opened up new avenues for people to access information. A simple click and you have over a million results from opposite ends of the Earth. This has resulted in a gap in between the seller and the buyer. Companies now have to fight for the attention of their customers, which is why a lot of companies are turning towards Multi-channel marketing.

What is Multi Channel Marketing?

What is Multi-Channel Marketing
The objective of marketing is to make it easier for the customers to learn about your product. Now, with TV, Smartphones, Desktops, Brick-and-Mortar stores accessible to the user, information usually falls somewhere between a gap in the communication. Multi-channel marketing aims to simplify that.

Multi-Channel marketing is simply an approach that seeks to blend different distribution and promotional channels to ensure that you can engage the customer. So, a company selling clothes would try to reach out to their customers on multiple platforms including Apps, Web Notifications, Email, SMS, and so on.

The objective is to make your ad visible to your end user on whatever medium they are more comfortable with. Common mediums that one should access include – SMS, Email, In-App Messages, Push Notifications, Web Push Notifications, Web Messages.

Omnichannel Marketing vs. Multi-Channel Marketing

Multi-channel marketing strategy and omnichannel marketing strategy are distinctly different from each other, although both strategies rely on using multiple channels to reach potential customers.

Omnichannel marketing, also referred to as cross-channel marketing strategy focuses on creating a seamless and holistic environment for the shopper across all channels, regardless it is offline or online. It banks on providing the customer with an integrated shopping experience, no matter the medium being used for shopping; they all should provide a seamless shopping experience.

It might seem similar to Multi-channel marketing but they are not at all same. While multi-channel marketing focuses on reaching out to the customers across multiple platforms, omnichannel focuses instead on the user experience on each channel.

The primary objective of multi-channel marketing is to consistently be present to the customer – constantly have the brand in their line of vision. However, in omnichannel you try to build a much deeper connection by offering a consistent experience.

As a marketer, it is essential you understand your audience before you start planning your marketing strategy. Here are a few statistics to help you along:
planning your marketing strategy

Rise of Digital Devices & Need For Multi-Channel Marketing

The need for multi-channel marketing stems from the constant growing number of connected devices around the world. With the number of connected devices expected to jump to 125 billion by 2030, the importance of these devices can no longer be ignored.

Each person has a number of different devices including desktop, smartphones, laptop, tablets, etc. Individuals are no longer limited to accessing information and ads only on once screen. Studies show that more than three-quarters of the millennial population use a second screen when watching a video. This requires building a more all-inclusive approach to engaging new customers.
Internet User
With the competition growing, the need for multi-channel marketing has become extremely important. The popular saying, “out of sight, out of mind”, also holds true when it comes to marketing. Once, you’ve lost a potential customer’s interest, it becomes exceptionally hard to gain it back.

Benefits of Multi-Channel Marketing

• Increased Awareness – This marketing strategy allows you to be where you customers are. Approaching them on multiple mediums ensures that you are in the customer’s line of sight always. It drastically increases awareness towards your brand.
• Better Revenues – More diverse platforms bring more increased awareness which directly results in more potential customers. This results in a higher rate of conversion for your company’s products.
• Custom Campaigns for Users – In Multi-marketing strategy, you can build your own campaigns depending on your product. For example, banks can reach out to their customers using Email and SMS, while clothing stores can reach out on SMS, Email, In-App Messages, Push Notifications, etc. This allows you to build the most effective form of marketing strategy for your customers.
• Improve Customer’s Lifetime Value – Google claims that multi-channel users have a 30 percent higher lifetime value compared to single channel users, which translates into higher revenues.
• More Data – Offering more points of contact allow you get access to more information. However, with multichannel approach simply being a way to get the word out, it offers more information about the channel rather than the actual customers.

Benefits of Multi-Channel Marketing

Challenges of Multi-Channel Marketing

• More complexity – A multichannel strategy requires creating a cohesive across multiple channels, as well as continuous evolution of messages as more data pours through the touch points.
• Expensive – Working across multiple platforms requires trained experts and more resources than a single channel strategy, which results in higher costs.
• Difficulty in Understanding Data – As the number of touch points increase, more data pours in. However, with data coming in from all points, it becomes difficult to understand which channel is driving sales.

Creating Your Own Multi-Channel Strategy

Now that you understand the importance of the multi-channel marketing for business growth, it is also important to understand how you can actually build your own multi-channel strategy. Marketing Automation Platforms can be used to simplify your retention marketing techniques, while apps such as Buzzsumo and Mention can help you learn more about your brand and your market.

Here are the 6 steps you can take to create your own multi-channel strategy:

1. Campaign Purpose –
Campaign Purpose
Before you begin, you must understand what you are trying to accomplish with your multi-channel strategy, is it for Acquisition, Retention or Information. Depending on your requirement, the campaign will differ in terms of reach, message and execution.
2. User Analysis –
User Analysis
You will need to understand your users and their online behavior, likes and preferences. You will design your strategy based on your user database based on the information that you collect from your business.
3. Multi-Screen Behavior –
Multi-Screen Behavior
When accessing your website’s data, ensure you check for cross-platform behavior. Look for information such as the type of device accessing your website, login time, time spent on each device, and finally, device used to make the final purchase. This will ensure that you reach out to your customers on the right platform and at the right time.
4. Build User Segments
Build User Segments
Based on the information gathered in the previous steps, create you targeted campaign. Now depending on the purpose of your campaign, you will select how to reach out to your customers. For example, if your strategy is Information you will figure out the parameters of the information you are looking for and then create a database using the information from the website.
5. Communication Channels
Communication Channels
Now that you understand which segment you want to target, you will decide the communication channels you will use. For example, if your customers browse on the desktop but end up purchasing via mobile apps, then you can use Email, Web Notification and SMS.
6. Personalized Multi-Channel Message
Personalized Multi-Channel Message
Ensure that you create a personalized message based on the channel. The message created for an Email will not work effectively for SMS or Web Notifications. Each channel should come with its own personalized messaged engaging your customer.

With the number of devices flooding the market, you definitely need multi-channel strategy to help you brand grow. This strategy has become extremely important in today’s world and as we include more devices, the means of communication is also going to increase. If you have any suggestions regarding multi-channel marketing, please drop us a comment down below!