Multichannel marketing is a process of communicating with customers through a combination of channels, both indirect and direct. These channels may include websites, retail stores, direct mail, catalogues, mobile, email, and more. The purpose is to goad customers into initiating a response and buy your products and/or services using the channel most convenient for them. Therefore, in simple terms, multichannel marketing is all about choices.
The Changing Preferences of Customers
The preferences of consumers have changed drastically over the past few years, especially with the increasing use of high-tech tools and measures in the area of marketing. A good number of them use several media resources on a daily basis and expect companies to do the same. A recent survey confirmed that 72 percent of consumers prefer buying from companies that offer them more choices through multichannel marketing.
The ever-widening reach of the internet has revolutionized commerce dramatically. It has helped in introducing consumers to an unparalleled level of high-quality information. Media technology has also emerged as a powerful means of communication between businesses and customers.
Why Companies Cannot Ignore Multichannel Marketing?
Companies are taking to multichannel marketing in a big way because they recognize that today consumers are using multiple channels commonly throughout the purchasing process. For instance, they may come across information in a newspaper or a magazine but may make the purchase online using their laptop or mobile.
The average consumer today is tech-savvy and is very comfortable using social media and mobile phones. This has opened up a host of new business opportunities for marketers but at the same time they have to face a range of challenges, too.
The Challenges That Multichannel Marketing Poses
Marketing professionals must have a clear insight into the preferences and behaviors of consumers. They must be able to decipher and analyze consumer mindsets on a broader basis, as expectations around brand engagement are changing. Most importantly, they must be able to identify which channels work and which ones may not deliver the kind of results that are expected.
Targeted marketing is known to deliver better responses from customers in multichannel marketing processes, according to experts. Targeted marketing means creating an offer and tweaking it to match the specific needs of a customer. Response rates can improve dramatically with an increase in the number of personalization components.
There are challenges involved in getting the targeted marketing strategies right. With the glut of channels and choices available to customers, it is not enough to deliver the right message to the right audience. Your marketing strategy and tools must not only deliver the message to the intended audience, but they also must be attentive and goaded into taking a buying decision, whichever channel they may use.
Multichannel marketing professionals must relentlessly develop and synchronize highly-coordinated micro-campaigns over multiple channels seamlessly and in a way that the customer finds significant and dependable. Marketers often find it difficult to find out which channels and campaigns have contributed to qualified conversions and sales.
Knowing precisely the response level of various elements of their multichannel marketing efforts can help them pinpoint the best and not-so-impressive marketing efforts, so that the strategies can be suitably tweaked for optimizing responses from customers.