Multichannel or cross channel marketing has transformed the way we reach our customers. It offers brands a way to align and build their presence, messaging, offers and community engagement across multiple delivery points.
However, developing consistent and successful multichannel campaigns or marketing strategies isn’t easy and many brands either go half way in or don’t do it well. Here are some of the common mistakes businesses make, and ways to improve them.
Focusing on the Channel Rather Than the Customer
It’s a very easy and common mistake to make. When companies first start out or older companies learn about new marketing channels, they are quick to jump on them. This could be because:
- They see everyone else doing it
- They want to build their presence wherever and however fast they can
- They focus on the cost instead of marketing ROI and tend to choose the cheapest channel but not the most effective one
These brands then start investing a lot of time and money to understand and learn these channels without really knowing if it is the right choice for them.
How many times have your campaigns or marketing messages gone awry, where your SMS messages or direct mails are never opened or reach their target? How many times are your customers receiving your messages at the wrong time or place?
It’s not about which channel you SHOULD be on, it’s about which channel your CUSTOMERS are on, and delivering personalised information to them.
Imagine your ideal customer is sitting at a meeting and they keep getting text messages about a new retail or bank loyalty program. Pretty certain they would rather get those in an email that they can look at later at a more comfortable time.
The solution is simple. Stop focusing on which channel you should be on and instead spend the effort to understand where your customers are and how they are using it.
Not Integrating Properly
Many brands and companies believe that multichannel marketing means it is a way for them to blast their promotions and offers across all channels. This tends to utilise the ultimately disastrous, “one-size-fits-all marketing strategy”.
The problem is that it simply does not work – marketing strategies must be flexible in order to best represent your unique brand, meet specific business objectives and of course cater to the target audience.
You have to understand how to use each channel and design optimised and consistent communication strategies so that it fits holistically in the overall marketing strategy or campaign.
This doesn’t mean you send out your content through five different channels with five different messages, but rather that the various components of your campaign should be tied together through images, branding, messaging and overall themes.
It also means being able to handle all your channels from a centralised platform to increase efficacy. In retail for example, the multichannel marketing has evolved into the omnichannel retailing, which allows marketers to use and operate all channels simultaneously, creating a seamless customer experience.
Good integration of multichannel for your campaign means understanding your audience (where they are and how they use it), choosing the right message, through the right channels, at the right time, to the right customer, and using the right data.
Not Optimised for Mobile
Consumers are increasingly shifting their media time from desktop to mobile. Alluding to the previous point, consumers are also interconnected with their devices and switch between them to make purchases or engage with brands. This gives evidence of why integration is more important than ever.
Problem is that content is often not optimised for mobile, which poses an enormous loss of opportunity for brands – and for many reasons!
Think of yourself as a consumer. How often are you on your mobile? You take it to your office, during lunch and even to your bathroom. Today’s consumers walk, talk, and even sleep with their phones. It is clear that implementing optimised mobile communication and messages is something you just can’t ignore. What would fit in an email for desktop may not work on mobile. What would be included in direct mail may need to be truncated and designed differently for mobile. Also think loading time, screen utilisation and ease of user experience – are they generating leads or causing users to drop out?
The figure below shows the importance of mobile and how active users are on them.
It’s a big mistake to not optimise for mobile and just rely on email or direct mail marketing. Making customer experience on mobile as seamless as on desktop is critical – whether it is a website, a blog, an online store or a marketing campaign.
Forgetting the Offline World
Despite the fact that we are living in a digital age, we cannot forget that we still interact in the offline world. A common mistake is to forego the latter and concentrate only on the digital. Even if your business is primarily digital, such as an e-commerce, you still have to consider delivery and customer service that comes with it.
For example, Zalora is primarily a digital retail store. It does all its marketing and offers through websites, e-newsletters, and even SMS in a very efficient and personalised way. However, if its delivery service is slow or the products that reach you are incorrect half of the time, the entire business crumbles.
Similarly, if you are running a campaign to launch a new product, don’t omit the opportunities of live events and meeting prospective customers in the flesh. You can still integrate the online aspect by doing live tweets or booths that connect the social with the real.
Not Creating a Responsive Multichannel
The biggest mistake that brands can make in multichannel marketing is the inconsistency in not just branding but also in creating a two-way communication. Companies get caught up in being “Jack of all trades, but master of none”. They blast promotions and offers without being responsive to the customer’s needs.
If you send out a marketing campaign to your prospect, make sure you follow each channel and make them responsive based on customers’ reaction to your message. What does this mean? If you send out an email and it bounces, then you send them direct mail. If they open the email, then you call them the next day to follow up.
To learn more about responsive multichannel check out this video on how to enhance your marketing campaign performance.
So are you making any of these mistakes in your multichannel marketing? Are you making sure they are responsive and cater to your customer’s needs rather than yours? It’s easy to make these mistakes. But if you understand your customer and your channels, then fixing it is even easier.
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