Why Multi-Channel Marketing Works
Long gone are the days when any company, large or small, could develop an effective marketing campaign using only one or two approaches. That strategy worked just fine when behavior was a little more predictable. Consumers no longer necessarily go into an office to work for eight hours, come home to dinner, and sit down to watch three hours of primetime. Even those who do can now timeshift to avoid the advertising.
Today, many people work on their own schedules, not necessarily Monday through Friday. They spend as much leisure time on a tablet as they do in front of a TV. They get their news on a computer or phone. Smart marketers know that they must accommodate these trends or fall by the wayside.
In order to effectively connect with your customers on their terms, you have to provide options. Multi-channel marketing is the solution. When a properly balanced campaign is set in motion by a competent SEO firm, the results can be breathtaking.
A website should be a self-contained, multi-channel marketing device. It must incorporate informative and interesting content and have an active blog that invites comments and reviews, which result in links. It must have links to active social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, depending upon the focus of the website. However, even with all of those bases covered, successful marketers are reaching beyond the internet.
When it comes to marketing any business, it is critical to determine which marketing tools will perform best for your company. Ultimately, it comes down to return on investment. If you can quantifiably determine that you are getting a better return on investment from professionally optimizing your website than you do with direct mail marketing, it stands to reason that SEO is a better use of your marketing budget.
But, what if you are getting positive ROI from each of them? Doesn’t it make sense to continue doing both? Should you continue doing both even though the profit margins are lower for direct mail? Is there still any benefit to print ads or billboards? These are questions that are not easily answered without research and testing, both of which take time and training to do well.
Let’s hypothesize that Don’s Computer Repair, a local computer service company, has a well-designed website and has hired a qualified firm to handle their local online marketing. Don and his staff are busy people and don’t have the requisite time to publish articles, create blog content, and post to social media. They absolutely don’t have time to research alternative channels to determine the best ROI sources.
Don has learned that if he hands off the research and campaign management part to a company like Strategic eMarketing, he can save enormous amounts of time and money. He learns which channels are best suited to work in synergy with each other. He understands that guessing is expensive, just like when his customers try to repair their own computers. With that concrete information, he can decide which aspects to handle in-house and which to delegate to his marketing firm.
Different channels can prop each other up. Many national chains are dabbling with the concept of selling products online, but allowing pickup in their local stores. In this way, the customer can shop from the convenience of their keyboard without having to wait several days for delivery. This is not to mention the added benefit of getting that homebody into the store for a couple of “while I’m here” purchases.
Another clear benefit to a multi-channel approach is the additional information that a retail store naturally acquires with website and phone-in orders.
It isn’t enough to simply provide multiple ways for customers to make contact. You must also monitor those avenues to determine how best to serve them. If 80% of your website traffic is from a smartphone, it makes good sense to put more of your efforts into mobile optimization and even developing an “App”.
Ultimately, it ends up being both less expensive and quicker to hire a solid marketing firm for specifically targeted channels. The good ones will provide accurate, raw data to support their recommendations.