Consumers live in a multi-channel marketing world that offers them a multitude of ways to engage with brands across offline and online mediums, platforms and devices. With this plethora of marketing options available, it can easily become overwhelming for businesses to choose one over the other, especially since consumers pivot mediums almost instantly. With the ever-changing technology landscape and newer platforms being developed, promoted and attracting new customers, it only gets harder for businesses to develop a marketing channel strategy that is right for them.
Where do they start? How do they choose? What should they use? These remain some of the many questions left to be answered.
In this article we explore the world of Multi-Channel Marketing Vs. Omni-Channel Marketing; their benefits, strategies, and what should be included amongst other things..!.
Multi-Channel Marketing gives businesses and brands the ability to run the same campaign across multiple channels. It allows businesses to engage with customers in a linear manner using the same creative elements, same offers etc. across offline and online mediums, in a direct or indirect manner. This approach is incredibly effective especially if the business is new to leveraging new platforms and mediums for your marketing. Giving the right prospect, the right content at the right time can enhance the possibility that the target prospect will not only express interest but also convert into a lead for the brand.
The benefits justify the means and it is no surprise why B2B businesses tend to use Multi-Channel Marketing as it can increase ROI by up to 24%. Using four or more channels increases this percentage by up to 300%.
Multi-Channel Marketing increases Brand Visibility and therefore the likelihood that prospect customers will not only see the message from the campaign but also engage at different touch-points within the campaign.
Multi-Channel Marketing widens the Marketing Funnel because it enables marketers to engage with their prospect customers on the channel that their prospects prefer. Developing the right messaging strategy that engages can turbo-charge marketing and sales efforts and build trust.
Multi-Channel Marketing Outmanoeuvres the Competition therefore improving the brand’s ability to fill a gap that their competitor ignored. Going head-to-head with a competitor who is bigger, faster or stronger can never be good for the business.
Multi-Channel Marketing offers Better Marketing Integration strategies as the business not only engages where prospective customers are, but also builds marketing efficiencies and constant repeatability.
Implementing a Digital Only – Multi-Channel Marketing Campaign approach might work against the business and therefore implementing a balanced Traditional - New Age Marketing Channel Campaign approach is advisable, keeping in mind the category of business, maturity of the company and the market, competitive environment and socio economic drivers of your prospect customer. Some must haves would be Website, Print, Email, TV, Radio, Text (SMS), Blogs, Paid Digital Media, Social Media Marketing.
Caveat: Multi-Channel Marketing isn't meant to be a quickie/ one-hit wonder approach to market success, but rather a long-term approach to marketing effectiveness, efficiency and share of wallet. It requires the brand to have a well-defined customer profile, be consistent, leveraging the channels to their maximum, ensuring a strong value proposition for customers across the marketing and sales funnel and lifecycle.
Omni-Channel Marketing is the next level to Multi-Channel Marketing (i.e. Multi-Channel Marketing on Steroids). To move from a Multi-Channel Marketing approach to an Omni-Channel Marketing approach requires significant effort, coordination and resource allocation (re-alignment) across the organisation. The purpose behind leveraging Omni-Channel Marketing is to reduce/ minimise customer efforts while they shift/ pivot across platforms to ensure consistent experience, and minimise repetition engagement during the customer experience/ value journey.
Omni-Channel Marketing requires the brand to know every past step the prospective customer has taken while engaging on their platform to continue to build Trust, Intimacy and Consistency. It requires that the brand develop a Customer-Centric Value Journey where there exist no silos. It is this high level of personalised customer centricity that defines a truly Omni-Channel Marketing Experience.
Caveat: An Omni-Channel Marketing approach is definitely not for every business; not because of the complexity of the business but also because every customer is different. It requires extensive resources (i.e. Time and Money) and dedicated efforts to complete the journey. Tracking specific interactions using technology can aid the customer experience process, improve cross-function communication and establish an omni-channel mindset.
7 Marketing Channels that businesses must use:
Google (Pay-Per-Click) Marketing
Social Media Marketing
Content (Blogging) Marketing
Word of Mouth ( Referral/ Affiliate/ Influencer) Marketing
Traditional Marketing (Print/ TV/ Radio)
Some other marketing channels that businesses could consider
Conclusion: Implementing a Multi-Channel Marketing approach is the way to start; however it's only at ground zero and therefore table stakes. Start with choosing the right marketing channels for your business (choose them wisely). Create an Editorial Calendar and Content Library. Repurpose existing content if you can or start creating content that is relevant for your prospect customer. For businesses to truly be winners on the battlefield of mind share and market share, they must eventually migrate to an omni-channel environment while carefully balancing the cost, efforts and payoffs of doing so.
Related Reading: How Influencers marketing actually accelerates growth and sales
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