Multichannel marketing is simply utilising multiple marketing channels to interact with your customers. This includes combining traditional offline channels such as sales representatives, journal advertising and face to face meetings, with online channels such as websites, mobile apps, email, SMS, search engine marketing (SEM) and social media.
A Cap Gemini study in 2012 found that less than one third of doctors have a single preferred channel for interaction. Most doctors prefer to interact with companies via multiple channels. In a CMI study, the average numbers of channels through which doctors wanted to interact was three, double that of three years prior. Yet many companies struggle to add new channels, continuing to focus primarily on their sales force.
In other industries, studies show the benefits of multichannel marketing are compelling:
- Brand recall increased from 50% to 74% following a multichannel experience.
- 72% of consumers want an integrated marketing approach, yet only 39% get it
It is clear that companies should offer multiple channels in synergy with traditional field force investment. Those that do not risk competitive disadvantage.
A multichannel marketing strategy is necessary to reach your target customers in a way that suits their work practices and lifestyle.
Benefits of Multi-Channel Marketing
- Increase reach and frequency: Being present across additional channels means you will reach more customers and increase brand recognition.
- Customers Can Use Their Favourite channel: Giving your customers greater choice on how they will interact with your business means they can use their preferred channel.
- Learn more: multiple channels means more customer insights so you can refine your campaigns.
- Consistent brand experience across channels: You increase the chances that your customer will have a consistent brand experience if you support multiple channels. E.g. if you do not offer a mobile web solution, then your customer may look elsewhere for information about your brand.
Considerations for Multi-Channel Marketing
There are certainly benefits to multichannel marketing, but there are also some disadvantages to consider:
- Your own channel preference: you may prefer your customers use a specific channel. This may be because it is cheaper to provide e.g. Bank ATM or because it is the one you have the most experience with e.g. pharmaceutical sales rep.
- More time and money: more channels = more effort. In some cases, investment from one channel can be divided across several channels, but multichannel marketing, can mean more time and more money.
How to Succeed at Multi-Channel Marketing
- Develop a multichannel marketing strategy and campaigns: Ensure you have a strategy to identify and leverage the most important channels for your brand. Plan how your channels will work synergistically.
- Test and learn: Test the effectiveness of your multichannel marketing efforts by using benchmarks and control groups to continually learn and improve.
- Get to know your customers better: Understand which channels your customers prefer, tracking their channel preference and behaviour.
At Thrivase, we believe in developing multichannel marketing campaigns including launching, testing and learning, then refining channels to optimise the marketing mix. Talk to us about how we can develop a multichannel marketing campaign that will be music to your customer’s ears.