Getting customers in the door means first getting, and keeping, their attention. As consumers have moved more toward e-commerce, the challenges for digital marketers have become greater, but so have the opportunities.
Marketing to a target audience is more complex today, but the evolution of technology has opened numerous doors to reach consumers effectively through multichannel marketing, says Christena Garduno, chief executive officer of Media Culture.
“Multichannel marketing allows marketers to cater to potential customers across channels by mirroring how they operate in different digital spaces,” Garduno says. “You as a company need a significant presence across social media platforms and other digital channels. And you have to develop a clear, compelling and consistent message while keeping the brand voice intact.”
A marketing channel is any platform or method that’s used to market a product or service to consumers. Multichannel marketing involves reaching out to and interacting with customers through various channels, including regular email, social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, websites, search engine optimization, video, texts, and others.
“Multichannel marketing done well will capture a higher engagement rate from consumers, build long-lasting relationships with customers and positive brand awareness, and move you ahead of your competitors,” Garduno says.
Garduno offers these points as keys to your multichannel marketing strategy:
- Develop a channel focus. Understanding who your audience is, including their age, education, career and income level, is central to determining the most effective channels by which to reach those consumers and creating the right messaging. “You need to focus on the right channels to grow your business,” Garduno says. “To evaluate the effectiveness of a channel, see if it’s producing a measurable benefit. You can do this by tracking various metrics such as the number of opens and clicks in email marketing, the quantity of likes and comments and number of new followers over a given time in social media marketing, the click-through rate and total visits on your website, and more.”
- Personalize your strategy. “You want the consumer to feel important, as if you’re speaking only to them, while making it clear you anticipate their needs,” Garduno says. “You need to personalize your message, which means making it highly contextual, relevant, and emotionally engaging. Personalization influences customers to pay attention to your brand message amid an endless expanse of marketing content.”
- Maximize a multichannel CRM. Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology for managing, supporting and building customer relationships across the entire customer lifecycle. “Companies need a multichannel CRM system to stay relevant,” Garduno says. “A multichannel strategy requires user profiles, and a multichannel CRM enables a company to create a consistent customer experience based on aggregated, actionable data. Potential customers do research on their smartphones, then go to their tablet and may complete a transaction on their desktop, so you have to keep up with that kind of shopper.” With a CRM platform that provides multichannel customer data in the form of profiles, Garduno says it’s easier for companies to engage with customers in ways that will be beneficial to them. “You know what they like, what channels they engage with the most, how much money they’ve spent with your brand, and more,” she says.
- Run drip campaigns. These focus on user actions or specific timelines. The idea is to effectively engage users and move them closer to buying. “A drip campaign is a series of emails you send to customers at certain intervals,” Garduno says. “It can be used for CRM or lead nurturing. Drip campaigns are an effective way to keep your target audience engaged with your brand. The unique ability of a drip campaign is being able to identify the different stages your audience is in and sending different emails to them accordingly. That approach builds trust amongst the audience, which wouldn’t happen if they all were subject to a generic email blast.”
“Having a strong multi-marketing strategy is essential as consumers have higher expectations and reaching them in a variety of ways is key to companies’ growth,” Garduno says. “It’s about being thorough and never being complacent.”
Christena Garduno is chief executive officer of Media Culture, a multichannel brand response media agency that drives growth for global clients with innovative and performance-driven media campaigns. She is a member of Forbes Agency Council.