Businesses have to upgrade their marketing techniques every now and then because the audience behaviour changes and so does the demand for products and services. Moreover, the diminishing attention span of the audience further requires brands/businesses to market on several platforms. Additionally, in the current scenario, the decision of purchasing a product goes through several steps. It is no longer just about displaying an ad and expecting a sale.
From spreading awareness about the product to letting the audience know why they need it, everything needs to be marketed. This is why marketing is no longer a one-way street but has multiple paths. Consumers today are aware of everything that’s there on the market. Moreover, even before making a buying decision, they research its competitors. This makes the competition on social media all the more cutthroat.
The pandemic has forced every brand to take drastic marketing measures since that is the only way to stay connected with the consumers. While there are many ways to reach customers, the problem lies in creating effective brand communication. Brand messages need to be crafted strategically because only then will they generate some engagement. This is why most businesses now go for multichannel marketing.
What is multichannel marketing?
Multi-channel marketing aka cross-channel marketing is a marketing technique wherein a business/brand uses multiple platforms or channels to reach its potential consumer base. This marketing technique is used to spread brand awareness and to translate visibility into increased sales. Multichannel marketing strategy is all about taking the consumer to the stage where he/she goes ahead and purchases the product after all the previous steps which involve research and comparison. Brands and businesses use this technique majorly for increasing sales.
A few years back brands relied on television ads for the promotion of their products and that would be sufficient for increasing sales. The shift of the audience’s attention to social media encouraged brands to implement cross channel marketing strategies.
Steps to Create and Implement Multichannel Marketing Strategies
1. Decide what are the goals of your marketing campaign
Every marketing strategy must have goals and objectives. Before planning a multichannel marketing strategy make sure to keep in mind the reason behind opting for this strategy. Brands can have various goals like increasing brand reach, increasing engagement rate, increasing follower base, targeting a new audience, and so on. Knowing what you want to achieve from the marketing campaign will help you select the channels better.
2. Target audience
Every business/brand has its target audience. This audience set is your potential consumer base too. The platforms or the channels your audience is present on will determine what will be a part of your marketing campaign. Even for a social media marketing strategy, it is necessary to first analyse the audience demographics and preferences. If you are planning to implement a multichannel marketing strategy make sure your target audience is diverse and present on multiple platforms. Only when you have to reach a wider audience will this marketing strategy give you maximum benefits.
3. Create the message you want to convey through the channels
The biggest challenge in multichannel marketing is to keep your brand voice consistent on all platforms. This is where most brands make a mistake. It is important to note that multichannel marketing means you need to widen your reach along with maintaining uniformity in terms of brand message, brand voice, and brand goals and objectives. The audience on all channels must relate to your brand in a similar manner. Hence, create a message that can be implemented on various channels without major changes.
4. Select your channels
There are several channels for brand marketing other than social media platforms. Some of the most commonly used channels for marketing are email marketing, videos, live events, podcasts, and of course social media platforms. The selection of the channels depends on what action you want the audience to take on your posts and content.
5. Measure the effectiveness of your strategy
There are many benefits of multichannel marketing but it differs from brand to brand. To know whether the strategy is working for your brand, it is necessary to analyse and measure its results. Every channel will have its measure of success wrt metrics. See to it that you analyse them and take the necessary steps to get the most out of your strategies. Tools like Unbox Social can help you with social media analytics.
The above-stated steps will help you plan and implement your multi-channel marketing strategy smoothly. Let’s look at a few brands that have implemented multichannel marketing strategies effectively.
Multichannel Marketing Examples
Netflix is pretty active on social media platforms and is also not behind in letting you know what you are missing out on in terms of series and movies. Netflix’s marketing strategy is people-centric and the brand leaves no channel unexplored. Right from targeting new and potential customers on email to ads on the internet, the brand does it all to capture the attention of the users. The streaming platform knows how to create a buzz for its content and that works for it. Moreover, the word-of-mouth publicity further adds to its success rate of converting passive audiences into active subscribers.
Apple knows the pulse of its audience thoroughly and is also aware of the funnel that will bring them sales. Right from attracting the audience towards its products to creating a need for the same, Apple’s multichannel marketing has given them an enviable reach and sales. The brand value of Apple is incomparable and hence, it does not believe much in traditional advertising and marketing on the World Wide Web. However, the brand makes sure to create curiosity for its upcoming products and focuses on educating the audience about its products which has increased its demand.
Lifestyle brands are creating more than just social media marketing plans. Cosmetics giant Sephora has a presence all over the world and the brand has also reached every mobile phone with its well-functioning website and apps at a few locations and on few devices. The brand is also active with influencer marketing and manages to gain the majority of engagement through its social media strategies. Moreover, the brand has made optimum use of technology in its stores at a few locations with virtual try-on.
4. Marks and Spencer
Marks and Spencer enjoys a great Indian and international consumer base. The brand knows the importance of online shopping and has managed to create an app for the ease of its customers. Along with a strong social media presence, M&S makes sure its mobile commercial platform is high on functionality. The brand is also active with its email marketing and alerts the customers for sale seasons and new arrivals.
The scenic pictures of Airbnb on social media have already caught everyone’s attention. Airbnb managed to change how people travel and along with that the brand also came up with unique marketing strategies to spread its reach. From social media marketing to email marketing, the brand is all over the place. Moreover, the Airbnb app has further encouraged people to trust the brand. The brand has managed to capture all channels successfully with the help of its engaging content strategy.
Moreover, the storytelling approach followed on all channels further increased its popularity.
Multichannel marketing has helped many brands reach heights of success. This marketing technique requires smart planning and implementation because staying active on all platforms and channels can be quite a big task.
Hope this brief guide will help you come up with multichannel strategies. Here are a few more blogs to help you with social media marketing.