Maximizing Multi-Channel Marketing

I recently attended a seminar on multi-channel marketing campaigns and thought I’d share a couple of the items that were discussed.

The term “multi-channel” simply means simultaneously using different ways, or channels, to market your product or service. In today’s world of electronic and traditional multimedia, people are being hit with advertisements and brands constantly, and therefore we tend to tune out most of it – we use voice mail, spam filters, TiVO, and even open our mail over the trashcan.

Savvy marketers know that consumers need to be marketed to on an individual level. They need to be reached by the medium they like the most. The trouble is, we can’t afford to simply guess what that medium is most likely to be, and that’s where multi-channel marketing comes in. Hopefully, you’ll be able to introduce the following into your marketing mix if you’re not already doing so…

Mixing the Print & Online Worlds

This is a core element in AG’s internal marketing program, but there is still some confusion or unfamiliarity concerning how to bring the two together. There are a number of ways to do so, including using variable data, personalized URLs, generalized URLs, and/or QR codes on print pieces in order to get a prospect to take action online.

It’s not your father’s postcard mailing… direct marketing has changed dramatically over the past few years, and there now exists software that can track, record, analyze, and store information for future retrieval and use.

Utilizing Social Media

It doesn’t matter if you’re B2B or B2C, there’s a social media outlet that will help your business.  You can incorporate LinkedIn groups, Facebook business pages and Twitter feeds for starters. But don’t forget blog contributions, polls or surveys, links to industry-specific articles, YouTube channels, and other social media elements that can have a huge impact on your campaign results.

Publishing & ePublishing

While this often goes hand-in-hand with social media because you’ll want to share what you publish, don’t underestimate the power of a white paper, newsletter, or even a printed booklet as a giveaway to potential customers.  Additionally, and even more importantly, add fresh, relevant content to your site as part of an ongoing marketing effort. It will make it easier to publish campaign-specific items when necessary, so that your updates don’t seem sporadic and/or “salesy.”

Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is evolving quickly, and there are ways to use SMS, MMS, 2-dimensional barcodes and other mobile-specific items in campaigns. Moreover, it is becoming increasingly imperative to optimize web sites (including campaign-specific micro-sites) for smart phones.  One other segment of mobile marketing that is growing exponentially is the use of mobile apps, and these can of course come in many forms. Specifically, local retailers have found that loyalty programs are well suited for applications, and businesses are beginning to creatively use GPS-related sites (think FourSquare) as additional channels to reach and engage customers.

Last Thoughts

Multi-channel campaigns can include many mediums and these are just a few. The thing to remember is that your target audience will be using a few primary channels, and the more times you can connect with them, the better your chances of having a successful campaign.

PS: One often-overlooked “channel” is the hand-written letter… a welcome change of pace, and something that may help you stand out from the crowd!

By Eric Pursh,
Outside Sales Representative,
AlphaGraphics in the Cultural District

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