The curious case of Multi-Channel Marketing

The objective of multi-channel marketing is not just to get targeted traffic, but also identify the most effective sources of acquiring traffic. The idea is very simple – move from more to better, says Munish Bansal, EVP – Products, TO THE NEW

The curious case of Multi-Channel Marketing

It’s not who advertises more. It’s who advertises better.

Though every marketer is concerned about ROI, most of us avoid getting into the details just because of the complexities involved. Let’s try to understand the origin of this problem and its probable solutions.

The problem of plenty
There are so many channels in existence that it practically gets difficult to comprehend what to use and why. From Facebook to Twitter to E-mail marketing to YouTube, everyone is at his wits’ end when it comes to making the right choice. A lot of money goes down the drain just because the budget is not optimised as per the ROI and the channel reach.

John Wanamaker once famously said – “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

How to address the problem of plenty
Define your marketing objectives and accordingly your target audience.

The fundamentals of a successful marketing campaign are: (a) how well you have defined its objectives, and (b) how well you know your target segment.

There are two kinds of marketing objectives for every brand: Direct Action and Branding.

Direct Action means leads, sales, downloads, member sign-ups and subscribers, while Branding means reaching out to your targeted segment to increase and improve the brand recall.

To demystify the second fundamental (Target Segment), you need to create audience personas. Audience personas mean just eat-drink-breathe like your target segment and figure out what they do, which platforms they visit, what they like and what would appeal to them.

Once you have done that, comes the stage of selecting the optimal platform(s). This is where the concept of Multi-Channel Marketing comes into play. Multi-channel marketing is communicating and marketing your products, services and solutions to prospects across various channels. It ensures that the marketing message is reinforced to your target segments across multiple channels.

In order to achieve positive ROI, channel identification and budget allocation to these channels is the key.

The right mix of the two depends on the nature of the campaign. There can be different types of marketing campaigns such as product launch, acquiring thought leadership, fan acquisitions, pure play reach, etc. Marketers also need to weigh in variables such as their budget, reach, timeframe, target segment (B2B or B2C), the product type – if it is an affordable or a luxury one – purchase cycle and so on.

For instance, product launch will be like a short duration marketing campaign on steroids. Brands will go for high impact marketing, which means full-throttle blitzkrieg across high viewer base channels in order to reach out to maximum in the shortest possible time frame.

The idea is to have the maximum reach with highest brand recall within the allocated budget. Marketers need to go with all guns blazing across the channels wherever their target segment is present.

In the second instance, where the objective of the campaign is lead generation, marketers have to be careful about their channel selection and hit the nail with the right messaging and landing pages as per the unique set of audience of that channel. For instance, LinkedIn is for serious business networkers, Twitter is for casual conversations, Facebook is where the masses are, YouTube appeals to a younger generation and Pinterest is liked by women.

In lead generation, most advertisers care about Cost per Lead. But not every set of leads shall result into actual business. Therefore, marketers need to keep a track of which channels are generating quality leads for their business.

The objective of multi-channel marketing is not just to get targeted traffic, but also identify the most effective sources of acquiring traffic.

This may sound simple, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea! It is a mix of art and science. To have the right mix is like having the secret sausage, which lays the foundation of any successful marketing campaign.

The idea is very simple – move from more to better. Isn’t that what marketers want?

Munish Bansal is EVP – Products at TO THE NEW. He is focused on launching new products at TO THE NEW. He is an ex-entrepreneur and has strong product development experience across various technologies and verticals. 

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