One can hardly be successful in marketing by engaging just a single channel. A strategy should include as many relevant channels as possible. Planning for this type of marketing requires defining a strategy and estimating resources that your efforts will require. Usually, planning is done for the next year or sometimes more. You can find multichannel marketing services or something similar but worded differently in a digital marketing services list of one of many marketing agencies.
There are many communication channels, some of them online and others are offline:
- Sites and blogs;
- Physical locations;
It would be fair to say that multichannel marketing is more suitable for SME/SMB businesses. Or it can be successfully used for larger companies for a single type of audience or market.
Planning a multichannel marketing strategy for larger corporations can be quite challenging, however making sure that your goals are centralized and messaging across multiple channels is consistent, you can really achieve some great success.
A good plan highlights the tactics and channels used for delivering leads. Multichannel marketing is about how you interconnect all of your channels. Basically, we are talking about a comprehensive, strategic approach that includes various channels used simultaneously.
A very important aspect of such marketing is integration. If you already have a strategy, your multichannel approach should include it, and not be isolated from the whole marketing process.
You cannot directly manipulate your customer into purchasing something, but you are able to be visible. You are able to make sure that you will be seen and noticed by your potential audience member on the channel that they prefer. That’s what makes a multichannel approach so effective. You are not depending on a single channel. And besides, you are engaging with your customer in the territory that is comfortable for them.
Things that should be included in a multichannel plan are:
- TA profiles and channels that best suit them;
- tactics used for acquiring customers;
- ways of integrating multiple channels for achieving your objectives;
- ways of measuring the effectiveness and success of the campaign;
By tracking the effectiveness of each campaign, you will be able to identify tactics that have the most potential, and that need more of your investments. Audience members are quickly shifting from channel to channel, so your tactics should be adaptable as well.
How to approach planning
Before you start building your plan, one of the things you should consider doing is situation analysis. Some of the questions you should be asking yourself include:
- Who are the people you are reaching with your marketing?
- How to do a proper and accurate measuring of the results?
- What does the competition do to attract prospects?
- What is working for your competitors and what is not?
So this is the situation analysis. But how do we look at where we are going? We can do that by setting our objectives.
When we have an understanding of our goals, the next question should be, ‘How can one get there?’ This is when we are talking about the strategy. Here you choose the direction for all the actions you are about to take. This could be the smallest part of the whole plan, but it is crucial. Here it’s time to answer questions like:
- How can you achieve your targets?
- Which channels are the most relevant and generate the highest ROI?
- Which marketing tactics should be implemented during different stages of the customer journey?
Tactics are when you go into detail on what exactly needs to be done to achieve your goals. When planning tactics, one should think of a timeline. When is the best time for what?
To have an effective tactic often means to:
This stage is about increasing brand awareness. It’s when we send out a message through various channels to drive visits. There are different ways you can reach out to your potential customer. You can use a paid advertisement, your own digital and offline channels, as well as earned media.
This is not yet about conversion. For many companies, this stage is about lead generation. After they visited your website, you need to encourage them to further interact with your brand. This interaction may look like reading your article or seeking information about one of your products. These interactions should be defined as one of your most important goals in analytics. It may be when a person adds something to their basket, signs up on your website, looked at your catalog, etc. This step also includes persuading someone to share your post on social media or leave a review.
And this is the conversion. It is about finally converting someone into your buyer or client. Basically, it’s when a visitor makes a purchase and pays for your products or services.
After a person has made their purchase, your interaction with them shouldn’t end. Now it’s time to turn them into your loyal customer and build a relationship with them that will last. You can connect with your customers through e-mails, messengers, social media, etc. For example, in the past year, you designed a website for your client, now you can reach out and send a link to a website promo that they might find useful for updating their website.
The choice of channel should be made based on what is the most relevant one for your audience.
What makes a great marketing plan?
Some of the most important aspects of a good plan are these:
- It has clearly-defined and realistic objectives;
- It helps to win the competition;
- It contains a lot of the details on strategies and tactics used to achieve your objectives;
- It has a proper methodology that allows measuring progress;