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Developing a Multichannel Marketing Strategy, Part 1

To build a winning distributed marketing strategy, set your team up for success with access to materials, identify ideal customers and define goals.

In a rapidly changing marketing world, where buyers have more choices and higher standards than ever, the task of creating and implementing marketing campaigns that capture and keep buyers’ attention is, for many marketers, starting to feel like an uphill battle.

While no brand is immune to rising marketing stakes, the struggle is especially acute for national brand leaders at multilocation organizations, who are likely managing local field marketers, franchisees with limited marketing knowledge, and/or regional sales reps who are all working to increase brand awareness and build the bottom line. Adding a distributed workforce on top of complex marketing initiatives (and a pandemic) increases the challenges faced by national marketing leaders, to be sure.

At OneTouchPoint, we’re here to support you and your team(s), starting with this two-part guide to planning and executing an effective multichannel marketing strategy. In part 1, we’ll dive into the first three steps: setting your team up for success, identifying your target audience, and figuring out what you’re trying to achieve. Part 2 will focus on connecting with your ideal audience through multichannel marketing campaigns and in-depth analytics.

Let’s get started. First, let’s discuss a multichannel strategy and why it’s important.

Marketers have a lot of levers to pull when it comes to crafting the right messages and getting offers in front of their target audiences through the right channels. There are mountains of best practices on how to do marketing well, and with so much information, it can be overwhelming and confusing – particularly for teams in the field who may not have a lot of marketing experience. But here’s the secret, the common thread to getting marketing right is to use a multichannel approach.

We know that marketing deployed across multiple channels increases responses and conversions. According to research from Swrve, an integrated multichannel marketing program can deliver revenue uplift in the range of 15-35%.

It is true that certain demographics and types of buyers prefer one channel over the other, but marketers who integrate multiple channels are more than twice as likely to report higher marketing effectiveness vs. using those using fewer channels with less integration (Heinz Marketing). And it makes sense: people are busy. Messages and impressions aren’t always fully consumed, even on favorite channels. The lifetime of a tweet is minutes. An email can sit unopened in an inbox for no other reason than the person was too busy at that moment to open it and do anything about it. How many emails do you flag to read later, and then never come back to? Offers can get served via display or geofencing, but if the consumer is engaged with something else, like taking a phone call, sending a giphy on slack, or flagging your unopened email, they can easily switch screens and tune out.

But what happens when potential customers also see the offer that they barely noticed in an online display ad, or just caught the headline of in an email before they switched screens, in another channel, say, as a local Facebook or Instagram ad? All of those touchpoints matter. All of them ultimately add to brand recognition and the potential for conversion.

This is the power of a multichannel strategy—and it doesn’t have to be complicated or complex or costly. You can start simply, then track, analyze and iterate based on what the data is telling you. But, more on that in Part 2 of this series.

There is also a lot written and a lot of debate over which channel is best (and here there are real differences in B2B vs. B2C environments because the buying behavior of these groups is vastly different) but the question isn’t which singular channel is best, but which mix is best aligned with your products, offers, and buyers? The key for modern marketers is to test and hone this mix, and, when you are in a distributed environment, enable your scattered teams to present the right offers at the right stage of the buying cycle through the right channels.

1. Set Your Team Up for Success

For many businesses, especially those with locations and marketers dispersed across the country, the biggest challenges are often brand control and easy access to the latest and greatest materials. National brand leaders don’t have the time to guide every local rep through the concept and implementation of quality marketing campaigns or outreach. But all too often, local reps’ ideas of “quality marketing” may not align with established best practices or brand standards, and consistent design, messaging, and guidelines are critical to maintaining brand integrity. National brand leaders can empower their teams by providing an easily accessible “brand command center” that serves as a repository for the latest brand, promotion, and campaign marketing materials. If the system is sophisticated enough, you can also give your team access to localization capabilities, on-demand print and product fulfillment, a centralized communication hub, and an analytics engine.

Many of us realized how important it was to have approved, accessible materials for teams working from home during the COVID shutdowns, but having a platform that can be remotely accessed so that campaign materials can be ordered, shipped, delivered, and charged back to the appropriate team or location saves our clients enormous time and effort even when their teams are back in their respective offices. What may have felt like a forced digital transformation at the time, will pay ongoing dividends.

With the right resources at their fingertips, everyone who participates in bringing the marketing strategy to life will have what they need to succeed.

2. Identify Your Target Audience & goals

You’ve got your team in place. They have access to your brand command center where you house all of your marketing materials. Now, let’s determine what you’re trying to do. This will help dictate how to build the best marketing mix for your brand(s). The first step is to identify exactly who you’re trying to reach with your marketing efforts. Which of your personas are you targeting and why?

Are you trying to attract new customers? Drive repeat purchase? Promote a new store opening? Or get traction and sales around a new product launch?

Once you determine this, you can determine the right offers, creative, and success metrics to put in front of these key personas and you can start creating marketing collateral and messaging that will capture their attention and show them how your brand can solve their problems. We’ll get to that in part 2 of this marketing strategy series.

In the meantime, we invite you to learn more about OneTouchPoint and discover the ways we help organizations across a variety of industries can execute on simple but effective multichannel campaigns.

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