Today we have many platforms to promote our business. During old times, radio was the only medium for marketing campaigns. Later television became a dominant platform. But this changed with the advent of Internet. It sowed seeds to a multi channel approach which later became a major tool for businesses for marketing campaigns. It is an approach where the businesses use multiple channels to interact with customers to sell their products and services. The channel can be direct and indirect; emails, TV ads, Phone calls, bus ads, billboards, Facebook ads, Google Adwords, Twitter, Websites etc. Marketers contact the customers multiple times using multiple mediums. The repetition is important in order to register the company’s name and their products in customer’s mind. Only then will they think of your product when the need arises.
Multi Channel Approach Challenges
- Data Integration
It can be a challenge to track customer behaviour. To track the customer, Twitter and Facebook have analytics. But these data do not integrate easily. So to overcome this companies must build robust tracking system. If you have Google analytics, you will get information regarding the channel, customers use to get into your website. With this, companies can modify their multi channel approach. For example if no customers access your website via a particular channel, then you can divert the resources to another channel.
- Customer Behaviour
There are different patterns of buying. These patterns can be analysed and guessed. For example, during World cup season there will be a high demand for jersey’s. A t-shirt manufacturer must recognise this time and give offers and discounts to entice customers. Such foresights on human behaviour will help you channel customers effectively.
- Time and money for channels
Without knowing which channel has the best performance it is difficult to know where to spend the resources like time and money. We always have the temptation to spend more money and time on best performance resources. But this may not increase the number of customers via that particular channel. It is an art to find the best channel.
- Channel Evaluation
Some customers visit your website through different or unique channels. And it is hard to know which channel convinced them. So the companies need to keep experimenting with different channels.
- Coordinating channels
Coordinating multi channel is no cake walk. For example, if a customer clicks on an ad displayed in a channel and reaches your main webpage and not your product page. This situation is bad because there is a possibility that the customer closes your website thinking it’s not worth searching. So the landing page is important for each ad.
New Marketing Approach: The Omni Approach
In Omni-channel approach is a multi channel approach where the companies provide the customers a smooth shopping experience. The Omni channel marketing strategies are:
- Smartphone Channel: If the customer decides to buy something online via smartphone and they are not ready to buy the item at that time. So they put their product in the cart.
- Email Channel: The customer forgets about the product but it is still in the cart.
- Desktop channel: The customer decides to buy the product via desktop. But sometimes they put it in cart.
In all these cases the product was safe in the cart. No matter what channel the customer used, the cart was with them until they purchased the product. This integration level may look difficult but CRM software solution can integrate different channels and these provide a seamless experience to customers. This is an effective marketing strategy.
The multichannel marketing approach basically works with guesswork and data integration. Mere integration is not the point. We need to identify the customer behaviour and the signals provided by various channels. If you spend more hours to calculate and analyse the data and do various strategies for different companies you can identify the faults and benefits easily.