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Essentially, multichannel marketing is about choice and empowering individuals to interact with businesses, companies, brands, etc. on the platform of their choosing, whether that’s offline platforms like print ads in magazines, a display in a retail store, or a poster in a subway station, or online, for instance on a website, a social media platform like Facebook, or via email. The choices, like the possibilities, are endless.

The choices we face – Looking at our own behaviour helps us to understand others’

With so many online and offline channels to choose from, we have a tendency to favour particular behavioural habits when we want to make an informed decision about a product or service that we are considering purchasing.

While you may be initially exposed to a product or service for the first time on TV, generally speaking, the platforms that you will use to research that product or service are online platforms accessed using devices like a PC, laptop/notebook, tablet or smartphone. You may also use your phone to ask someone what they think, or speak to them face to face, but chances are you will use a search engine to find a review site or a blog post, or use social media, to gain access to information.

So what does this mean for businesses? It means that they must establish a powerful online presence across numerous online channels so as to easily interact with potential clients and customers, but it also means that they need to understand how their target audience, i.e. their target clients and customers, move from one online channel to another so as to create a consistent and harmonious experience that’s agreeable to the individual.

Why is multichannel marketing so important?

The oversaturation of markets means that businesses must be everywhere their existing customers, and potential customers, are. This means both online and offline, but also everywhere within those incredibly broad fields. As many have found out the hard way, if a business is unable to occupy a position in a particular online or offline field, for example on Google+ Local, then one of their immediate competitors will show up and establish a presence, usually to the detriment of their competitors.

That consumers have much more control over the purchasing process than in the past is a major concern to marketers, as it means consumers increasingly have so many more choices, in terms of products, services, and the platforms that they can use to access information about those products and services, than they used to.

This increase in the number and the variety of channels that marketers can use to reach potential customers means embracing multichannel marketing is essential.

The challenges that multichannel marketing presents for marketers

Succeeding at multichannel marketing is not without its numerous challenges. Some of the most notable challenges that marketers face are as follows.

–       Understanding the customer

Understanding customer perspectives is crucially important in multichannel marketing because of its customer-centric nature. As the perspective of the customer dictates which channels they will use to interact with businesses, marketers must make understanding the customer their first priority.

–       Identifying the most efficient channels

A mistake that many marketers have made is assuming that multichannel marketing works best when as many channels are hit as possible. That simply isn’t the case. Multichannel marketing works best when the most effective and efficient channels are used.

–       Creating a consistent experience

Seamless experiences are essential for success in multichannel marketing and the message must be consistent across all channels. Basically, each channel must be saying the same thing so as to create a consistent client-customer experience.

–       Measuring response performance

Understanding which channels are generating responses is critical to identifying the best channels to use to interact with potential clients and customers. When marketers understand which channels are triggering which responses, they are able to assess whether their marketing efforts are bearing the fruit they wish to see.

Multichannel marketing presents marketers with a number of important challenges to step up to and face, but getting it right can be as simple as understanding and mastering the following three steps.

The three steps to multichannel marketing success

Don’t believe for a second that mastering the following three steps to multichannel marketing success is going to be easy, but breaking down the challenges marketers face and identifying three key steps has helped countless marketers get the results they’re after. And you can too.

–       Create a single view of the customer and maintain across all channels

Because clients and customers often interact with businesses across multiple channels, creating and maintaining a single view of the customer across all channels is crucially important. Therefore, it’s essential that you understand how a customer behaves across each channel, as well as their value to your business.

–       Establish a platform supported by processes and technology

Establishing a multichannel marketing platform enables marketers to integrate emerging channels with their more established channels. This platform should also include the processes and technology required to support it.

–       Create customer experiences that are consistent across all channels

Quality is just as important as consistency where customer experiences across multiple channels are concerned. Therefore, you can’t make the mistake of treating each channel as a distinct entity because it opens the door to the possibility of one particular channel detracting from the overall customer experience.

Multichannel marketing is crucially important for marketers to embrace and master. And should your multichannel marketing campaign bring about the need for extra people to take the increased influx of calls, our Media Response Solutions could be just what you’re in need of to ensure that your business never misses out on a new sales opportunity ever again.

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