Why multichannel marketing is simpler than you think

It’s natural to think that multichannel, omni-channel, or “integrated marketing” would require more resources and complexity. When done right, the contrary is true – it facilitates economies of scale by looking at the bigger picture, saving time and creating more efficiency.

Instead of just another attempt at omnipresence across every marketing platform, multichannel marketing success is about much more than exposure. It’s essentially a methodology that forces the restructuring of internal resources for seamless collaboration.

This collaborative environment banishes silos, taking away the emphasis on the channels and placing them instead on outcomes. It mobilizes all those tasked with digital marketing to share knowledge and focus on the whole: customer experiences, not only the tools that create them.

If you’re new to the concept of multichannel marketing, Epierver has put together a useful report here.

Intelligence over omnipresence

In practice, successful multichannel marketing facilitates solutions for prospective and present customers. Research has shown that customers prefer to get their information through several channels, including websites (80%), email (77%) and social media (58%), so it’s important to reach customers where they are, not just where is most convenient for you.

London Gatwick Airport was one of the earliest adopters of integrated digital initiatives through multichannel marketing. In 2010, Gatwick saw that digital services had the potential to improve their customer experiences, and that they were key to retention and brand advocacy.

 

In order to provide real-time support for their travelers, Gatwick introduced a 24-hour customer support tool using Twitter, training operations staff on how to respond to customer queries in a quick and effective manner.

 

By combining traditional marketing opportunities such as billboards with cutting-edge digital campaigns, Gatwick was able to enrich the customer experience in the built environment. Customers were encouraged to scan barcodes on construction areas to see images of the future development plans.

 

This kind of multichannel approach improves the customer experience and helps solve problems. But this is only possible if the internal structure can accommodate this type of innovation. Every organization has challenges when it comes to overcoming departmentalization in order to become a customer-focused marketing vehicle.

 

How to get in the mindset: prepare to be spontaneous

 

We see ourselves as facilitators in helping organizations to adopt a multichannel approach that prioritizes customer experiences. It all starts with the culture – often, companies find it easier to adapt to multichannel marketing when they are already infused with a customer-oriented culture.

 

The methodical approach of multichannel marketing also lends itself very well to the agile philosophy: a commitment to collaboration and flexibility, seeking to remove oneself from rigid structure. Taking this view and applying this to the perspectives of the customer is key to succeed. Perceptions of customers, their needs, and their preferences are never set in stone – therefore neither should your marketing strategy. By placing the customer in the center, channels can be used as tools to effectively solve, persuade, sell and retain.

Instead of just another attempt at omnipresence across every marketing platform, multichannel marketing success is about much more than exposure. It’s essentially a methodology that forces the restructuring of internal resources for seamless collaboration.

 

This collaborative environment banishes silos, taking away the emphasis on the channels and placing them instead on outcomes. It mobilizes all those tasked with digital marketing to share knowledge and focus on the whole: customer experiences, not only the tools that create them.

If you’re new to the concept of multichannel marketing, Episerver has put together a useful report
here.

 

Intelligence over omnipresence

 

In practice, successful multichannel marketing facilitates solutions for prospective and present customers. Research has shown that customers prefer to get their information through several channels, including websites (80%), email (77%) and social media (58%), so it’s important to reach customers where they are, not just where is most convenient for you.

 

London Gatwick Airport was one of the earliest adopters of integrated digital initiatives through multichannel marketing. In 2010, Gatwick saw that digital services had the potential to improve their customer experiences, and that they were key to retention and brand advocacy.

 

In order to provide real-time support for their travelers, Gatwick introduced a 24-hour customer support tool using Twitter, training operations staff on how to respond to customer queries in a quick and effective manner.

 

By combining traditional marketing opportunities such as billboards with cutting-edge digital campaigns, Gatwick was able to enrich the customer experience in the built environment. Customers were encouraged to scan barcodes on construction areas to see images of the future development plans.

 

This kind of multichannel approach improves the customer experience and helps solve problems. But this is only possible if the internal structure can accommodate this type of innovation. Every organization has challenges when it comes to overcoming departmentalization in order to become a customer-focused marketing vehicle.

 

How to get in the mindset: prepare to be spontaneous

 

We see ourselves as facilitators in helping organizations to adopt a multichannel approach that prioritizes customer experiences. It all starts with the culture – often, companies find it easier to adapt to multichannel marketing when they are already infused with a customer-oriented culture.

 

The methodical approach of multichannel marketing also lends itself very well to the agile philosophy: a commitment to collaboration and flexibility, seeking to remove oneself from rigid structure. Taking this view and applying this to the perspectives of the customer is key to succeed. Perceptions of customers, their needs, and their preferences are never set in stone – therefore neither should your marketing strategy. By placing the customer in the center, channels can be used as tools to effectively solve, persuade, sell and retain.

Leanne McClean

Guest blogger: Leanne McClean

Content Strategist, Nansen

Email: leanne.mcclean@nansen.com