Multi-Channel Marketing

Dear M & M: I am confused how do I make it all work? Look at all the choices we have to market our products and services from radio to newspaper to online. I haven’t even brought in the non-traditional guerrilla marketing tactics that can be used. – Dawn

Dear Dawn:

Today’s’ buzz word is multi-channel marketing. One must always consider from TV to trade-show booths, all we are trying to do is to communicate our marketing message, to a specific audience, in a way they understand, using a medium that they receive messages from. If you don’t get cable television or if you don’t subscribe to that magazine or better yet if you never read magazines or watch TV, you’ll never see or hear any marketing messages using either of those mediums.

One of today’s marketing strategies called inbound marketing emphasizes to meet your market where they are and speak to them in ways they like to communicate. When using this approach be careful when you scatter multi-channel approaches across several platforms. One could be wasting resources marketing on platforms where your customers aren’t listening or misusing a platform better suited for another market segment or even a better medium.

Let’s say I developed a great jingle and it is an integral part of my brand. My audience loves the jingle. Matter of fact, whenever they hear it; they want to buy my stuff. Radio, TV and live events might be a great way to convey your jingle or your marketing message. What do you do if the audience that buys your products and services doesn’t listen to the radio or doesn’t watch Television? Remember, it is all about creating great content that attracts potential customers where they are listening.

Instead of interrupting them one must send messages in ways they like to communicate. Adding to the complexity, marketing is a continual changing environment. From the way information is shared, to how research is done on what to buy, is continually evolving. Now more than ever the consumers have many options to share information or viewpoints on companies, products or services on third party repetition sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, or CityPage.

Many purchase decisions are influenced from word to mouth to online platforms before a buying decision is even made. They used to say if you have one unsatisfied customer they would tell 20 other people about it. Now they can tell thousands with a few strokes on a keyboard. It goes the other way too. A great experience can be broadcasted to thousands of people wanting to buy in seconds.

Dharmesh Shah, co-Founder of HubSpot says, “No business should rely on the same old playbook they have been using for more than a decade. This mismatch between buyer behavior and company tactics can be changed using the right inbound experience with the right multi-channel marketing approach.” As always this is simple to say hard to do; give them what they want, when they want it, at the right place at the right price.

It’s called a marketing mix. Using a multi-channel approach where your audience is listening, telling the right message, at the right time will win. Never forget, you must be selling them something they want.

-M&M

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