Essay: Multichannel marketing

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  • Subject area(s): Marketing essays
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  • Published on: January 16, 2020
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  • Multichannel marketing
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Multichannel marketing offers marketers unprecedented advantages by enabling brands to reach buyers across multiple channels, gather multiple-source data about purchaser behavior and the buyer’s journey, and use that insight to custom-tailor targeted marketing for individual buyers across those same channels.

Consider a hypothetical example in which two brands wish to market weight-loss products to consumers. The first company, SlimChance, invests 15% of its targeted revenues exclusively in search marketing, reasoning (correctly) that doing so will reach buyers at the very moment when they are exhibiting purchasing interest in weight-loss products. They optimize their website, making investments in the site’s quality, trustworthiness, popularity and authority, resulting in content and a user experience that get people talking about the brand and linking to the site, and thereby improving their search engine ranking. In addition to SEO, they also put money into paid search, bidding on keywords for ad placement at the top of search results, and paying for each user who clicks on their ad.

Meanwhile, SlimChance’s competitor, FlabShedders, invests approximately the same amount of money in a multichannel program. In addition to search marketing, they spread spending across three other categories: social marketing, which allows them to target users whose friends’ interests/behaviors include weight loss; display, which enables them to retarget users who have interacted with their brand by presenting “banner” ads on other pages they visit; and mobile marketing, which takes advantage of the highly personal nature of mobile devices and uses proximity and other data from the mobile device to present custom offers to the user.

Why does FlabShedders’ multichannel program return greater value than SlimChance’s single-channel approach? In a word, integration. The data that FlabShedders gathers from one channel can be combined with data from the other channels, yielding a more accurate picture of buyers’ behavior. Better still, the resulting insight can be used for marketing activities across all of the channels as well, for better reach and targeting.

For example, a user who searches for the term “gluten free weight loss” can be presented with, say, a link to a free eBook containing FlabShedders’ gluten-free recipes and the opportunity to follow FlabShedders’ Instagram channel for daily weight-loss tips and recipe ideas, which she accepts. Now FlabShedders can present the users’ friends (followers) with offers, knowing that her friends’ interests are more likely than average to match hers. It can also present her with custom offers via Instagram and display ads with ways to further interact with the brand — say, by downloading the free FlabShedders mobile app. When she tracks her weight, searches for recipes and exercise ideas, visits other websites, makes social posts, or travels, the data gathered can be used to customize even more targeted offers across all four channels, significantly increasing the likelihood of conversion.

The holistic view of buyer behavior that FlabShedders’ MM provides gives them greater insight into the brand’s online performance, along with more — and more targeted — opportunities to influence buyer behavior.

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