What’s the Real Deal?
There’s a ton of information out there about multichannel marketing – and it can be hard to sift through. You probably often find yourself wondering, what’s real, and what’s myth? You’re not alone. Many marketers end up hindering their own multichannel efforts by believing a lot of these circulated misunderstandings, but with our help, you don’t have to. Today, we’re looking at three of the most common misconceptions around multichannel marketing, and – as experts in the area, letting you in on the real deal.
Myth 1: Multichannel Marketing is “Too Expensive”
There are a ton of marketers and organizations out there that have yet to try or implement multichannel marketing because it’s “too expensive” or “over budget”. It may cost slightly more than your generic, on-touch marketing, but it’s important to consider the benefits and weigh the cost versus the potential (and often guaranteed) ROI. There’s proof out there that many businesses end up getting much greater ROI from multichannel marketing, making the price worth it. Plus, it’s estimated that companies with optimal multichannel campaigns experience “customer retention rates of 89%, compared to an average of 33% for those businesses with weak multichannel engagement”. It’s all about how you use your budget, and allotting it to the marketing practices and programs that will yield the highest return.
Myth 2: Multichannel Solutions “Benefit Only the Customer”
It’s a common misconception that multichannel marketing is great for meeting customers at many touchpoints, but that it’s overwhelming and inconclusive for the company using it. This could not be further from the truth. Multichannel marketing is not just a one-touch process, and that’s what makes it unique and effective. Although it may seem like a lot at first (engaging with customers on several platforms such as direct mail, social, and website) it’ll be extremely helpful in forecasting and planning a company’s marketing strategy in the long run. Multichannel marketing benefits customers by providing them with relevant, personable, and consistent content, but also benefits your company by building brand awareness, loyalty, and trust within consumers and by compiling data and analytics for a complete picture of your audience’s customer journey.
Like we said, it may seem like a lot at first, but over time, you’ll get a clear picture of what channels and touchpoints work best for your company and reach the most customers, what channels and touchpoints don’t, and where and when it’s best to reach your target audience(s).
Additionally, multichannel marketing helps your employees improve customer service and build more personal and personalized relationships with customers. For example, while communicating with a customer at a certain touchpoint, your customer service representative can see exactly what contact points the customer has already accessed, as well as the information they’ve received or provided to your company. This relationship that multichannel marketing fosters not only creates less frustration and unawareness for the customer – but for the company as well. In turn, multichannel marketing reduces staff turnover, and ensures that you keep your most talented employees. It can also reduce staff errors and build a better brand reputation for your company as a whole
Myth 3: Multichannel Marketing is “Hard to Implement”
We’ve heard this one a lot. “Multichannel marketing is so involved,” or “I just don’t have time for all that.” Here’s the thing…multichannel marketing is only as hard as you make it. There are a lot of channels out there to reach your potential customers (website, in-store, catalog, e-mail, TV, text, blog, mail…the list goes on), but that doesn’t mean you have to use all of them. Plus, if you stick with your brand standards and ensure all of your touchpoints are connected and unified, you can use similar (if not the same) content, design, colors, and calls-to-action across channels, making the process much easier.
The best way to get started without getting overwhelmed is to create a plan. A great trick for quick planning is “RACE”; Reach, Act, Convert, and Engage. Make sure you’re hitting all of these parts of the process to ensure you’re connecting with and converting your audience, and getting the most out of your multichannel marketing.
Lastly, if you still feel you’re in over your head, or just really want to focus on other parts of your business, don’t hesitate to partner with experienced multichannel marketing experts. Research who you want to partner with so that you’re aware of what to expect and what they’ll expect from you in terms of budgets, end goals, and experience levels.
We hope we’ve eliminated some of your worries, answered some of your questions, and provided you with a bit of confidence in multichannel marketing. To get started on your next (or maybe your first) multichannel campaign, or learn more about how we can help, feel free to contact us.
Looking for more information on multichannel marketing and how to effectively launch a campaign? Visit our YouTube channel for quick tips and tricks from the experts at Strata.
Make Your Direct Mail Thrive with Tracking, Enhancing, and Attributing Results
We’ve said it time and again – direct mail really works. In fact, direct mail open rates can reach up to 42%, which is a lot higher than most e-mail open rates. Recipients of direct mail also “purchase 28% more items and spend 28% more money than people who don’t get that same piece of direct mail.” While these are excellent stats, we know it’s not always that easy to track and measure ROI from physical mail in the same way you track ROI from your digital strategies. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you out. We believe in not only the importance of direct mail, but in its results – with the right tools and resources.
First and foremost, consistency is key when it comes to direct mail ROI. To get the most out of your direct mail, make sure it isn’t just direct mail. What do we mean? Weave digital touches into your direct mail – like your social media, digital ads, and website – and make sure everything is connected. With the right direct mail partner or resource, you can take mailing addresses and match them with social accounts, IP addresses, and more to really understand who your audience is and what actions they’re taking. Weaving in digital information can help you share your message before, during, and after your direct mail is sent out – making the chosen brand message consistent and more impactful to your audience.
Not convinced this is all necessary? We are, because combining offline and online tactics is proven to really work. In a recent study, a whapping 68% of marketing respondents saw that combining digital and direct mail increased visits to their websites. Considering the multichannel experience and the customer journey while creating your direct mail will not just increase website visits, but many areas of ROI.
When it comes to getting the most from your direct mail, it’s important to ABT – Always Be Tracking. Not only tracking information and results from your direct mail campaign like you would your digital ones, but tracking the delivery of your mailers – just like you would a package. This will help you know when to prepare the recipient with other messaging before delivery, and when to follow up with them to make the greatest impact. Take it a step further by working with your direct mail partner or resource to send the recipient an “informed delivery” message by USPS to make them aware of their mailer’s arrival, and send them direct links to ROI-rich landing pages. If you haven’t noticed already, every step we’re highlighting truly combines the traditional and digital worlds of marketing.
If you’re still with us, you’ll see that we’ve created an experience for the recipient along many steps of their customer journey, tracked their direct mail’s physical journey, and have notified them that there’s a special something waiting in their mailbox. So, what’s next? Reporting, recording, and attributing. Without these, you won’t know how to improve upon your direct mail and increase your ROI for next time. Your recipients may respond or perform an action by phone, BRC, personalized landing page (PURL), or in another way, so it’s important that the information is correctly recorded in real-time. The best way to record and store this information is on a platform’s dashboard specifically made for tracking. There are many out there – so find whatever works for you and make sure you use it to your advantage. The chosen platform can help you store names, addresses, ages, and other helpful demographics to assist you in understanding and targeting your true target audience.
You may have some recipients who will visit your website but will not directly respond to your mail. That’s why it’s important to use identifiable URLs that you can easily track, like UTMs, PURLS, or specified QR codes. If these recipients aren’t quite ready to reach back out to you or make a move, you’ll still have a gauge on their interest, and will be able to send them digital ads or e-mails reminding them of your product or service until their ready to take the next step.
Instead of continuing to throw mail like paper planes to your audience, track and know if your mailers make an impact. Make sure you’re always examining your data and attributing it. You’ll quickly realize it’s easier than you expected to see what’s working, what’s not, and where you can improve on your direct mail campaigns.
As one of our specialties at Strata, we know that direct mail can be uber effective when using the right processes and tools. The key is always combining traditional and digital to catch your audience’s attention before, during, and after direct mail is in their hands. And, like we said before, never stop tracking and modifying.
To learn more about how to create successful direct mail, check out our direct-mail-focused blogs, “Dimensional Mail: Four Criteria for the Perfect Promotional Item” and “7 Ways to Make Your Postcard Stand Out”, or simply contact Strata. We’ve been doing this for years and would be happy to help you get an ROI rich direct mail campaign started.
The Omni-Steps to Getting Started
Omnichannel marketing can be intimidating at first. The very word itself starts with “omni” (meaning “all”), so we get it, it’s a lot! That’s why we’re peeling back the layers for you. We hope this blog, and our other blogs in this series, helps you understand how beneficial omnichannel marketing can be for your company. In the first blog of the series, we explained exactly what omnichannel campaign marketing is. Now, we’re on to the next step – how to get an omnichannel campaign up and running.
When building your omnichannel strategy, what’s most important is building your target audience. Without that, you’re simply creating a strategy that meets possible customers on the journey you think they’re on. You’ll likely miss who and where they really are. Since your customers are moving from device to device, it can be challenging to follow them, but it’s imperative to set up parameters to catch this data and meet them where they are and see where they’re going. Track their behaviors and record where they’re connecting with your brand and company. Research, research, and research more on your consumers – because as much as you’d like to optimize communication on every channel, your demographic may only be active on a few of them. Decide on which channels you should invest in by reviewing your website analytics. What’s getting you high traffic, time on your site, conversions, and other metrics?
Use Tracking Technology
Like we said, you’ll need a lot of data for your omnichannel strategy – but getting that data takes a lot of research and tracking. Review all website analytics to better understand where your customers are coming from, and why. Use this information to provide a positive experience for the customer along their journey. After all, 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers a personalized experience. Using machine learning will also save you time and energy in tracking and finding these customers. Lastly, use collaborative filtering, to make suggestions to new audience members.
Segment Your Audience
To target the right people (the ones you found in your research) at the right time (where they were in your research), you’ll need to utilize audience segmentation. Group your customers by demographic, psychographic, geographic, behaviors, and other applicable segments. These specific audiences will most likely be marketed to in distinctive ways, on different channels, and with differing touchpoints.
Be Your Own Customer
Before rolling out your omnichannel campaign, always test your omnichannel experience as if you’re the customer. Try to get into the customer’s mindset (using the data you’ve acquired and your knowledge of their behaviors) and keep in mind how personal the experience should be. Pretend to actually purchase something from your service to see if there are any problem points or errors along the way, and make adjustments to your campaign where they’re needed. We know that 79% of consumers say that they will purchase more products or services from a company after a positive customer experience, so make sure the experience is definitely a positive one before providing it to real customers.
Be sure to record quantitative and qualitative data not only before, but throughout your campaign. Keeping up with the campaign will help you understand where customers are connecting, purchasing, or dropping out and moving on. You’ll see where and when you need to adjust your campaign. Additionally, send out surveys to current or potential customers to see how and when you can improve their experience.
Make sure you’re not only responding to your customers – but also their behaviors. If your tracking is showing a change in your customer base’s actions, react to that change and alter your campaign.
What should also be responsive? Your design. If your targeted audience is moving back and forth between devices, you should too. Research shows that consumers use more than four devices each day. Provide an optimal experience not only on desktop, but on tablet, TV, mobile, and anywhere else you may be connecting with your audience. Make sure those in your company connecting with customers are trained to work across all of these possible channels, and can continually help you improve your customers’ user experiences. Use cross-screen advertising to “efficiently advertise to viewers as they consume content across different devices”. Create a touch-point on each screen your audience uses, or make sure the touch-point works on all possible screens.
Getting your omnichannel campaign started may require some company and mindset shifts, but it’s a strategy that can truly enhance your user experience and provide high ROI. 87% of consumers want brands to have more consistent experiences across all platforms, and omnichannel does just that. By investing in omnichannel marketing tactics, you’ll position your brand as a customer-centric business, which will help you pull in more consumers, increase conversions, and ultimately grow your revenue. Could you use some more help starting your omnichannel campaign? Let us know.