Part of our #HereComeTheHolidays Series
Multi channel marketing can go a long way towards successfully delivering a campaign. How can companies make multi channel marketing work for their small businesses—especially at a busy time of year?
What is Multi Channel Marketing?
Multi channel marketing is the use of different mediums by companies to reach their intended audience, to bring traffic from multiple sources. These are targeted based on what the companies know about when the audience will interact with that channel. The combinations of marketing sources can vary, and can be specific to each campaign, not just each company. Everything, as always, depends on the customer.
Which Sources Are Used in Multi Channel Marketing?
Some of the popular sources used in multi channel marketing are:
- Physical marketing (shopfronts, etc.)
- Paid ads
- Email marketing
- Sales conversations
- Social media campaigns
- Out Of Home (OOH)
- Mail marketing
- Website promotion
- In-person events
Some of these will be more realistic for small businesses than others. You have to choose what is best for your company.
Why Should a Small Business Use Multi Channel Marketing?
A key moment in the customer’s buying cycle is the identification of a company, a brand, or a product, as an ‘option’. When it becomes memorable, it becomes a consideration for the customer when they’re ready to buy. At a time of intense marketing like the holiday season, everyone is trying to be that memorable company.
But reaching out to prospects across different mediums can greatly increase your chance of being remembered. Instead of them making the effort, you’re finding them—on a much more targeted basis.
It’s true that the more you appear, the more your name will be remembered. However, I’m not saying that you should bombard your prospects; it’s not necessarily about quantity. If you can spread out the frequency of your marketing across different mediums, your prospect is less likely to find your ad presence intrusive and repetitive, and more likely to be interested in what you have to say. This is especially important with the added competition the holiday season brings.
Our Tips for Multi Channel Marketing for the Holiday Season
A multi channel marketing strategy works best when you have detailed information about not just who your leads are, but about the ways your marketing reaches them. When setting up a campaign, make sure you know how they engage with your company. Do they engage with your social media posts? Do they like your blog articles? Are they consistent openers of your email marketing? Have they consented to mail subscriptions?
Ask yourself not just about the way they’ve interacted with you, but about how your lead interacts with marketing in a larger context. For example, if you know they’re a regular commuter, through conversations, or website tracking and mobile viewing, what times are they going to be available to see your marketing efforts?
Take all these into consideration. Segment your list via who is most likely to engage with which marketing channel. This will help you focus on your implementation, as you won’t be trying to be all things to all people.
2. Remember the ‘Multi’ in Multi Channel Marketing
This really is what it says on the tin. It won’t be the case that a lead will only interact with one particular type of marketing. Leads that engage primarily through the website might benefit from social media and topical articles and promotion on your website and website-specific offers. The trick here is to find the balance between quantity of channels and frequency of your marketing. Your targeting will be better off for it.
3. Budget—And Stick to It
It’s very easy to burn through a marketing budget before it reaches its potential, particularly when paid adverts are involved. Your goals need to be realistic and achievable for your business, no matter how big or small it is. Remember, the real power of multi channel marketing comes from the targeting of your leads, but you have to make sure you have the resources to send out the marketing the entire time, and not just in the week before the holiday.
4. Create a 90-Day Plan
Your channels should be working in tandem, not at the detriment of each other. Having a plan keeps you organised, motivated and afloat—so no channel gets neglected.
Having a plan helps; having a 90-day plan gives you breathing room for the entire holiday season. Plus, it allows you to map out exactly what you need to do for each channel, and you’re able to visualise how these work in harmony to deliver your marketing campaign. Being able to check against your plan also means you can regularly review your progress, and adjust your tasks when necessary. You’ll ensure the pressure isn’t building up as the days get closer to the big day.
You can read more about how to create a 90-day marketing plan here.
5. Diversify What You Offer…
Some people will want discounts and offers. Some people want to be shown products. Others want useful tips. Sometimes, a simple reminder that you’re there as a company will suffice. All of these work together to build a larger picture of what you’re aiming to achieve over the holiday season as a business.
As you’re trying to avoid over saturating your leads with your marketing, alternating between different talking points will keep them engaged. You can always remind them of that tantalising Christmas discount another time.
6. …But Keep Your Branding Consistent
Changing your talking points might help, but don’t let that get in the way of your brand. Keep your branding, language and messaging watertight. The visual aspect of marketing is vital for this; if you’re using a Christmas background for your social media adverts, for example, use the same pictures in your mail marketing. They need to remember who you are, what you do and why you’re important to them; the more recognisable you are, the more you’ll reinforce this feeling in the minds of your leads.
7. Build Anticipation
Holidays like Christmas are all about anticipation, and though we’ll all be aware of the countdown in the back of our heads, businesses can contribute a great deal to that sense of an end goal. The excitement for the holiday will build, and your marketing can push leads towards your business if you help encourage that. Making your custom a desirable outcome—or the solution to a problem—in the midst of a countdown will increase your chances of a prospect willing to consider you as an option. This is where discounts and offers can be particularly appealing, especially as you get even closer to the day itself.
8. Cultivate Your Calls to Action
A lot of multi channel marketing is designed to lead to other places—this is especially the case in email marketing, or magazine leaflets. For this type of multi channel marketing, having a strong Call to Action will solidify that link between marketing and purchase. Paid ads, social media links, etc. can be more subtle, but the Call to Action is an integral part of the multi channel marketing push during the holiday season. Use the medium’s strengths to push your CTA, so it can deliver the followup your business wants.
9. Follow Up
When the big day is over, your business coffers replenished, your belly full from turkey, brisket or pulao, you may think you can sit back in your chair and relax. And you should enjoy your holiday—you deserve it!
Customer retention is an integral part of marketing, especially for small businesses, as they tend to rely on the goodwill of existing customers’ feedback more than big companies. Coming back to the world of work is therefore the perfect time to build upon the connections you’ve made in your holiday season campaign. If you want to, ask for feedback too. You can then use this feedback to refine and perfect your multi channel marketing next year, and create the perfect campaign to secure more sales.