What is Multichannel Marketing?

Given the variety of screens and devices every consumer uses on a daily basis, marketers trying to capture the attention of consumers and connect with them face an uphill battle. Multichannel marketing is the process of using several advertising channels and approaches to reach your leads wherever they engage with media so you can capture their attention anywhere. Rather than putting all your eggs into one basket, multichannel marketing is a better way to share your message with the right people at the right time. 

Why is Multichannel Marketing Important?

As the name implies, multichannel marketing refers to the practice of targeting and engaging consumers across multiple channels, which may include display, video, CTV, mobile, native, audio, search, social, and more. Rather than focusing on one single channel, each campaign uses a variety of channels to not only reach more potential customers overall but also offers the chance to share their message multiple times to increase the likelihood of brand recognition. 

Just as I would never allow my kids to eat from only one food group, and instead focus on “eating a rainbow” to get the vitamins and nutrients from a variety of foods of different colors, multichannel marketing means you get different benefits from different channels. Because display has different strengths from search and social, for example, taking a multichannel approach means you get the benefits of more than one channel for a more well-rounded marketing strategy. 

Benefits of Multichannel Advertising

Why would a marketer choose to take a multichannel advertising approach? Here are just some benefits of multichannel marketing:  

  • Reach your target audience across channels & screens: Because you aren’t limiting your ad spend to one channel, you can connect with your customers wherever they spend their time. This means marketers have a better chance of connecting with those potential customers when and where they are ready to make a purchase. 
  • Save money: By testing out multiple channels, and analyzing the performance of each, you can see which channels are delivering the most bang for your buck. For example, if you have a CPL (cost per lead) of $45 in Paid Search, and a CPL of $21 in display, you might choose to shift more of your budget to display and see if you can keep that CPL  moving in a positive direction. This requires an honest appraisal of where to spend the marketing budget based on performance. Because you’re limited to a single channel, you have flexibility to make adjustments to have a positive impact on your bottom line. The best combination of multiple channels for an optimized media plan tailored to your target audience should deliver the most number of customers with the lowest Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). Finding the right mix that will deliver the lowest CPA means you can achieve a faster return on investment.
  • Inform planning on other channels: Lessons learned through this multichannel advertising approach can be applied throughout your business. If one creative or message is outperforming another on all channels, you may want to consider using that message on your website and throughout your marketing plan. At the same time, you can A/B test different creatives on one relatively inexpensive channel such as display, and then continue to iterate on the winning creative until you choose the perfect one to use on a more expensive platform.  The same can be done with audience testing — you can use the insights gleaned from one channel to better target your audience on other channels. 
  • Increase engagement with consumers: Sharing a consistent message across multiple platforms gives consumers more touch points and opportunities to engage with information that is valuable to them. This offers you an increased shot at brand recall and recognition, but hopefully a better chance of moving customers down the funnel to conversion, regardless of which channel they are interacting with your messaging on. 
  • Increase scale of campaigns – Running your marketing campaign across more than one platform means that you can reach more prospective customers. Not every person you want to reach uses the same types of media. My best friend may be a Snapchat lover while I lean more towards Instagram, but we both are shoe lovers! You may not reach both of us on just one channel. 
  • Puts your focus on the entire sales funnel: Every customer journey is unique, and fragmented. As much as we would love to attract a customer and get them to convert in one shot, it generally takes more work than that for most verticals. Using different channels allows you to engage with prospects at different stages in the customer journey, to increase your chances of moving prospects down the funnel.  
  • Get a holistic understanding of the entirety of your paid digital efforts: Multichannel marketing means you are no longer in the dark about which of your strategies or tactics are working. By keeping an eye on your spend by channel compared to the results generated, you can see which ones are driving the most leads, at what price. In some instances, you may choose to pay more for certain channels that drive better quality leads. In others, you may just want to go for quantity over quality. The important part is deciding what strategy you will take, and using the information at hand to guide your decision.

Challenges of Multichannel Marketing

Though multichannel marketing boasts impressive benefits, it isn’t always right for every campaign. Here are some challenges to multichannel marketing:

  • Increased expense and time: Because of the large number of channels available to marketers, the amount of time and effort you can put forth can grow exponentially depending on how many you choose to add to your media plan. Your operation may become so large that you need additional staff members to handle the campaign. If the amount of time and resources you spend on a multichannel marketing campaign isn’t justified by the leads it draws in, multichannel marketing might not be the right approach for you. Additionally, integrating campaigns so they work flawlessly together requires a concerted coordination effort. 
  • Your audience prefers a specific channel: Depending on the services you offer, your audience may be more accustomed to or comfortable with a specific marketing channel. For example, an audience may respond well to television ads, but find multichannel campaigns that use their phone or social media feeds too invasive. In certain sectors, personal marketing campaigns such as phone calls might be the most effective, while the more impersonal nature of Instagram may work for others.
  • Forming a cohesive strategy: Multichannel marketing is not a marketing strategy in itself, and it still requires all the effort and careful consideration of producing a detailed and cohesive campaign. Simply appealing to customers in a multichannel format is not enough — you must do so deliberately. 
  • Difficulty tracking leads: When you’re coordinating a multichannel marketing campaign, it can be difficult to tell which channels are giving you the greatest amount of leads. It’s important to have a sophisticated method of telling where your leads are coming from before and during a campaign.

Which Channels Work Well Together?

Multichannel customers are likely to spend three to four times more than customers who only received advertisements on a single channel, but your approach will only be successful if you’re targeting the right combination. Recent studies have shown that some of the most popular multichannel marketing pairings include:

  • Display/mobile campaigns: Today, many shopping experiences that begin on mobile devices end on the computer, and vice versa. When you concentrate your efforts on both of these locations at the same time, you’ll catch the eyes of the majority of customers who browse for products on both devices. 
  • Display/social/radio campaigns: Every day, millions of people tune into the radio during their morning commute and then immediately log into their computers and social media platforms at work. By appealing to them through radio, display, and social campaigns, you can reach customers who are thinking about future purchases throughout the workday. 
  • Mobile/radio campaigns: When customers are driving around, they’re extremely likely to have their smartphones on them, and they’ll likely be listening to the radio or some other audio service. There’s no better way to catch the undivided attention of customers on the road than through a mobile/radio combination. 
  • CTV/mobile campaigns: This combination is great for reaching audiences in the later hours of the day, making it a prime strategy for those who are advertising food, entertainment, or other off-the-clock pastimes. Today, many brands and television shows successfully engage audiences in online discussions through hashtags. 
  • CTV/social campaigns: Today, it’s a common occurrence for your audience to be watching or reading two screens at once. Make passive television entertainment interactive by encouraging your viewers to engage with your content online through corresponding social media campaigns. 

How to Create a Successful Multichannel Marketing Strategy

Creating a successful multichannel marketing strategy is easier than you may think. By following these principles, you can increase your multichannel marketing leads:

  1. Create a detailed customer persona: While multichannel marketing campaigns may seem like the ideal place to capture potential customers across generations, keeping a consistent customer persona in mind will help you create a more compelling strategy that’s sure to grab your audience’s attention. With a singular view of a customer, you can analyze how your intended audience changes over time and adapt your strategy accordingly. 
  2. Choose which channels you want to target: Be incredibly deliberate with the marketing channels that you want to target. Through understanding your buyer, you can find the channels that are most likely to reach them and prevent yourself from wasting time on ineffective marketing channels.
  3. Set up control groups: In order to measure the effectiveness of your campaign, you must have control groups who do not receive your business’s multichannel promotion. Without these groups, you won’t be able to tell whether your multichannel attempts or the success of your current campaign are driving results.
  4. Integrate your marketing departments: With a large effort like multichannel marketing, it’s important that all of your marketing departments work together to create a cohesive message and campaign. When your social media and traditional marketing departments are integrated, they can make more headway. 
  5. Keep your message consistent: Having a consistent message keeps your campaign’s goals clear. Make sure you have a focused call to action that really hooks the customer and makes them compelled to try your products and services.
  6. Implement marketing automation: With marketing automation, you can follow your leads more closely and nurture them automatically with sequenced campaigns. Nurturing leads through automated campaigns shows that your business has something to prove and is ready to get the customer’s attention.
  7. Consider retargeting leads: Just because a lead may have bounced on one platform doesn’t mean you’ve lost a customer. With retargeting ads, you can grab the attention of your bounced leads on the platforms they actually use — social media platforms are excellent for this purpose.

Multichannel Marketing Strategy Examples

Today, the most successful name brands use multichannel marketing as an integral part of their strategy. At AUDIENCEX, we’ve created multichannel marketing campaigns for brands like XboxSouthern California Ford, and T-Mobile

  • Xbox: Our Xbox multichannel marketing campaign of display and mobile ads helped raise sales of their soccer game to exceed Xbox’s goals upon product launch. Today, Xbox continues to partner with us for upcoming product launches. 
  • Southern California Ford: When Southern California Ford wanted to target Spanish-speaking customers, they partnered with AUDIENCEX to create a targeted 30-second commercial spot in Spanish using desktop, tablet, and mobile approaches. These ads increased Southern California Ford’s web traffic threefold. 
  • T-Mobile: T-Mobile had a campaign goal of encouraging customers who were still receiving paper statements to opt into paperless statements by raising awareness. AUDIENCEX built them a strategy that combined email, programmatic display, and mobile inventory to increase engagement and cause a 31% increase in the number of customers who went with paperless statements.

Partner With AUDIENCEX 

Are you ready to get started with multichannel marketing? AUDIENCEX is ready to help. We offer streamlined  access to 24 DSPs, search and social platforms to help you get your message to the right audience at the right time. In addition, our proprietary technology analyzes each platform against your campaign goals to recommend the optimal mix of platforms and channels to reach your customers.

Want to find out more? Contact us to connect with one of our campaign strategists to learn more about how we can help you build a multichannel marketing plan to reach your next best customer and decrease CPA.