With the peak shopping period just around the corner, retailers would be wise to start thinking about how they are going to capture the attention of their audiences this winter.It’s safe to say that no business ever got the results they wanted by focussed on one channel alone. In order to be successful, a multi channel marketing approach is required. But what exactly does this mean?
What is multi channel marketing?
Multi channel marketing is the use of multiple marketing streams to drive your brand message and increase awareness with the end goal of increasing your return on investment. This might include social media marketing, PPC, influencer marketing, in-store marketing and email marketing. When you consider that it takes 6 to 8 points of contact before a customer makes a sale, taking the multi channel marketing approach makes sense.
How can multi channel marketing help your business?
Competition is more fierce than ever before. For local businesses, the competition is no longer limited to businesses on the same street or even in the same town. It could easily be from businesses on the other side of the world that are offering cheaper prices and free shipping.
To combat this, retailers need to learn to tell a story that strikes a chord with their target customer. Building this type of affinity with your target customer doesn’t happen overnight and it requires a lot of small contact points that help to build a picture in the consumer’s mind about your business. It’s all part of the user experience, and the user experience is no longer limited to what customers find on your own website.
Why is multi channel marketing important in the winter?
Winter is a key time for many B2C companies. From the back to school sales followed by Halloween, Black Friday, Christmas and then finally New Year, this adds up to a lot of time shopping online and in stores. Your customers are out there, and you need to make sure you are helping them to find what they are looking for.
Consumers these days are savvy and like to research what they are looking for before making a decision. This means they might turn to search engines for price comparisons, look to social media for recommendations and access your website directly to ask a question. Understanding how customers access your brand online and in store is essential to crafting effective multi channel marketing strategies.
How can retailers supercharge their multi channel marketing?
Instead of limiting your plans to multi channel marketing, try to think in terms of cross channel marketing. Cross channel marketing is multi channel marketing with better communication. It’s cohesive and ensures that, no matter where in the customer journey they are, your ideal customer is always enjoying a positive brand experience.
With consumers switching between devices while they make their purchasing decisions, it’s important that your marketing strategy can keep up. If a customer starts the journey in store, heads online using a mobile device to do research and then finally makes a purchasing decision on a tablet or desktop, your marketing strategy needs to be able to keep up.
Before you can make any decisions about how to implement a multi channel marketing strategy, you need to understand the customer journey. Looking at the user experience and seeing the bigger picture of how customers interact with your company is essential.
Once you understand the journey they take, you can take steps to ensure it is as streamlined as possible. And the end result? Increased sales and fewer returns, which is surely what all retail owners want for Christmas this year!