The concept of ‘Multichannel Marketing’ describes a common practice among marketers to interact with customers using multiple touch-points, mixing direct and indirect types of channels to engage end-users and ultimately drive conversions. More specifically, behind multichannel marketing is the idea of promoting and selling anywhere customers might buy, taking into account (1) purchase patterns; (2) platform usage; (3) choices made by consumers.
Multichannel digital marketing leverages inbound and outbound to spread content across different types of channels, locking customers on their channel of choice. Often times this happens with redundancy, as using multiple channels does not automatically bring content-to-medium adaptation, nor a cohesive and consistent storytelling. In our experience building digital experiences for key netamorphosis clients such as RYU, Newport Academy, Aerin and others, we would therefore favor omnichannel strategy vs. multichannel marketing techniques, as the latter would fail to deliver a truly meaningful and seamless experience and journey for consumers. In fact, even though in multichannel there can be a number of touchpoints in play, those are not connected to one another: they actually act as separate entities, often managed by different departments and with therefore limited data/insights sharing happening. This can limit the overall performance and achievements.
DIRECT CHANNELS VS. INDIRECT CHANNELS
Direct channels: these are all the digi-physical touch-points in which a company can proactively reach its consumers: direct email, physical stores, catalogs.
Indirect channels: also known as inbound marketing, these are push channels for content, such as websites, social media, SEO, GPS, mobile devices.
How Multichannel Marketing is All About ‘Consumers’ Choice’
There are 3 top company benefits as the primary dividends of leveraging such type of marketing, which in fact allows for a broader range of potential customers; this requires monitoring each platform/channel customer response in order to maximize the multichannel equation.
- Better management of results and sales: Using multiple communication platforms to reach your audience increases the chances of receiving feedback from a variety of your customers. Interaction with customers enables you to get feedback on the overall performance. This feedback gives an idea of what the customer wants and therefore suggestions on what can be improved to strengthen the relationship with that specific customer.
- Higher revenues: The more diverse platforms used in trying to reach customers, the more potential customers are likely to purchase the goods and services of a company (i.e. with online only entities, it will be hard to capture the attention of potential customers who do not use eCommerce regularly for purchasing that particular product or service).
- Better understanding of your customers: By the response that is captured from customers, it’s easier to understand what they expect from a specific product or service, and how a company can continue to improve the consumer/user experience in order to keep them fully engaged and interested. This might also entail the ability of identifying how different channels might appeal to different (customer) segments (groups or niches) and therefore allow to further refine strategies, appealing to specific segments by preferred channel.
Using Multiple Channels Vs. Using All Channels Seamlessly
In today’s consumer landscape, it is quite challenging for marketers to select which is the best channel to communicate their products or services. End-users have not one but many preferred communication channels they would normally use, and their choices and usage patterns are far from being static as their UX is more and more cross-device. Moreover, not all touch points bring the same results in terms of ROI: Email and SEO are generally strong, while social—no matter how good—tends to bring very low conversion rates, even though it is indeed becoming a key pathway for connecting audiences with brands, and vice versa.
Hence, for companies, brands, websites and eCommerce platforms to establish a long-lasting connection and dialogue with their target audiences, they’ll likely need a combination of channels, and connect with customers on their own terms: how they want, when they want and where they want. Consumers and their behaviours should be put at the epicenter of any marketing strategy, which is why it is pivotal to start from a data-driven approach, when working on multichannel, cross-channel and omnichannel alike.
In our day-to-day work and overall experience at netamorphosis, even though we agree multichannel is definitely a good option, we find omnichannel to be a far better one as it takes the idea of mixing and blurring a brand’s channels to smooth and enhance the customer experience (which is already part of cross-channel marketing), taking it to the next level, by adding simultaneity.
Omnichannel marketing improves and makes multi-channel and cross-channel more functional and immersive, fostering harmony and interlocking all touchpoints with a single view of each customer.
By using analytics to map direct, organic and referral traffic and thus identify end-users’ intent via their traffic source, we capture data and insights that we then weave into our Strategy-driven omnichannel experiences. This not only ensures we bring our clients higher conversion rates and ROI, but ultimately also helps us delivers a unique, seamless and tailored experience to each end-user.