From Instagram stories to listings websites, modern media is awash with platforms and channels that even the smallest businesses can advertise on.
Even with all this choice, businesses end up funnelling their entire marketing budget through a single channel. However, if you spread your advertising across various formats - what we call multi-channel marketing - you can significantly increase your chances of making a sale, making your marketing more than the sum of its parts.
Imagine you have £100 to spend on advertising. You could pour it all into one channel, e.g. print, and see some return on that investment. However, if you distribute that sum across various channels, each portion of that investment will magnify the effects of another. You’re spending the same £100, but it does more for you.
Here’s why multi-channel works.
You might not think of your business as a ‘brand’, but any company with an advertising presence will have made some kind of impression on potential customers. Make that presence multi-channel, and you can turn that positive impression into tangible sales.
This is apparent in the dynamics of advertising on news titles. A recent study by Newsworks found that, when different channels are isolated, online ads on mobile devices drive the most interactions. But they also found that running print ads alongside digital ones ‘activates’ online engagement, making a campaign 60% more likely to be noticed.
It appears that printed material causes people to investigate a business more closely if they have previously been exposed to online ads from that same business. It’s like a domino effect: being visible on one platform makes you more noticeable on the other. We can help you set this up for your business.
The journeys people make before they complete a purchase are becoming less linear. The average number of channels through which a customer is reached before they spend money has increased, and today only a third of customers arrive at a purchase using a single channel (Instapage, 2018).
Customers rely on multiple media channels in their daily lives, particularly when determining where they should buy from. You need to set up the touchpoints to reach them at the right times.
For instance, a fashion-conscious customer might see an ad for a dress on Instagram, click through to the retailer’s website for more information, and then go to try it on in-store. She might then, however, return home and complete the purchase through a mobile app. Every one of these stages requires a distinct point of contact between vendor and customer. When these touchpoints work together, they provide a seamless transition towards a sale.
It’s unsurprising then that a coherent multi-channel campaign has a proven upwards effect on sales - 73% of businesses testify that their multi-channel efforts have had a major impact on their sales figures (Econsultancy, 2015).
Not only do multi-channel customers buy at greater rates, they also spend 3-4 times more on purchases (Digital Agency Network, 2017) than single-channel consumers.
One useful byproduct for marketers of a multi-channel strategy is that it paints a clearer picture of which channels work for your business.
With so many options, one combination of channels may work for one business but not for another. Fortunately, when you set up the right marketing measurement technology, you can access detailed data about which of your channels are delivering results.
With firm data on what you can attribute to each channel, you can optimise your strategy as you go along, reallocating your budget sensibly into more fruitful channels.
A multi-channel marketing strategy both motivates and facilitates a proactive response to your campaign performance, and the attention you’ll give to your stats will pay off in both the short and long terms.
You might have a favoured advertising channel that customers have said works, but you can be sure that without a multi-channel approach your business will never fulfill its potential.
People’s daily habits are increasingly shaped around a spread of media they consume at different points - a Facebook ad might prompt you to head out to an evening event, while you’d probably consult Google to find a new workday lunch spot.
This is only going to continue, though some channels may occasionally become less useful than others, as we saw when Facebook changed their algorithm to disadvantage brand pages. If you had all your budget funnelled into that channel, you would have been majorly impacted. However, a multi-channel strategy future-proofs your business, making you less exposed to changes in any one channel, while delivering uniquely powerful results in the present.
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