December 22, 2015

Need Help Finding a New Year's Resolution? Two Words: Multichannel Marketing

Let me take a wild guess that, as a marketer, you’ve never wondered how much you have in common with Santa Clause. As the world prepares to celebrate Christmas this week, however, it might dawn on you just how much the modern day marketer has in common with jolly old Saint Nicholas.

For instance, just as Santa sees children when they’re sleeping and knows when they’re awake (in order to deliver presents), marketers should be able to peer into their customers’ experiences in order to know when they’re dozing off or fully engaged with their brands. In fact, according to research from Marin Software, the top goal of digital marketers for 2015 was to create campaigns based on a deeper understanding of their target audience.

So, how do you gain a deeper understanding of your target customers? Research suggests doing so by digging deeper into the types of service channels that customers are utilizing. Many marketers consider this to be key for creating more engaging material that will nurture customers towards long-term brand loyalty and, ultimately, increased spending. In fact, according to the aforementioned research, the next three top priorities of marketers for 2015 involved improving cross-channel digital marketing, better integrating online and offline marketing efforts, and better integrating digital marketing disciplines.

If your marketing team is without a New Year’s resolution, consider these two reasons why you should focus on improving multichannel marketing to get customers to spend more with your brand in 2016:

Understand how your customers prefer to be serviced: Whether it’s email, IM, phone, SMS or in-store, each of your customers has a distinct preference when it comes to customer service. Many times during the customer experience, these varying channels are used in tandem. For example, 80 percent of shoppers surveyed by Kantar Retail said they usually do online research and/or browsing before physically visiting a store. Meanwhile, only 10 percent of shoppers have confidence in the product knowledge of in-store staff, meaning they may never pay a store a visit. By understanding how your customers prefer to be serviced (and why) you’ll better understand their core decision making processes, buying patterns and behaviors. This is what will enable your team to create customized content that speaks to your customers and guides them through their journey with your brand—supporting their decision to spend more.

Identify new areas of growth and profitability: Did you know that 40 percent of customers regularly use their mobile devices for shopping? Meanwhile, 16 percent of shoppers frequently use their smartphone in-store to access product information or pricing? With so many service channels today, marketers have more room than ever to creatively engage customers at every touch point. Just consider the number of ways marketers can create a more meaningful customer experience for mobile customers through customized, relevant marketing content. Consider challenging your team to make 2016 a year of innovation. Assess the different service channels your organization currently has implemented and identify new ways to uniquely engage your customers through each of them.

Research from the Content Marketing Institute shows that marketers are using more tactics than ever to engage customers across a multitude of service channels—for example: social media, blogs, eNewsletters, in-person events and videos. If you aren’t leveraging as many content channels as you can (without spreading yourself too thin, of course!) then it may be wise to consider your team’s readiness for 2016.

Take a clue from’s the perfect time to make a list (of ways you plan to engage your customers at every applicable touch point) and check it twice in preparation for the new year.

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