With the proliferation of social media, mobile devices, smart technology, and the integration of online and offline experiences, consumers today interact with brands through multiple touchpoints throughout their customer journey. In an era where customers expect personalized interactions and seamless experiences, marketing strategy and content production necessitates a holistic approach that spans across different channels, creating a seamless and consistent brand experience.
Multichannel marketing lets you meet your customers right where they are, right now. Buyers often journey across devices and across platforms before converting, and the right multichannel marketing strategies will let you provide consistent messaging at each step along the way.
By leveraging new technologies such as AI and creative collaborations, businesses can analyze vast amounts of customer data in real-time, uncovering patterns, preferences, and behaviors that can inform strategic marketing decisions--and very quickly produce content that matches those behaviors. Multichannel marketing empowers creative to make data-driven choices across the marketing content landscape.
From gaining a basic understanding of the multichannel marketing definition to strategy implementation to ongoing analysis with the right tools, learn about what it takes to successfully usher customers down the sales funnel with cross-platform marketing.
What is multichannel marketing?
The multichannel marketing definition is fairly simple and refers to the process of connecting with customers across multiple communication mediums. Multichannel marketing can be both direct and indirect and might include the use of platforms such as:
- Print catalogs
- In-store messaging
- Social media
- Targeted advertising
- Direct mail
- Text and SMS
Many businesses and marketers have found that using many channels of communication in their marketing improves the quality of leads and increases conversions. Customers might be more likely to make a purchase when you reach out to them in ways that fit their lifestyle, preferences, and unique consumer needs.
The challenges and benefits of multichannel marketing
Multichannel marketing, which involves leveraging multiple platforms and touchpoints to deliver consistent brand experiences, offers a multitude of benefits. However, the execution of campaigns across several platforms at once also presents its own set of challenges for creative production.
Benefits of multichannel marketing:
Multichannel marketing provides a step-up from just targeted campaigns across one or two platforms. Here's how:
Expanded reach and engagement
By leveraging multiple channels, businesses can expand their reach and engage with a broader udience. Each channel attracts a distinct segment of customers, and a multichannel approach ensures that no potential customers are left untapped. Moreover, engaging customers through their preferred channels enhances the overall brand experience, leading to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Content personalization and targetting
Multichannel marketing enables businesses to personalize their messages and offers based on customer preferences, behavior, and demographics. By leveraging data and AI-driven insights, marketers can create highly targeted campaigns that resonate with individual customers, driving higher conversion rates and customer engagement.
Enhance customer experience
Consistency across multiple channels fosters a seamless and cohesive customer experience. Customers expect a smooth transition as they interact with a brand across different touchpoints, and multichannel marketing enables businesses to deliver that consistent experience. Whether a customer engages with the brand through social media, email, website, or offline channels, they should encounter a unified brand voice and a coherent narrative.
Multichannel marketing generates a wealth of data that can be harnessed to inform strategic decisions. By analyzing data from various channels, businesses can gain valuable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and trends. These insights can guide marketing strategies, allowing businesses to optimize campaigns, improve targeting, and make data-driven decisions for future initiatives.
Challenges of multichannel marketing
Effectively creating and operating a multichannel marketing strategy requires operational efficiency across not only creative production, but marketing operations, data analytics, martech integration and much more.
Keeping up with channel proliferation
With the rapid growth of digital platforms, social media networks, and emerging technologies, businesses face the challenge of selecting and managing an ever-expanding array of marketing channels. Each channel has its own unique requirements, audience demographics, and best practices, making it crucial to carefully choose the most relevant channels for your business and allocate resources effectively.
Maintaining consistent branding
Maintaining a consistent brand image and messaging across multiple channels can be a challenge. Inconsistencies in tone, visuals, or brand values can lead to confusion among customers and dilute the impact of marketing efforts. Achieving a cohesive brand identity across various platforms requires careful planning, clear guidelines, and effective communication throughout the organization.
Multichannel marketing generates a vast amount of data from various sources. However, consolidating and integrating this data can be complex. To gain a holistic view of customer behavior and preferences, businesses must overcome the challenge of integrating data from different channels, ensuring accuracy and reliability. Advanced data analytics tools and customer relationship management (CRM) systems can help streamline this process.
Creative resource allocation
Multichannel marketing requires allocating resources across multiple channels, which can strain budgets, time, and manpower. It's essential to assess the ROI of each channel, prioritize efforts based on target audience behavior, and optimize resource allocation accordingly. Effective resource management ensures that marketing activities are strategically aligned with business goals.
While multichannel marketing in 2023 presents its fair share of challenges, the benefits it offers make it an indispensable strategy for businesses. Plus, new tools such as AI can help creative teams overcome the operational challenges in executing and analyzing multichannel marketing campaigns.
Why multichannel marketing is so important in 2023
There are a number of marketing strategies you might use to connect with your customers. Multichannel marketing strategies let you do just that — and give you many paths to grow customer connections, leads, and conversions.
It’s a fact: multichannel marketing works. Recent statistics from Invesp, a conversion rate optimization service, indicate that 52% of all marketers used three or four platforms to reach consumers in 2020, up from 44% just five years ago.
The growing number of marketers adopting multichannel marketing strategies shows the importance of meeting consumers across multiple platforms. Multichannel marketing is important because these strategies can help your business:
- Find new customers
- Maintain interest from existing customers
- Gain an understanding of customer demographics
- Analyze customer interactions
- Focus spending and advertising budget
A multichannel marketing strategy is also important because it meets customers where they are. Your business’s audience is likely varied. Some might scroll social media streams all day; others might only use the web for work. Some prefer to shop online; others might lean toward browsing brick-and-mortar stores. You’ll find that the best multichannel marketing strategies are designed to reach each of these consumers in the most effective way possible.
Your business or service will likely remain at the forefront of your customers’ minds when you take advantage of multiple marketing platforms. Remove doubt and worry about being overlooked by focusing your marketing strategy on multiple mediums. Content, ads, and messaging across varied platforms can diversify the way you approach customers and can even show your product or service to a whole new audience.
What are the main components of multichannel marketing?
Today’s businesses have a number of marketing channels to choose from. Each channel can let your marketing strategy hone in on a unique audience and might depend on your focus. For example, those providing B2B services might reach out to decision-making executives and agents on LinkedIn, while a fashion retailer might show off styles best on visual platforms like Instagram or Pinterest.
As your multichannel marketing strategies grow, you’ll want to hone in on which of the main marketing channels will help you reach your goals. Each channel comes with its own value, and it is important to understand the benefits of each. Audience insight and analytics can help your business decide which channels perform best for you.
Let’s break down a few of the main marketing channels your business can use in a multichannel marketing strategy.
Digital marketing channels
Doing business in 2023 means that your customers are online in astounding numbers. Data from Oberlo shows that around half of the world’s population, 3.9 billion people, use email. Additionally, an estimated 3.5 billion Google searches are performed per day, which adds up to 1.4 trillion searches per year.
Taking advantage of digital marketing channels can be a boon for your business. Channels and strategies to focus on include websites, content marketing, email newsletters, paid search ads, and display ads.
Social marketing channels
Social media lets people interact in all kinds of ways and provides opportunities for your business to interact with consumers. More than 3.6 billion people worldwide used at least one social media platform in 2020, and this number is expected to expand to 4.41 billion in 2025.
There are many opportunities to connect with customers via social media marketing channels. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and other platforms can help connect businesses with consumers. Many of these platforms allow you to specify the audience that sees your ads or content, allowing you to truly create targeting marketing campaigns.
Broadcast marketing channels
Even as the number of cord-cutters grows, broadcast marketing channels remain a strong option for today’s businesses. Advertisers are expected to spend more than $65.7 billion on television advertising in 2023. Broadcast media is often localized and can be used to reach consumers in a specific geographic area or marketing, often with far reach.
Another thing to keep in mind: there’s more to a broadcast marketing channel strategy than just traditional television and terrestrial radio. Consider marketing on streaming internet radio stations, podcasts, and other broadcast marketing channels.
Print and static marketing channels
Print and static marketing channels use printed or visual mediums to reach consumers. Businesses might use these channels on a broad scale or in many forms. Examples of print and static marketing channels include direct mail, flyers, billboards, magazine ads, newspaper ads, and brochures. These are proven channels, as more than 70% of all individuals are reading newspapers regularly.
You might find that taking advantage of print and static marketing channels can reach consumers in ways digital platforms cannot. Print advertising can be targeted to reach a specific demographic. Newspapers and magazines compile information about readers, and billboards are visible to a certain population. However, it might be difficult to personalize content and analyze user data from print campaigns.
Tips for implementing a multichannel marketing strategy in 2023
There are several key factors to keep in mind before launching a multichannel marketing strategy. In doing so, your business should understand buyer personas, develop an aligned content production strategy and presence for each channel, consider how to strategically link each medium, and much more. Implementing multichannel marketing means being aware of brand reach, messaging, consistency, consumer data, and compliance.
A successful multichannel marketing strategy also comes with a few keys to success. You’ll want to truly understand your consumer and create a cohesive experience across all involved channels. You’ll also want to determine the best platforms to reach your customers, whether that’s social media, web content, or even print media. Lastly, you'll need a analytics and data feedback loop to continually adjust and change your content strategy across platforms
With the above information in mind, let’s break down the steps to implementing multichannel marketing.
Create customer personas
The most basic process in implementing a successful multichannel marketing strategy is identifying your audience or customer persona. What is a customer persona? It’s a detailed profile of an individual who represents your target audience. The profile might include demographic data, behavioral traits, interests, pain points, buyer patterns, and more.
For example, an online athleisure wear boutique might create the customer persona of a single thirty-something woman named Jill with an annual income of about $75,000. She might enjoy both active hobbies like frequent barre classes, as well as more laid-back interests such as blogging and dining out. Jill might struggle to find leggings that work for both athletic and loungewear and regularly shop at Lululemon and Athleta.
Select the most effective marketing channels for your personas
After identifying your customers and creating their personas, think about what mediums and platforms they might use. You might gather information about this based on what the competition is doing, as well as perform your own research based on analytics and other factors.
For example, nearly half of all United States-based Facebook users are between the ages of 25 and 44, according to April 2021 statistics. This means Jill, mentioned above, falls in this group. Facebook might be a good marketing channel to reach customers sharing her persona. Most adults check their phones about 100 times per day, so since Jill is also among this group, SMS or text marketing might be another platform to consider in your multichannel marketing strategy. (Make sure you brush-up on laws that apply to SMS messaging, and create a compliant opt-in process).
Define channel or campaign goals
All multichannel marketing strategies need a clearly defined end goal. You might set a goal to increase your email newsletter database by 20%; see online sales rise 5%; grow your number of followers on Facebook by 15%; or even increase sales of a specific product or service.
A clearly defined intention for your multichannel marketing campaign will help you craft a perfect call to action for consumers and encourage them down the sales funnel toward conversion.
Streamline content development with programmatic design and AI
On of the biggest setbacks for implementing a multichannel marketing campaign is the effort it takes to managing content development, which can be time-consuming and resource-intensive for multiple channels.
This is where programmatic design and artificial intelligence (AI) come into play, revolutionizing the way businesses streamline content creation for multichannel marketing campaigns.
Automated content generation
Programmatic design, powered by AI, enables businesses to automate content generation. With AI algorithms, businesses can create dynamic templates and predefined rules that automatically generate content tailored to specific channels and target audiences. Whether it's social media posts, email newsletters, or website banners, programmatic design eliminates the need for manual content creation, saving time and resources.
Personalize content at scale
AI-driven technologies excel at analyzing customer data and generating personalized content. By leveraging AI algorithms, businesses can segment their audience, understand individual preferences, and dynamically generate personalized content for each customer. This level of personalization enhances customer engagement and increases the effectiveness of multichannel marketing campaigns.
Auto-optimize content for different channels
Each channel has its own unique requirements in terms of format, size, and design. Programmatic design, combined with AI, can automatically optimize content to fit specific channels. For example, AI-powered image resizing can ensure that visuals are properly adjusted for various social media platforms, websites, and mobile devices. This streamlines the content adaptation process and ensures a consistent brand experience across channels.
Real-Time content adaptation
With programmatic design and AI, businesses can adapt content in real-time based on customer behavior, context, and preferences. AI algorithms can analyze data from multiple channels, such as browsing behavior, purchase history, or social media interactions, to dynamically adjust content and recommendations. This level of real-time adaptation allows businesses to deliver highly relevant and timely content to their audience, maximizing engagement and conversions.
In conclusion, programmatic design and AI offer powerful tools for streamlining content development in multichannel marketing campaigns. By automating content generation, personalizing at scale, optimizing for different channels, and leveraging real-time adaptation, businesses can efficiently create and adapt content to deliver compelling experiences to their target audience.
The data-driven insights and iterative improvement facilitated by AI empower businesses to refine their content strategies and continuously enhance their multichannel marketing efforts. Embrace the power of programmatic design and AI to streamline your content development process and elevate your multichannel marketing campaigns to new heights of success.
Create a holistic creative approval workflow
Reviewing and approving content--no matter where it originates--is especially important and even more difficult for multichannel marketing campaigns. Setting up an approval workflow that can handle a large volume of interrelated content
Here's how to take your review workflows to the next level for multichannel marketing campaigns:
Use batch review tools
One of the easiest ways to set up your creative collaboration for multichannel marketing is to use batch review, which enables reviewers to evaluate multiple assets simultaneously, saving time and increasing efficiency.
By presenting assets side-by-side, reviewers can compare and contrast different versions or variations of content easily. This visual comparison facilitates quicker decision-making and promotes consistency across assets.
Additionally, batch review improves collaboration by providing a centralized platform for reviewers to provide feedback, consolidate comments, and track revisions. The streamlined workflow eliminates the need for back-and-forth email exchanges and simplifies the review process for all campaign assets, resulting in faster approvals and accelerated campaign timelines. Overall, batch review enhances productivity, collaboration, and accuracy, enabling marketing teams to deliver high-quality content across multiple channels more efficiently.
Ensure reviewers have context for content
When it comes to multichannel marketing campaigns, reviewers shouldn't be reviewing content in isolation or without the full context of how the content fits within the larger campaign or content strategy. With multi-channel campaigns, it's important that reviewers know how and where the content they are approving will be used.
To do this, we recommend embedded campaign or content briefs directly into your review platform or asset that is being sent for review. If someone is jumping into a project--say, your social media manager is approving just social media ads that are a subset of a larger project--they both understand the full scope of the campaign and the specific assets they need to comment on when providing feedback. This can reduce confusion or lack of clarity that often derails project timelines.
Integrate production systems into your creative workflow
Multichannel marketing campaigns involve creating content
Have a comprehensive data analytics program
As with any other campaign, make the most of your multichannel marketing by analyzing results. You’ll need the right tools to measure your outcomes. Many marketers working on multichannel strategies use CRMs, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Semrush, MailChimp, and other tools to make sure the strategy aligns with the end goal.
Programmatic design and AI can also provide valuable insights into content performance and audience behavior. These tools allow businesses to conduct A/B testing at scale. By automatically generating multiple variations of content and distributing them across different channels, businesses can gather data on which versions perform best. AI algorithms can analyze the results and provide insights for iterative improvement, enabling businesses to refine their content strategies and optimize engagement across channels.
By analyzing data from various channels, businesses can gain actionable insights into what content resonates best with their target audience, which channels drive the most engagement, and how to optimize future content strategies. These insights enable businesses to refine their content development process, make data-driven decisions, and continuously improve their multichannel marketing campaigns.
Continuously evaluate your strategy
Are your multichannel marketing strategies pushing you toward conversion success? Look at your campaign performance frequently and evaluate your strategy as you go. You might need to revisit personas, focus on different channels, or adjust budget and spend, if your end result isn’t what you anticipated.
A SWOT analysis of your ongoing campaign will point out areas in which you excel, as well as areas for improvement. Use the insight gained through consistent analysis to ensure goals are being met and the correct strategies are in place.
Power up your multichannel marketing for 2023
Multichannel marketing gives your business multiple pathways to success. The right multichannel marketing strategies will let you engage customers and prospects across many platforms both online and offline. This lets you get your message in front of prospects, leads, and existing customers, wherever they are.
From understanding the multichannel marketing definition to implementing the perfect cross-platform campaign, your business can thrive when you meet customers where they are. Many consumers crave a seamless experience across various platforms, and the right multichannel marketing strategy will provide just that.
Customer expectations are constantly increasing, and technology is always evolving. Agencies, brands, and marketers need the right tools to stay on top of emerging trends and report strategy performance. Making sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to channel strategy, content, and data analysis creates a feedback loop that will help your multichannel marketing campaigns soar.