According to a report by Episerver, 95% of marketers say that they know how important multichannel is for targeting. Despite this, some 51% of marketers said they cannot react to new trends or channels with the current technology to hand and only a paltry 14% are running properly coordinated campaigns across all channels. Clearly, the area is something in which most companies need to improve.
Ask most digital marketers their stance on multichannel marketing and they’ll tell you they ‘go where their audience is.’ In the age of rapid technological innovation and ever-changing consumer habits, that audience is regularly fragmented across new platforms, and each requires their own unique approach. The rules of engagement on Snapchat, for example, are very different to that of LinkedIn or even Twitter. Any campaign, then, needs to be unique but tailored, in line with not only the platform but with the brand’s wider message. It’s a difficult skill.
It’s not enough to simply be present across all channels. In fact, if a channel isn’t relevant for your brand, it can be detrimental to add yet another spinning plate for the sake of reaching a small part of your audience. To get a picture of how some of the biggest and best manage their multichannel strategies, we asked a number of marketing executives their approach. Here is what we found.
Michael Eisenreich, Global Head of Content, Creative and Digital Marketing at Bloomberg
We first think about what our audiences are likely doing and want to see in a given platform. These platforms are obviously packed with lots of other people and companies saying a variety of things. In order to make it worth someone's time to click, we have to provide an appropriate amount of value to them (a new insight, answer to a problem, etc.). We also feel that a systematic and sophisticated design approach is important. This helps our content stand-out (ex: animation/videos) and increases engagement.
Sipra Thakur, former Head of Digital & Mobile Marketing at IMAX
As a (good) marketer, you have no choice but to optimize for a multichannel brand presence. It is planning for and considering the differences between channels to create complementary marketing collateral. For example, with the same campaign, for print you may want an image and message that is large and concise. For online media buys, a snippet of video may better serve as an effective communication tool to reach your audience. Using the same font, color scheme, characters, etc. creates a unity across channels while using different content formats also respect the strengths of each channel. Together these lead to an integrated marketing approach for a multichannel presence.
Meg Ryan, Senior Director of Marketing Strategy for the Atlanta Hawks
Our output varies from channel to channel. We know that fans consume content differently based on the platform, and we always start with the fan experience in mind. With that in mind, we vary our content based on how our fans interact with the platform, and the type of content that performs best on that platform. Our plans for each channel take into account: type of content (i.e. video, text, photo, etc), subject of content, time of day, frequency of post, desired result, and amplification. We do not look at our channels in silos. Instead, we look at social as part of our overall customer experience. This helps us identify opportunities to co-promote content or reward fans with unique content on a specific platform.
Bob Purcell, Chief Marketing Officer at Purity Cosmetics, 100% PURE
Launching new products first in stores with considerable lead time over online. Real world events with social influencers. And having a posting plan before, during and after real world events. You’ll need a database that lets you view your multichannel buyers. And you’ll need to give your customers ownership over your brand when they buying in-store and expressing their brand relationship online. Dunkin’, Chobani, and Audi are doing great stuff with their multichannel connections. Retail must-must-must focus on improving retail theater and store level education.
Jen Martingale, Chief Marketing Officer at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Channel management is a constant juggling act. Last year, my team executed marketing campaigns for over 120 events and programs, in addition to brand building campaigns. As a non-profit, our marketing budgets are stretched to capacity and we have to make hard choices about where to invest.
We derive significant revenue from ticket sales, so being able to track the impact of each touch point is crucial. What’s driving conversion? Our event marketing campaigns always include a combination of email, search, and retargeting across both websites and social media.
We use broad reaching, high impact channels like print, outdoor, and transit for sustained brand building efforts that don’t need an immediate-term conversion. And as the marketing landscape continues to lean into earned media, we are prioritizing press outreach, social media content, and growing our footprint on platforms that help us tell provocative stories, such as Medium.com.