Marketing|Demand Creation Blog: Thoughts on strategy, lead optimization, social media and the digital space

Friday, January 14, 2005

Grokking Multi-channel Marketing: The Multi-channel Imperative

The Internet “evolutionized” interactions between businesses and their customers. Customers have greater control in defining the type of relationship they have with companies and find greater competitive options to meet their needs. Smart businesses are creating new opportunities to relate to their customers, communicate with them wherever they happen to be and whenever the buying need arises. Smart businesses take mind share away from competitors, leveraging the power of the Internet to deliver superior buying experiences over the lifetime of their customer relationships.

The Multi-channel Imperative means that businesses must face the challenge of serving customers through many channels to realize this ideal. There is a tremendous opportunity to maximize profitability through multi-channel marketing. Moreover, companies with a formal, comprehensive Marketing Performance Measurement system significantly outperformed those companies who lacked an MPM system in sales growth, market share and profitability (with mean performance ratings of 29%, 32% and 37% higher, respectively).1 To complicate matters, enterprise-wide knowledge management and CRM technology are required to remain competitive and provide superior service. Having the marketing communications professionals in-house who can leverage and integrate this data to create actionable marketing strategies for the business is equally critical.

Companies must ask ‘what are the strategies to reach and connect with the customer or prospect wherever we can find them?’ Across all industries, the Web Site has certainly developed into one of the key channels for reaching customers and increasing marketing impact — when it is made an integral component of a broad-based, demand creation strategy that also includes advertising, trade shows, sales support, customer satisfaction programs and other appropriate channels to reach customers wherever they are most likely to purchase. It’s a daunting task to integrate multiple channels and track them all together to measure whether or not the expected return on investment is being achieved, but it’s worth it: in many cases I’ve been able to squeeze 3-5x the returns from a multi-channel campaign versus single-channel campaigns.2

1 CMO Council “Measures & Metrics: The Marketing Performance Measurement Audit” June 9, 2004
2 Thompson, Thompson, McLaughlin. “Thinking It Through.” Informing Arts. 1996. Pg. 19,20

Joseph Mann Friday, January 14, 2005


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