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Why you need multi-channel digital marketing

Digital marketing covers a lot of different channels, and it can be tricky to get your head around one of them, let alone multiple. But if you're going to succeed in a digital world, your campaigns need to encompass many touchpoints.

Crafting a proper customer journey can be difficult if you're not completely comfortable with the marketing activities required. There are so many different areas where you can speak to your audience, both online and offline, and you need to consider how they all work in sync.

A journey for boots...

It can sometimes be difficult to understand the customer journey upfront, so allow me to provide a simple, but hopefully recognizable example.

I see a gorgeous pair of boots advertised in an Instagram ad and I decide I must have them. Instagram is the first touchpoint on my journey. I think about it and then click through to a landing page on the brand website where I am asked to sign up to receive an initial discount off of my first purchase. The website is touchpoint 2. I then navigate to the boots and see that they are out of stock in my size. Massive bummer!

The next day I see that the email I signed up for has arrived with my discount code, touchpoint 3. As I know the dream boots are not in stock I go about my day and head to Facebook to kill some time, here I see an ad for the same website (touchpoint 4). I notice on the ad that there is an option to sign up for 'in stock' notifications on my mobile. I really want these boots, so back to the site I go (touchpoint 5) and sign up for SMS alerts.

A week or so goes by and I've had another 2 emails in my inbox from the brand promoting other products, and I get a ping on my phone (touchpoint 6). The boots are back in stock! Race to the site again (touchpoint 7), purchase, and sit back, smug in my success.

See, something as simple as buying a pair of shoes online results in a number of touchpoints to help shepherd the customer through to the final conversion (in this example, a sale). So if you're not considering all of these touchpoints, you're going to be missing out.

Why do I need so many channels?

Research has shown that it takes on average 8 touchpoints before a customer is ready to purchase, and this can be even longer if the purchase is a service or higher priced product. If you resign yourself to only one channel you'll soon find that you won't be hitting people with your messaging enough to convert them, and if you are only in one place, you risk missing out on people who aren't on that email list or following you on social media.

People don't all consume content in the same way. As an example, email marketing is cited as being one of the best channels to convert people, however in China, email is not particularly popular at all. Fewer than 250 million people use email for their product purchases in the country, less than 40% of those who are online. However, over 1 billion used WeChat (Chinese Twitter basically) per month. So in this scenario, if you only email people and your customer base are in're going to be wasting your time!

Customer lifecycles

Another reason for needing to use multiple channels in your digital marketing is that people will be at different stages in their buying journey at different times. Someone who has just realised that they have a need for boots, for example, will be in the research stage and therefore be likely to browse, compare and contrast, whereas someone who is committed to the boots, will need that final push, an email with a discount code, reviews saying that the boots are the most comfortable things in the world, etc.

You cannot be everything to all people at once, and so by providing different content on different channels for different times in the journey, you'll be more likely to smoothly herd people through your funnel and end with a sale!

Automation is your friend

We've all heard the horror stories of automation and robots taking over our jobs, but honestly, automation is a lifesaver for businesses. It allows you to set up workflows that can trigger different communication channels depending on a customer's action.

This means you can pre-set your activity to "run in the background" for particular campaigns to let you get on with other things. Using automation, you can link email campaigns with text message follow-ups, push notifications to apps you own, send messages via Facebook messenger and even notify sales colleagues through CRM to place follow-up calls.


Bamboozled by channel choice?

If you're looking to grow your business through digital marketing but aren't sure where to start or don't have the resource to dedicate, get in touch with me to discuss your requirements and see how I can help.

Text: 07507070032

And why not check out more hints and tips related to marketing your business on social media.

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