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White paper - Multi-Channel Campaigns in a Connected World - Prodware | 1
MULTI-CHANNEL CAMPAIGNS IN A CONNECTED WORLD
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White paper - Multi-Channel Campaigns in a Connected World - Prodware | 2
The concept of multi-channel marketing has
becomes more accessible from both a consumption and delivery perspective, as cross platform is now nuanced at both a strategic plan basis as well as within a single tactical campaign.
Multiple channels are the methods and modes of reaching customers (both existing and potential), ranging from the physical environment and face-to-face communication inherent in a customer visiting a physical store, to connecting with the voice of your company or brand via a telemarketing call. They cover email and direct mail, social media platforms and video, advertising and PR. In short, multi-channel marketing is communication delivered through a variety of different formats, and usually with the aim of targeting different, though often overlapping target markets.
This layered and varied approach is an essential element of the modern marketer’s arsenal. Once upon a time, a marketing director could achieve positive results by throwing a chunk of budget at one or two self-contained but proven marketing channels. Now, a cross-platform business strategy is the only way of responding to a tech-savvy, mobile
and heavily segmented customer base, as well as a challenging economic environment and agile competitors. This approach reflects how the modern audience; often referred to as Generation C,consumes and shares information.
In short, cross-platform marketing means achieving the balancing act of giving each separate marketing channel the individual attention, creativity, budget and personalisation necessary to maximise its own unique strengths. Speaking effectively to its own specific audiences whilst delivering a unified marketing campaign that can be expertly adjusted between channels to provide a cohesive overall message. The sum is truly greater than its parts. Different marketing channels must share information – contact details, communication histories, spend tracking and ROI analyses – for the marketing director to have a comprehensive view of marketing’s overall strategy and performance.
Multi-channel marketing isn’t about managing a multitude of separate, ring fenced strands – it’s about understanding how they need to work together to achieve sales lifts, particularly when it comes to the marriage of online and offline elements. Marketing in this instance is about understanding how your audience best responds and their communication preferences.
How has multi-channel marketing evolved? The balancing act of giving each separate marketing channel the resources it needs to succeed...
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Navigating Multi-channel Marketing
If multi-channel marketing is about simultaneously maximising the benefits of different marketing channels – and, crucially, enabling them to work together rather than in isolation – then we have a complex but collaborative marketing model that can also be applied to the individuals and teams carrying out such activity.
In other words, the different teams within the wider marketing department need to cooperate on a person-to-person and team-to-team level. It’s vital that the team looking after advertising, say, can share data with the team managing email campaigns. And this interpersonal collaboration stretches out beyond the boundaries of the marketing department, to the sales department, the customer care department and the board of directors.
In this white paper we’re considering these two collaborative, diverse, ‘separate but together’ elements of multi-channel marketing: multiple platforms or media and multiple teams or individuals. We’ll look at some examples of best practice that marketing directors should consider in both areas, and how sophisticated marketing management software, and particularly marketing automation, is the best way of ensuring your multi-channel marketing strategy works.
We’ve already touched on some of the vast range of marketing strands and platforms that the modern CMO needs to consider. They might include, but are not limited to…
> WEBSITE AND MICROSITES
> DIRECT MAIL
> ADVERTISING – PRINT, ONLINE, TV ETC.
> SOCIAL MEDIA
This list clearly incorporates both online and offline elements and some platforms can span both – like a telemarketing campaign that links to the corporate website, for example, as cold calling makes way for nurture follow up. It is now commonplace for marketing experts to warn against the siloing of digital marketing and traditional marketing, and rightly so – as we’ve discussed, a holistic approach to multi-channel marketing is vital.
However, such a list of marketing media is rich and varied, and different technologies, experiences and skills are required to deploy campaigns across them.
MULTI-CHANNEL MARKETING: MARKETING PLATFORMS / MEDIA
White paper - Multi-Channel Campaigns in a Connected World - Prodware | 4
Re-energising your business with Big Data
MULTI-CHANNEL MARKETING: WHAT DOES MARKETING BEST PRACTICE LOOK LIKE
So a centralised marketing management platform, with comprehensive marketing automation functionality, is a vital tool in supporting multi-channel marketing.
Marketing across multiple platforms or media, ultimately managed and directed by a single CMO, depends on visibility and ease of execution.
Clear understanding of nuanced audiences
A marketing department’s audience on social media platforms can differ from its audience for television advertising. Indeed, it differs across various social media platforms. These differences exist not only in terms of the audiences’ profiles – who makes up those audience groups – but also how they respond to marketing, how they share information and the calls to action required, even if there is an overlap of audience. It is critical that today’s marketing departments have a solid understanding of these differences, and incorporate that understanding into their campaigns.
Regardless of how separate the budget and ROI tracking for each marketing platform might be, it’s clearly vital that the CMO has a single
overall view – and one that can be reported efficiently and consistently to the board. There is increasing evidence to suggest that CMOs will soon have greater overall technology budgets than CTOs, because of the necessity of connecting with audiences over numerous digital channels – with this in mind, it’s clear that technologies providing automation, consolidation and streamlining are key parts of the marketing technology profile.
Social engagement and analytics
We keep returning to social media platforms as a prime element of multi-channel marketing. The fact is that the rise and rise of both mobile internet and the plethora of platforms from Twitter to Facebook, LinkedIn to Tumblr means that few organisations can afford to ignore their customers’ – and potential customers’ – social media conversations. These conversations are subjective. They’re always on. They can affect a global company’s reputation – for good or bad – in a matter of minutes. Consequently, marketing management software must include sophisticated social listening mechanisms, and a marketing department that’s serious about multi-channel campaigning must dedicate resource to social engagement.
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Centralised Marketing Management
A true multi-channel marketing campaign will incorporate multiple stages as communications are pushed out across different media. Simple campaign management tools, including‘ drag and drop’ functionality and triggers being set that allow you to push your prospects through the marketing funnel, are vital for making this process straightforward, reactive, transparent and easily replicated.
They’re not often discussed, but there are risks to multi-channel marketing, and one of them is customer contact fatigue. An existing customer with a Twitter and Facebook account, their address on file and a TV in their house could easily be contacted by your business more times than deemed acceptable. Communication capping tools, like the ability to limit the number of emails an individual received in a specific time period, are small but highly useful elements in a smart marketing automation platform.
Key performance indicators
With such massive variation in audiences and communication methods across the marketing platforms discussed, it’s vital that KPIs and ROI analyses are selected for each. Clearly, different metrics are valid across different media – a number of Facebook likes or Twitter followers is different from clicks on an emailer, or phone calls off the back of a piece of direct mail. But just as critical is the contextualising of those metrics – i.e. how previous contact via a different channel or message has affected the response – as they are not occurring in isolation.
MULTI-CHANNEL MARKETING: WHAT DOES MARKETING BEST PRACTICE LOOK LIKE?
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Now we move on to considering our second facet of multi-channel marketing – collaboration and cooperation between teams and departments.
Three teams are central to this collaboration – marketing at the core, sales and after-sales customer care or support on either side. External to the business, this concept of multi-channel stretches to competitor analysis, co-marketing with third parties and information-sharing with sister organisations, where relevant.
Organisation-level multi-channel marketing – that is, marketing that works for and between the individuals, teams and departments within a business, must be responsive, offering all stakeholders the same real-time, connected and holistic view.
Centralised marketing platform
Best practice for this kind of multi-channel marketing starts with a centralised platform for marketing across the whole business – one that manages all platforms from email to events, yes – but also one that can be integrated with other tools such as CRM and Support Desk applications; allowing for a single customer view to occur.
The demand for business mobility comes from multiple directions. Sales managers in large corporates have always led a mobile life, travelling to visit customers. Increasingly, such demands are placed on marketers and support staff too. Meanwhile, new flexible working legislation and increasingly powerful mobile technology is driving an increase in remote and home working, as the concept of “always-on” has arrived, with communication no longer constrained by standard working hours. And, more simply, as businesses flex and grow, spreading to multiple sites and perhaps even acquiring additional companies, the workforce unavoidably grows more mobile. All this means that the technology underpinning marketing management must be equally accessible on tablets and smartphones as it is in the office – easy to use, responsive and dynamic.
The advent and adoption of cloud based marketing technologies has supported this accessibility from both a consumer and brand perspective. Marketing automation and CRM tools are becoming increasingly popular online now which also supports the real-time collaborative aspect of cross-functional customer management.
MULTI-CHANNEL MARKETING: WHAT DOES MARKETING BEST PRACTICE LOOK LIKE?
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Teams & Individuals
Three-stage sales and marketing connect
Closing the gap between sales and marketing is a challenge for many businesses, but smart management technology enables these departments to work together at every stage of the marketing cycle – planning, execution and evaluation. From the foundations of each campaign to the use of rich and accurate data to inform the next, a combination of clever automation, smart data storage and analytics ensures that both sales and marketing can access the information they need, exactly when they need it.
Lead qualification and assessment
At what precise moment is a lead ready to move from receiving ‘soft’ marketing communication to a tailored pitch from a sales manager? How can leads be segmented and filtered so that the highest-quality are tackled first by the sales team? How can more leads, and more of the right kind of leads, be generated and passed to sales with a full feedback loop? Smart marketing automation software that links into a sales person’s CRM view enables and empowers all of this.
Social engagement for competitor analysis
Social listening isn’t just for keeping track of customer sentiment. It’s also an intelligent way of keeping track of competitors’ product development, marketing strategy and selling cycles – and adapting your own accordingly.
Integrated marketing automation is the answer
All these examples of best practice, across the two facets of multi-channel marketing that we’ve considered, can be delivered through a unified, smart and sophisticated yet easy to use marketing automation platform that integrates with CRM to provide sales and customer care visibility.
includes sales, marketing and customer service apps which come with embedded Social Engagement functionality. The Adobe Marketing Cloud set of eight apps is a comprehensive solution for the modern marketing team, embracing data driven multi-channel personalised marketing, mobile, social, programmatic advertising and optimised media placement.
By using social media listening tools you will gain a clear and comprehensive picture of your target market. By encouraging feedback where the response data feeds directly into your sales, marketing and customer service shared platform, your team will gain insight quickly and easily. Voice of the Customer
helps you use customer feedback to identify gaps in service, run targeted marketing campaigns, or send offers to increase sales. Contact Prodware to find out more.
MULTI-CHANNEL MARKETING: WHAT DOES MARKETING BEST PRACTICE LOOK LIKE?
White paper - Multi-Channel Campaigns in a Connected World - Prodware | 8
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