Brand cohesion across the multitude of channels has been challenging for the marketers to say the least. The innumerable marketing benefits of the multi-channel approach is somewhat offset by the confusion created by ambiguous messages coming out of the various channels. The cultivation and maintenance of brand harmony requires more than a flawless multi-channel strategy. The overlap between the various digital, electronic, wireless and print media channels has been increasing with each passing day. Tapping the best channel for your corporate needs with the objective of passing the benefits to the consumer is a good way to kick-off a multi-channel alignment exercise.
Multi-Channel Strategy: The right mix
The fundamentals of marketing are still the best bet for understanding the complexities of a multi-channel marketing mix. Understand the market fluctuations (peaks & lows) – know your audience (buying habits, age and gender, regional and cultural demographics) – follow the buying cycle – and the most important, know your goods.
Positioning your marketing message and offerings requires a common-sense approach once the above facts and figures are established. In developed economies, a large percentage of offline transactions are preceded by a well planned online search and research – almost 45% of U.S adult population conducts an online research before making a purchase.
In a recent trade, U.S grocery consumers initiate their transaction by first doing exhaustive product research on the web – followed by cutting our product coupons through direct mail flyers and coupon cards – finally, concluding their purchase in a physical store.
The advent of mobile medium has not only added a different and more mobile flavor to the marketing mix, but also introduced new challenges towards content creation and broadcasting. Now a corporate site can be available for a quick review by your collaborators and consumers while they are in an airport or in the air itself.
Multi-Channel: Aligning them right
Identification of the most apt channels is the first step towards a cohesive effort, but the seamless integration of various channels requires an optimum use of the most effective channel techniques – the fundamental fact about the modern user is that the attention span in a digital world is the least amongst all the other channels. Response tabs (a.k.a Call-To-Action buttons) have a very important role to play in a multi-channel world and can be effectively used to create a seamless response system for the consumers – e.g. Utilizing SMS codes in a print AD / TV AD, providing QR code / Facebook URL in magazine Ads / Billboards.