Common eCommerce Mistakes | Not using a multichannel marketing approach – Part #9

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Businesses with an ecommerce focus often downplay the effectiveness of multichannel marketing by only using digital marketing channels. MultiChannel marketing allows the ecommerce business to reach its prospective or current customer in a channel of their liking. This supports the brand by showing the prospective customer that the brand is everywhere which in turn shows the company as being trustworthy, broad in scope and loaded with people they can relate to.

Multichannel marketing enables the customer to choose the method of engagement rather than the marketer. Consumer choice is a beautiful thing!

Companies that sell branded products and services through local businesses, utilize both online and offline marketing channels. Online tactics are things like on page SEO, social media and digital broadcasts. Offline marketing channels consist of things like outbound calls, direct mail, live events, printed media and more. A proportion of companies use their online marketing efforts to inform their offline advertising (i.e. they test keywords online to understand if they fit with customer intent before printing them in offline ads).

In order to realize the full value of multichannel marketing strategy, ecommerce businesses must use and understand several variables.

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This chart from SmartInsights supports the theory that the customer lifecycle has many touch points and the importance of the types of online and offline touch points along the customer journey.
Lifecycle Marketing Model
Ecommerce businesses will benefit from multichannel customer marketing by understanding that certain channels are used for different reasons. SMS text messages work best for short messages that have a sense of urgency. While email works best for nurturing with longer text. And Facebook works best when a social community is desired as a rally cry or social proof. Determining which avatar prefers which method is very powerful!
What businesses quickly learn from multichannel marketing is that the combination of methods is what optimizes and maximizes results. The whole is definitely more valuable that any one part. However, attributing the marketing touch point that closed the deal is increasingly difficult. What may appear as a Facebook lead may have actually been a customer word-of-mouth referral.
In this age of modern devices, which one customer may use several of, multichannel marketing is a fact of life. Tailoring the message to both the device and the buyer persona is a fundamental marketing strategy for any business with an ecommerce presence.

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