What is multi-channel marketing?

Multi-channel marketing is an integrated strategy where multiple channels are used to communicate with prospects and customers all at once.

At its core, multi-channel marketing recognises that different consumers buy the same products and services from different channels. Multi-channel marketing gives customers the choice to interact on whichever channels they most prefer.  

The vast majority of modern marketing strategies are multi-channel by design: not only are there the traditional channels that have existed for decades such as retail stores, but there are also new online channels such as TikTok.  

Previously, marketers might focus on a single channel at one time, but in a multi-channel marketing ecosystem, each customer action is part of the overall customer experience. This means that no matter which channel a prospect or customer is using, they are engaged in a fully aligned marketing experience. 

What are the successful elements of a multi-channel marketing strategy?

Multi-channel marketing will build a company’s presence across multiple places, both online (through search engines, blogs, social media, email) and offline (through print, TV, and radio). 

The following elements are essential to creating an effective multi-channel marketing approach: 

  • Analytics: Having data on customer behaviour from multiple sources and carrying out analysis will help to determine which customers should receive which marketing messages. Building and keeping a singular view of the customer across all channels helps to inform these analytics.
  • Attribution: A marketing attribution model determines which touchpoints have led to conversion. Seeing which campaigns and channels lead to the most conversions determines the strength of their efforts and help to inform future initiatives.
  • Consistency: Customers experience the same brand regardless of what channel they are using. The same keywords and messages used on one channel should be translated for other channels as close to the original message as possible to maintain consistency and an aligned marketing strategy.

What are the benefits of a multi-channel marketing strategy? 

Higher revenue: Marketing according to the customer’s preferred channel, on which they are the most comfortable, strengthens the likelihood of stronger engagement. Multi-channel customers have been shown to spend three to four times more than customers following a single-channel marketing experience. 

Larger impact: More touchpoints ultimately lead to more customers and a higher degree of brand recognition since consistent use of additional channels can lead to knock-on effects. For example, advertising on YouTube can more than quadruple the regular Google searches for a company brand name.

Increased market potential: Marketing channels are constantly evolving, and as younger consumers come of age, the ways companies reach them also evolves. For example, a company operating customer queries solely through email, may miss out on customers who rely primarily on WhatsApp.

Increased conversion: Consumer preferences are different, and catering to customers according to their preferred touchpoint means that you can collect more data on which campaigns resonate with them. This data can be aggregated to build up strong individual profiles of customers with deeper insights into which messaging appeals to them.